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Red Sox Prospect Lighting Up Double-A

The Boston Red Sox have had issues finding production in the middle infield positions, specifically when it comes to shortstop. And while there may not seem to be any immediate answers, Boston’s top prospect may force its hand. Marcelo Mayer is lighting up the minor leagues with the Portland Sea Dogs, the Red Sox’s Double-A affiliate. The fourth pick of the 2021 MLB Draft is in his fourth year in the minors, and he’s putting together his best campaign yet. 

Boston’s Shortstop Problems

Veteran Trevor Story was supposed to be the big-league shortstop for the Red Sox this season. He signed a massive six-year, $140 million deal in 2022 after six productive seasons with the Colorado Rockies. But since signing, he’s made just 145 appearances due to injury. And just eight games into 2024, Story suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. His third season in Boston came to an end with only seven hits, four RBI, and a .226 batting average.

In Story’s absence, Ceddanne Rafaela, David Hamilton, Romy Gonzalez, and Pablo Reyes have had their shot in the infield. But none of those options have cemented themselves. While playing the position, Boston’s shortstops are batting just .226 with a .684 OPS. For second base, it’s an even worse .166 average and .419 OPS. 

It’s pretty obvious at this point that the Red Sox could use help up the middle. If they get some, it will also allow Ceddanne Rafaela to play the same position consistently. The youngster has split time at shortstop and center field this season. And that help could come in the form of Marcelo Mayer.

Marcelo Mayer Lighting Up Double-A

Marcelo Mayer’s 2024 campaign is off to a blistering start. After batting just .236 in 78 games last season, he’s blossomed to a .302 average this year. Mayer was drafted right out of high school, which he attended in California. It’s sometimes tough for top prospects to immediately adapt to a professional atmosphere. But in Mayer’s case, he’s more than settled in. 

Although the difference between Double-A and MLB is quite stark, Mayer has eye-popping offensive numbers for the Sea Dogs. He leads all MiLB players in doubles with 17 this season. That includes Low/High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A baseball. In just 39 games in 2024, Mayer is already just two doubles off of the 19 that he roped last year. Nearly 35 percent of his hits this season have been two-baggers. 

Over a 138-game full season with Portland, Mayer is on pace to eclipse 50 doubles and nearly 70 RBI. Both of those numbers would blow his career-high statistics out of the water. And at just 21 years old, Mayer has plenty of improvement still ahead. Of course, you can’t expect him to completely keep this up over a season that will most certainly include ups and downs. But jumping out to such a hot start turns plenty of heads, especially when your big-league club is having trouble finding a shortstop solution.

Marcelo Mayer’s Promotion Outlook

There’s no guarantee that Mayer will even reach Triple-A this season. Boston could very well want to see a full year’s production from its top prospect. The Red Sox aren’t currently in win-now mode. That means they aren’t really in any panic or rush either. There have been plenty of players quickly called up who weren’t ready for the big leagues, and Boston doesn’t want that same outcome. But whether or not the Red Sox pull the trigger this season, Marcelo Mayer is lighting up Double-A and proving that he deserves his label as top prospect. 


Photo Credit: © Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports



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