BOSTON (CBS) — By all accounts, the Red Sox got an absolute steal in the 2021 MLB Draft when top shortstop prospect Marcelo Mayer fell to the team at No. 4. Mayer was projected to be the top pick in most mocks ahead of the draft, and now he’s joining the Boston farm system.
While many Red Sox fans were clamoring for one of the college pitchers who could help the big league club sooner rather than later, Mayer is a five-tool player who could — and should — develop into an absolute stud at the Major League level. And judging from what the draft experts are saying, the Red Sox appear to have a future superstar in their system.
Here is how the experts reacted to Boston drafted Mayer on Sunday night — with a guest appearance by our own expert Dan Roche!
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
It’s not every year you get a chance to draft a high school kid that projects to possibly be a “Corey Seager type of player.” Fortunately, that’s how it worked out for Boston.
Mayer is a potential five-tool player that could be in the Red Sox lineup for years to come. Yes, it’s an inexact science trying to project an 18-year-old high schooler’s path, but Mayer seems to have the tools and the makeup that could make him a special player. If you’re Chaim Bloom, you wake up Monday morning thrilled that Mayer is part of Boston’s future.
We had Mayer at the top of our rankings for a reason, as we gave him the best grades for his hit tool and his defense in the entire Draft class. The comp I like using the most for him is Corey Seager offensively and Brandon Crawford on defense. Combined, that’s a really good player for the Red Sox
All expectations were that Boston would go for a college guy at pick 4 … but that was predicated on the assumption that Marcelo Mayer would be gone. (I heard more directly that they wouldn’t take Jordan Lawlar.) The Red Sox are certainly in position to wait on Mayer’s upside; he’s a true shortstop with a beautiful left-handed swing that looks like it’ll lead to power as he fills out. I thought he and Henry Davis were essentially 1 and 1A in this draft class — Davis offers more certainty, as a college player with a strong track record and a short timeline to the majors, but Mayer offers some more upside and also has the value of playing a premium position.
Jack Leiter and Henry Davis were the two players most often connected to the Red Sox going into draft night, but instead they end up with a player many thought would go No. 1 overall. If Mayer grows into his tools, he has the potential to be a Corey Seager-esque performer who has the glove to stick at a premium position.
Mayer, 18, leads the pack of elite high school shortstops anticipated to go early this year. In his senior year at California’s Eastlake High School, Mayer emerged as one of the draft’s top hitters (batting .392 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs as a senior) and defenders. Mayer’s size (6’3″) and power have drawn comparisons to the Dodgers’ Corey Seager, though Mayer will likely spend a few years becoming acclimated to high-level pitching in the Red Sox’s minor league system before he’s ready for a major league debut.
I have a hunch the Red Sox would have preferred Leiter over anyone else in this class, but they should have no qualms settling for the player many considered to be the top all-around talent in the class. You can never have too much middle infield talent, so don’t think twice about the fact that Xander Bogaerts is manning shortstop for the foreseeable future.
Reuter gave the Red Sox an “A” for the Mayer selection, and Red Sox fans should be absolutely giddy over the Seager comps.