“An advanced approach and knowledge of the strike zone to go with elite bat-to-ball skills and a pure stroke”. “A Corey Seager-like offensive profile”. Sounds like a slam dunk pick, right? Boston, say hello to East Lake High School’s Marcelo Mayer. Rated as the number one overall prospect by Baseball America, MLB.com, and many others, Mayer “slid” all the way to fourth overall. There couldn’t have been a better scenario for the Boston Red Sox franchise. Many expected Mayer to be scooped up number one overall by the Pittsburg Pirates, but when they elected to go with Lousiville catcher Henry Davis, the buzz for Mayer grew louder and louder inside Red Sox Nation. As Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the fourth pick, Red Sox Twitter exploded with jubilation. Expect Mayer to forgo his commitment to USC and sign very soon to begin his pro journey.
A Far Cry
The energy towards this year’s pick is much, much different than last year when Nick Yorke was taken with the 17th overall pick. Although Yorke is continuing to impress in the Carolina League, his selection was met with raised eyebrows due to him being considered a second-round talent by a large majority of scouts. This year, however, the Red Sox may have selected the top prospect in their organization. That says a lot as the Sox farm system includes the likes of Tristan Casas, Jarren Duran, and Jeter Downs. Even if some still believe Casas is still the top prospect, Mayer, without a doubt, will be the most hyped and anticipated in the years to come.
So Mayer broke Red Sox internet. Where do you go from there? You draft another first-round talent in University of Florida outfielder Jud Fabian. At 40th overall Fabian may, in fact, be the steal of the draft. As a top 30 prospect by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline, Fabian was said to have fallen past his projected spot because of a subpar season at the plate in which he struggled with swings and misses. His batting averaged dipped 45 points from his sophomore year to his junior year. Despite that, Fabian still has a lot to offer with his power potential and his above-average defensive skills. On top of that, he’s only 20 (he turns 21 in September). There’s still plenty of room for improvement for Fabian, but on paper, he and Mayer alone make the Red Sox draft a smashing success.
Other Notable Selections
Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz RHP- Leadership Christian Academy (Puerto Rico)
Definitely a project with a huge upside. At 6-foot-4, 165 pounds, the 17-year-old righty currently has a fastball that tops out in the low 90s along with a curveball, changeup, and slider. Rodriguez-Cruz is, however, committed to the University of Oregon. Don’t be surprised to see him honor that commitment and reclassify in a couple of years.
Nathan Hickey C- Florida
The second Gator to be selected by the Red Sox, Hickey was praised for his patience at the plate. Many scouts project that Hickey will eventually move to an infield position as he progresses. At Florida, he played multiple infield positions, showing scouts his versatility.
Daniel McElveny Utility- Bonita Vista High School (CA)
The lone utility man in the draft. He was brought in by the Red Sox organization for a pre-draft workout where he auditioned at second, third, shortstop, and catcher. McElveny caught the eye of Red Sox scouts when his team matched up with first-round pick Marcelo Mayer’s East Lake squad. He’s noted as a fierce competitor that does a great job getting the barrel on the ball.