Marcelo Mayer’s first full season in pro ball is off to a promising start.
With the first weekend of the 2022 minor-league season in the books, Mayer finds himself batting .538 (7-for-13)/.538/.692 with two doubles, six RBIs, one run scored, no walks, and one strikeout over his first three games (13 plate appearances) with Low-A Salem.
Donning the No. 10 with the Salem Red Sox, the left-handed hitter collected two hits on Friday, three hits on Saturday, and two hits in Sunday’s series finale against the Lynchburg Hillcats (Guardians affiliate) at Haley Toyota Field in Virginia.
Through the first weekend of the Low-A season, Mayer ranks first among qualified Carolina League hitters in hits, tied for second in RBIs, third in batting average, ninth in on-base percentage, 19th in slugging percentage, 14th in OPS (1.231), and seventh in wRC+ (209), per FanGraphs.
So far this year, the 6-foot-3, 190 pound shortstop has yet to commit an error and has already helped turn four double plays while logging 25 innings at the position.
Mayer, 19, comes into the 2022 campaign ranked by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline as the No. 1 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox, of course, selected the California native with the fourth overall pick in last summer’s draft out of Eastlake High School in Chula Vista and signed him for $6.664 million.
After playing in the Florida Complex League in 2021, Mayer did not receive an invite to major-league camp this spring. He did, however, appear in four Grapefruit League games. And while he may have gone hitless (0-for-4) in those contests, Mayer did homer off Nathan Eovaldi in a simulated game at JetBlue Park on March 28.
The Red Sox figure to take things slowly when it comes to the development of their top prospect, who does not turn 20 until December. Based off the kind of start he has gotten off to in Low-A, though, it would not be too surprising if Mayer winds up finishing the season with High-A Greenville.
Boston does have a recent history of doing this sort of thing with its first-round picks. In 2019, 2018 first-rounder Triston Casas spent the majority of the year at Low-A but played two games at High-A to end the season. In 2021, 2020 first-rounder Nick Yorke earned a promotion from Salem to Greenville in late August and appeared in 21 games for the Drive.
Will Mayer follow suit and make the jump at some point in 2022? Only time will tell.
(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)