The Red Sox have selected Eastlake High School (Calif.) shortstop Marcelo Mayer with their top pick in the 2021 MLB first-year player draft at No. 4 overall.
Mayer, 18, was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect headed into the draft, trailing only fellow prep infielder Jordan Lawlar for the top spot.
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Mayer is committed to play college baseball at the University of Southern California.
The California native hits from the left side of the plate, throws with his right hand, and was viewed as a potential fit for the Pirates, who wound up selecting Louisville catcher Henry Davis with the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft earlier Sunday night.
Mayer, who does not turn 19 until December, played his high school baseball in Chula Vista, Calif.
In his senior season for the Eastlake Titans, the young infielder slashed an impressive .392/.555/.886 to go along with six doubles, 14 home runs, 45 RBI, 46 runs scored, and 18 stolen bases over 34 games played this spring, per MaxPreps.
According to his Baseball America scouting report, Mayer “is arguably the top defensive shortstop” in this year’s draft class which is loaded at that position.
“He glides around the infield with silky smooth actions and has the hands, footwork and arm strength to stick at shortstop long-term,” his scouting report reads. “He slows the game down and has no problem throwing from multiple angles with an accurate arm. Though he is a below-average runner, he moves fluidly around the dirt and should be at least an above-average defender.
“He’s a plus hitter with excellent barrel control and extension in his swing and drives balls hard in the air from gap-to-gap. He can turn on good fastballs and drive them off the right-field fence or let pitches on the outer half travel deep and line them hard up the middle or the opposite way. He has fringe-average power now, but could tap into above-average power in the future as he fills out his projectable frame. He controls the strike zone and has a calm, steady presence in the batter’s box.”
By selecting Mayer with the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, the Red Sox have made their earliest selection since 1967, when they took right-hander Mike Garman at No. 3.
This is also the second straight year in which the Red Sox, whose drafting efforts are led by chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and amateur scouting director Paul Toboni, among others, have selected a prep infielder out of California with the club’s top pick, as Nick Yorke was taken off the board at No. 17 last year.
The recommended slot value for the fourth overall pick in the 2021 amateur draft is approximately $6.664 million, while Boston will have approximately $11,359,600 in total bonus pool space to work with when it comes to signing as many picks from Rounds 1 through 20 as they so choose.
While the Red Sox may be done drafting for now (Sunday), they will be on the clock once again on Monday for picks 40, 75, 105, 136, 166, 196, 226, 256, and 286, and then again on Tuesday for picks 316, 346, 376, 406, 436, 466, 496, 526, 556, and 586.
(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)