The Red Sox have signed first-round draft pick Marcelo Mayer, the team announced Thursday evening.
Per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Mayer — a shortstop — has signed with the Sox for $6.664 million. He is currently at Fenway Park with his family for Thursday night’s game against the Yankees.
Mayer, 18, was selected by Boston out Eastlake High School (Chula Vista, Calif.) with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 MLB first-year player draft earlier this month.
The recommended slot value for the fourth overall selection in this year’s draft was $6.664 million, meaning the Red Sox are signing Mayer to an at-slot deal.
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, the left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing infielder had been committed to play college baseball at the University of Southern California, but will instead unsurprisingly go pro out of high school.
Going into this summer’s draft, Mayer was regarded by many as the top prep prospect, if not the top overall prospect in a class that included the likes of Louisville catcher Henry Davis and Vanderbilt right-hander Jack Leiter.
With that sort of reputation, it seemed as though Mayer could land with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had the top overall pick but instead took Davis. The Texas Rangers followed by selecting Leiter, and the Detroit Tigers took high school right-hander Jackson Jobe, allowing the Red Sox to draft Mayer at No. 4.
In his senior season with the Eastlake Titans this spring, the Southern California native slashed .392/.555/.886 along with six doubles, 14 home runs, 45 RBI, 46 runs scored, and 18 stolen bases over 34 games and 137 plate appearances, per MaxPreps.
By selecting Mayer with the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, the Red Sox made — and have now signed — their earliest selection in a draft since 1967, when they used the third overall pick on right-hander Mike Garman.
Mayer, who does not turn 19 until December, will already be one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system as soon as he reports to the club’s spring training complex in Fort Myers within the coming days.
Earlier Thursday, in his midseason top-50 prospects list, The Athletic’s Keith Law ranked Mayer as his No. 14 prospect in baseball, writing that “there was no runaway top prospect in this year’s draft class, but Mayer was the closest thing we had to a consensus No. 1, bringing the mix of floor and upside that tends to separate the best high school prospects from the rest.
“Mayer, who went fourth overall to the Red Sox, is a true shortstop who should develop into a plus defender there,” Law added, “and has the potential to hit for both average and power once he fills out.”
With Mayer signed and set for pro ball, the Red Sox have now signed five of their 20 draft picks, according to SoxProspects.com. Mayer joins the likes of Tyler McDonough, Daniel McElveny, Matt Litwicki, and Jacob Webb.
The deadline for clubs to sign their draft picks — as well as undrafted free agents — is August 1 at approximately 5 p.m. eastern time.
(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)