Red Sox top prospect Marcelo Mayer is one step closer to the big leagues.
Mayer, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 draft, received the news Sunday he will move up from High A Greenville to Double A Portland. The 20-year-old shortstop will be the youngest Red Sox draftee to reach Double A since 2009, when both Anthony Rizzo and Casey Kelly were with the Sea Dogs.
Mayer hit .290 with a .366 on-base, .524 slugging, seven homers, and 19 extra-base hits in 35 games for the Drive this year, along with a 10 percent walk rate and 23 percent strikeout rate.
In May, he hit .321/.357/.641 with six homers in 18 games, emerging as one of the top performers in the South Atlantic League even though he’s one of its youngest players. He’s also shown tremendous defense at shortstop, where his 6-foot-2-inch frame projects to stick in the big leagues.
Entering the year, Mayer seemed a likely candidate for a promotion roughly by the July All-Star break. But his performance led to an accelerated timetable.
“You want players to force your hand [about promotion decisions],” farm director Brian Abraham said recently. “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.”
Mayer will join the Sea Dogs for their upcoming series this week in New Jersey against the Somerset Patriots, the Double A affiliate of the Yankees, before making his Hadlock Field debut on June 6. While playing in Portland will bring him within driving distance of Fenway Park, Mayer vowed this spring that he won’t be thinking about skipping steps in his development.
“I’m going out there and playing and I’m being where my feet are. I’m not really thinking about Fenway when I’m in Portland. If I’m in Portland, I’m thinking about me being in Portland,” he said in spring training. “Obviously, my goal is to be a big leaguer. I want to be there as soon as possible. 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 this offseason. I’m super excited for this season.”