The Red Sox may have had the day off from any Grapefruit League action, but several members of the team still played in a simulated game at JetBlue Park earlier Monday morning.
Marcelo Mayer was one of the many position players squaring off against right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who pitched on Monday in order to remain on schedule for his Opening Day start against the Yankees in the Bronx on April 7.
While results from intrasquad games might not matter all that much much in the grand scheme of things, Mayer made the most of his time on Monday by crushing a towering home run off Eovaldi that wound up in the Red Sox’ bullpen. According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, the ball landed just to the right of the 420-foot marker in center field.
“It’s an uncomforable at-bat. Nathan Eovaldi is one of the best starters in the league,” Mayer said to Bradford. “I was shocked when I hit it, but he has so many good pitches that you got to just really simplify it. So I just ended up sitting [on a fastball] and I was able to get it.”
“I knew I got it pretty good, but you never know with this ballpark. It’s pretty big to right field,” he added. “It was just a really cool moment. I was kind of shocked, like I said. Just to be able to put a ball in play against him, it’s pretty cool.”
Mayer, 19, was selected by the Sox with the fourth overall pick in last summer’s draft, making him the earliest Boston draft pick since Mike Garman was taken third overall in 1967. The Eastlake High School (Chula Vista, Calif.) product signed with the club for $6.664 million last July.
Upon joining the organization, Mayer was assigned to the rookie-level Florida Complex League Red Sox out of the gate. In 26 games with the FCL Red Sox, the left-handed hitting infielder slashed .275/.377/.440 with four doubles, one triple, three home runs, 17 RBIs, 25 runs scored, seven stolen bases, 15 walks, and 27 strikeouts over 26 games spanning 106 plate appearances. He also committed 10 errors across 177 2/3 innings at shortstop.
Coming into the 2022 season, his first full one as a pro, Mayer is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect in Boston’s farm system and the No. 15 prospect in all of baseball. The California native made his Grapefruit League debut against the Orioles last Thursday and went 0-for-1 with a walk and strikeout.
Mayer, who does not turn 20 until next December, is projected to begin the 2022 minor-league campaign at Low-A Salem. Perhaps he could make the jump to High-A Greenville by the end of the year.
(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)