The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021, in Atlanta, Ga. We take a look at high school shortstop prospect Marcelo Mayer, who projects to be a top pick come draft day.
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Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS (Calif.)
Weight: 180 lbs.”
2018: 3G, .444/.444/.444, 3 RBI
2019: 8G, .261/.414/.391, 4 RBI
2020: 6G, .294/.429/.941, 3 HR, 6 RBI
2021: 15G, .375/.565/.950, 7 HR, 27 RBI
Mayer is a talented middle infielder and the consensus No. 2 prep prospect. A University of Southern California commit, he has impressed in his senior season of high school. Despite skipping many prospect showcases due to COVID-19, his stock has risen thanks to strides he has taken both at the plate and in the field. Because of his recent growth as a player, he’ll likely hear his name called inside the top-five.
Mayer is a very, balanced prospect, with no one tool standing out over the rest. At the plate, he has phenomenal mechanics that allow him to produce a very smooth swing. He is also mature when seeing pitches and more than willing to be patient. As for power, he has started to grow into this trait, especially in recent months. It’s unclear what his ceiling is when it comes to power, but he is definitely making progress.
In the field, Mayer has a slick glove. He covers ground really well, and, much like at the plate, his mechanics are essentially flawless. He’s never rushed or anxious, and he lets the ball come to him so he can make the play that he needs to make. He also has a strong and very accurate arm, which is a major perk. He’s able to make throws from all angles and positions, whether it be a quick toss to second base to start a double play or a throw from deep shortstop to retire a runner at first base.
You’re not going to find any glaring weaknesses with Mayer’s game, but there are some areas that are just average. One such aspect is his tendency to hit the ball up the middle or to the opposite field. This isn’t a red flag or anything like that, but it’s certainly something he’ll look to address. He’s also a bit of a question mark in the power department, with some inconsistencies in regards to what he can really do in terms of pop with a bat in his hands. He doesn’t have one of those swings that you look at and say, “Wow, he’s a threat to homer every time he’s up.” Rather, he likely projects as someone who will hit home runs here and there. So while his power will be average, it’s not the main facet of his performance at the plate.
In terms of running, Mayer once again falls into the average category. He can be quick in the field, but he’s not a major threat to steal bases and doesn’t produce incredible speed getting out of the box.
Finally, there’s nothing to complain about with Mayer’s fielding. He might not stick at shortstop long-term, but that’s really the only “weakness” (if you could even call it that) with his performance in the field.
Pro Comparison: Corey Seager
This has been a common comparison, so I don’t deserve any credit for thinking of it. Still, there’s a lot of similarities between the two. They’re both lefties who are best at hitting, fielding, and throwing. Seager might have more power, but since Mayer’s power ceiling remains unclear, it’s too early to tell. They’re both average or slightly above-average runners and talented but non-flashy fielders, and much like Mayer, Seager had a tendency to poke the ball to the opposite field, too. Finally, Seager and Mayer both have smooth swings.
Draft Projection: Round 1, Pick 4, Boston Red Sox
Mayer is among the best of the best in one of baseball’s most exciting prep shortstop classes in recent memory. His stock is neck-and-neck with Jordan Lawlar, and both are projected to be top-five picks in July. Boston would present an intriguing fit because of their need for infield consistency. Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers are roster locks in the present, but the farm system and future have their uncertainties. Adding such a talented, young infielder with defensive prowess and a strong hit tool, too, could ensure the Boston infield is set for years to come.