Red Sox adjust on the fly, take potential franchise talent from Marcelo Mayer – .

Red Sox adjust on the fly, take potential franchise talent from Marcelo Mayer – .

All these months we’ve been insisting the Red Sox would pick fourth overall and then draft night came and it turned out they picked first.
How else to explain the consensus of the player n ° 1 of the draft, the shortstop of the Californian high school Marcelo Mayer, who slipped them to the n ° 4? Virtually every mock draft had put him first or maybe second, and the club could have been forgiven if he had diverted his scouting resources elsewhere. One night when little was certain we knew at a minimum that Mayer would be long gone by the time the Red Sox hit the clock.

Reality had other ideas, and the Red Sox surged. All the draft and dice caveats aside, the selection has the potential to change the franchise and for once the old saw is true – the Red Sox couldn’t believe their luck that one equally talented player landed on their knees.

Twitter explodes after Red Sox pick arguably best prospect in MLB draft

“I think that’s fair to say,” said director of screening Paul Toboni. “Of course, that wasn’t the most likely outcome for us. “

Mayer might not be a must-see talent like Alex Rodriguez or Bryce Harper or Joe Mauer, but that doesn’t make his selection any less amazing. He was widely regarded as worthy of the first overall pick as a high school shortstop whom Toboni compared offensively to Dodgers Silver Slugger Corey Seager, and defensively to Giants Gold Glover Brandon Crawford.

He had nothing to do until the Red Sox were chosen, but here we are. At 6-foot-3, 188 pounds, and with room to grow, he’s a bigger shortstop in the mold of either Seager or Fernando Tatis Jr. of San Diego, but with the glove not just to stay in post, but thrive. Most scouting services ranked him as both the best offensive and defensive shortstop in the draft.

“What really strikes me about Marcelo’s play is that he does everything at a pace that feels like he does it so easily,” said Toboni. “You’re talking about quarterbacks that slow things down, aren’t you?” This kid is slowing down both on shortstop and when he’s in the box. It’s like he’s still under control. “

Mayer hit .392 with 15 home runs at Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, Calif. If this school sounds familiar to you, it’s because it produced former No. 1 overall pick Adrian Gonzalez. It is also the home of the 13th overall pick of 2019, Twins shortstop Keoni Cavaco.

He’s the player Red Sox regional scout JJ Altobelli was following two years ago when he noticed a lanky sophomore with a smooth swing and easy action on the pitch. That player was Mayer, not yet a household name.

“We were chatting for long periods of time and I would ask (Altobelli) how Keoni was playing, the whole deal,” Toboni said. “Very naturally, the conversation always came back to that amazing high school shortstop that was in second grade at the time. He was beaming from him, non-stop. It was like, he was telling me how Keoni played, but it was like the majority of our conversation every time we spoke was about this kid Marcelo. I knew his name, but I didn’t know much about him. seen. ‘ “

It will probably be some time before we see him in Boston. On the one hand, the Red Sox are all put on shortstop for the foreseeable future with veteran Xander Bogaerts. On the other hand, Mayer is only 18, and even the most advanced prospects need time to develop after high school.

Mayer is a big fan of Tatis Jr., who spent part of three seasons in the minors before reaching the Padres at 20 in 2019. Seager was also drafted at 18, in 2012, and reached the leagues. majors three years later, winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2016. If Mayer follows a similar schedule, he won’t arrive in Boston for good until 2025.

That we would even have this discussion seemed completely unlikely on Sunday morning. When the draft began, the Red Sox expected Mayer’s name to be called up first by the Pirates, but they took Louisville wide receiver Henry Davis. The Rangers had been linked with several high school shortstops, but they pick Vanderbilt ace Jack Leiter, a suspected Boston target.

That’s when phones started buzzing around the Red Sox draft room, with scouts receiving advice from fellow colleagues through the game as the Tigers were targeting high school pitcher Jackson Jobe with the third pick. .

Suddenly Mayer was ready for Boston and the Red Sox took a big hit. It will be years before we can make a final judgment, but for now remember the date: July 11, 2021. We might one day see this as the start of something special.


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