Top Red Sox prospect Marcelo Mayer has been named the South Atlantic League Player of the Week for the week of May 1-7, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.
Mayer went 16-for-31 (.516) at the plate with six doubles, three home runs, 12 RBIs, eight runs scored, one stolen base, zero walks, and four strikeouts in all six of High-A Greenville’s games on the road against the Asheville Tourists last week.
After going 2-for-5 with a pair of singles in Tuesday’s series opener at McCormick Field, Mayer finished a triple shy of the cycle as part of a four-hit effort on Wednesday. The left-handed hitting shortstop then had one hit on Thursday, two hits on Friday and three hits on Saturday before closing out the weekend with another four-hit performance on Sunday afternoon.
As noted by SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield, McCormick Field is considered to be one of the more hitter-friendly ballparks in all of Minor League Baseball given its favorable dimensions. That being said, it was nonetheless an impressive week of work for Mayer.
Though his first full season in Greenville got off to a slow start, Mayer has picked things up as of late. He is now batting a stout .337/.414/.582 (161 wRC+) with 10 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 23 RBIs, 17 runs scored, four stolen bases, 13 walks, and 24 strikeouts over 23 games (111 plate appearances) with the Drive in 2023.
Among qualified South Atlantic League hitters, Mayer ranks eighth in batting average, 14th in on-base percentage, 10th in slugging percentage, ninth in OPS (.996), 17th in isolated power (.245), 23rd in strikeout rate (21.6 percent), and ninth in wRC+ (161), per FanGraphs.
On the other side of the ball, Mayer has unsurprisingly seen all of his playing time on the field to this point in the season come at shortstop. The 6-foot-2, 188-pounder has logged 193 innings at short thus far and has committed six errors in 72 defensive chances.
Mayer, 20, is regarded by most publications as the No. 1 prospect in Boston’s farm system. As far as top-100 rankings are concerned, Baseball America has him at No. 13 while MLB Pipeline pegs him as the seventh-best prospect in the sport.
A native of Chula Vista, Calif., Mayer was originally selected by the Red Sox with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 amateur draft out of Eastlake High School. Though he grew up a Yankees fan, Mayer forwent his commitment to Southern California and signed with Boston for a lucrative $6.664 million that July
As the Sox’ highest-selected player since 1967, Mayer entered the professional ranks with plenty of hype surrounding him. In a relatively small sample size of 140 minor-league games between the Florida Complex League, Low-A Salem, and Greenville, Mayer has shown why he is worthy of such attention.
Mayer, who does not turn 21 until December, is bilingual and has shown leadership qualities in the clubhouse. He has the ability to connect with both English- and Spanish-speaking teammates on and off the field, which only adds to his value within the organization.
As the Drive prepare to open a 12-game homestand at Fluor Field on Tuesday, more people have begun to wonder when Mayer will make the jump from Greenville to Double-A Portland. For Mayer himself, he is focused on the present as well as the challenge at hand.
“For me, I’m going out there and playing and I’m being where my feet are,” Mayer recently told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. “I’m not really going to be thinking about Fenway when I’m in Portland. If I’m in Portland, I’m thinking about being in Portland.
“Obviously, my goal is to be a big leaguer. I want to be there as soon as possible,” he added. “There’s a lot of great players in this organization. So it’s not as easy as just saying, ‘Oh, I want to be in the big-leagues this year.’ But I’m really excited. I worked my tail off in the offseason. I’m super excited for this season.”
Liu named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week
After tossing a seven-inning no hitter in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Akron RubberDucks on Friday, Portland Sea Dogs right-hander C.J. Liu was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week.
Liu, 24, becomes the second Sea Dogs pitcher to earn the honor this season, joining lefty Shane Drohan. You can read more about Liu’s stellar outing — and his 2023 campaign as a whole — by clicking here.
(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)