Ruth and Gehrig. Mantle and Maris. Mays and McCovey. Bench and Perez. Bryant and Rizzo. Jeter and Williams.
The greatest teams have a legendary tandem of hitters.
Even with the Rangers, think Juan Gonzales and Pudge Rodriguez. Josh Hamilton and Michael Young. Look at the damage having two elite hitters does to the opposing pitching.
It’s way way way way way too early to put Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman in that category, but we are starting to see them gel. And we are starting to see the potential of the team if they reach their potential.
Mazara is no surprise. He drove in 101 runs last year. A lot of things can happen by fluke. Not 101 RBIs.
After driving in three more runs last night, Mazara now has 34 in 52 games. He is on pace to drive in 105.
There’s no arguing that, even at just 23, Nomar Mazara is the best player this front office has ever produced. One, guys who drive in more than one hundred runs a season are rare. Two, guy who are able to produce long term above the Double-A level in this system are rare.
While Mazara seems to be picking up where he left off last year, we are starting to see the emergence of a potential side kick in the dynamic duo: Ronald Guzman.
Like Mazara, and actually with Mazara, Guzman was plucked out of the Dominican Republic as a teenager and signed in the international draft. He made his pro debut at seventeen, batting .321 in Rookie League. He moved quickly up the system, hitting everywhere he went, hitting for average, for power, driving in runs.
He hit .298 at Triple-A Round Rock in 2017, and was hitting a mere .412 at Round Rock this year when he got called up.
He hit the ground hitting when he first arrived but, like with so many rookies, the league quickly adjusted to him and told him to figure it out.
Last week, he made an adjustment in his stance, starting with his hands lower so he can get to the ball quicker.
Since then, he is 7-for-18, with 4 HRs and 8 RBIs. It seems his is getting to the ball much quicker.
He is slowly bringing his average up. It’s at .226 and trending in the right direction.
Again, it’s too early to anoint Mazara and Guzman the next Hamilton/Young. But on this team, it’s the best we have. And, on this team, it’s a nice sliver of hope.
And, it doesn’t appear to be a pipe dream. Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman are the real deals. They are young. And they are here to stay.
Ian Kennedy (1-5, 5.305) vs. Bartolo Colon (2-2, 3.51)
Game time: 3:05