Top pick Mayer in fold, finds Fenway seats

July 22nd, 2021

BOSTON -- Eleven days after the Red Sox made the ultra-talented Marcelo Mayer the fourth overall pick in the MLB Draft, the shortstop is now a member of one of baseball’s most storied franchises.

Mayer -- the No. 1 prospect coming into the Draft, according to MLB Pipeline -- was signed for full slot value of $6,664,000.

By Thursday afternoon, Mayer was taking batting practice at Fenway Park before the opener of Boston’s four-game series against the Yankees.

The left-handed hitter showed off his fluid swing, hammering one drive over the bullpen and into the right-field bleachers.

“It was sick. Way different than high school,” Mayer said.

It has been a whirlwind week-and-a-half for Mayer, who went to Coors Field for All-Star festivities and has been in Boston for close to a week, getting acclimated to all things Red Sox.

“It's been amazing,” said Mayer, Boston’s highest Draft selection since 1967. “It's been everything I could ask for, from sitting there on Draft day to being here, it's super special. I think it's hitting me a little harder since getting on the plane and landing in Boston.”

On Friday, Mayer will get on another plane to Fort Myers, Fla., where he will report to the club’s Spring Training base in preparation for his professional debut in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League.

“Very important. I wanted to start my professional career and just work my butt off and do whatever I can to be here,” said the 18-year-old Mayer, who recently graduated from Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, Calif.

Roaming the grounds at Fenway was clearly special to Mayer.

What sticks out?

“The history,” Mayer said. “All the legends that have walked through this ballpark, just the history that surrounds this ballpark.”

Before taking BP, Mayer took infield with current Red Sox star shortstop .

“I met Xander at the All-Star Game, and just seeing him here again was great,” Mayer said. “He's such a cool guy, down to earth. Just taking ground balls with him was super cool.”

Best advice Mayer has received from veterans so far?

“They just said to work hard and take care of my body, because that's my most valuable possession,” Mayer said.

Mayer was amazed at the reach and knowledge of Red Sox Nation, which he has learned a lot about over the past week.

“Just from getting out of the airport, I already had fans coming up to me asking me for my autograph,” Mayer said. “It's just an amazing city and an amazing fan base. It's insane. It just shows how dedicated this fan base is and how loyal it is.”

Mayer was excited to be a spectator for MLB’s storied rivalry on Thursday and looks forward to one day being a part of it. But there are far less glamorous days in Mayer’s immediate future, and he’s ready for that.

“A grind,” Mayer said of what is ahead. “I know it's going to be a lot of hard work, and I'm going to do whatever I can to put myself in the best position and work my butt off. I don't know when I'll be up here, but, hopefully, it's soon.”