Mazara shows power right off the bat

In first spring game, Rangers' No. 2 prospect homers, drives in 4

Mazara shows power right off the bat

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The chances of rookie outfielder Nomar Mazara making the Rangers out of Spring Training was all but wiped out by the signing of Ian Desmond.

That doesn't seem to bother Mazara. He was 3-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and four RBIs for the Rangers in a 6-2 victory over the Royals in the Cactus League opener for both teams.

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"Nomar had a nice day, a good first day," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I'm proud of him. More than anything else, you like the defense and he had some confidence swinging."

Mazara took over in right field after Shin-Soo Choo departed after two at-bats and four innings in the field. Mazara singled and scored in his first at-bat in the sixth, had an RBI single in the seventh and broke the game open with a three-run home run in the ninth.

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That home run came off of former Rangers reliever Ross Ohlendorf. Maraza was also 3-for-3 with a double in the intrasquad game on Monday.

"It was a good day," Mazara said. "I was able to get good pitches and get good swings. It has been great, my first big league camp, hanging out with the veterans."

Mazara, 20, was the Rangers Minor League Player of the Year and is the No. 2 prospect in the organization, according to MLB.Com/Pipeline. He played in 111 games at Double-A Frisco last season, hitting .284 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs. He also played in 20 games at Triple-A Round Rock, going 29-for-81 (.358) with an additional home run and 13 RBIs.

He was being prominently mentioned when Josh Hamilton went down with more knee soreness at the start of camp. Instead, Desmond is here to play left and Mazara will begin the season in Triple-A.

"He's part of the team and welcome here," Mazara said. "He's a great guy and it's all about the greater good. It is my first [big league] Spring Training, I'm trying to get the most out of the veteran guys. Just go out and give it my best. Develop myself and prove myself."

Mazara wasn't in big league camp last year but did play in six Cactus League games as a Minor League replacement and was 3-for-16 with a home run.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.