Marcelo Mayer achieved a career milestone Tuesday. Could another soon be close at hand?
The top-ranked Red Sox prospect, a 2021 first-round pick (No. 4 overall) out of Eastlake High School in San Diego, drilled a pair of homers for the High A Greenville Drive in Rome, Ga., against Atlanta’s affiliate. It was the first multi-homer game of Mayer’s professional career.
Mayer’s first blast was an opposite-field shot to left that left the bat at 98 m.p.h. His second was pulled down the right-field line with an exit velocity of 105.
Marcelo Mayer has his first career two-homer game as the @GreenvilleDrive score 9+ runs for the second straight contest! pic.twitter.com/MN1b8TriMo— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) May 24, 2023
“To hit one down the left-field line and then to hit one down the right-field line was pretty impressive,” said Red Sox director of hitting development Jason Ochart. “The guy has shown a really impressive ability to just hit.
“He’s got power, but he’s also just a good hitter. He can use the whole field, he can battle with two strikes, he understands the situation. I’ve just been really impressed with how advanced he is as a hitter.”
Mayer is hitting a robust .312/.387/.576 with 7 homers and 18 extra-base hits in 30 games with Greenville. Though one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League, the 20-year-old shortstop ranks among the league leaders in batting average (seventh), on-base percentage (15th), and slugging (fifth). In 13 games in May, he’s leading the league in homers (6), RBIs (18), slugging (.793), and OPS (1.196).
Mayer also has shown evidence of year-over-year development. He’s hitting the ball harder than he did a year ago, has cut down slightly on his strikeout rate, is hitting fewer ground balls, and is barreling the ball more frequently to the pull side.
His performance raises questions about whether Mayer might soon move up to Double A Portland. The Sox acknowledge that he is building an impressive case.
“You want players to force your hand [on promotions],” farm director Brian Abraham said in mid-May. “You want players to force those conversations.
“He does a lot of things really well, he works hard, he’s mature, has good baseball intellect, he’s a good teammate, he does all the things on the subjective side you’d hope to see. No doubt he’s knocking on the door. He’s pushing down the door. And he’s consistent. That’s what we want to see.”
Alex Speier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @alexspeier.