'Trying to hit hard line drives,' Mayer rips first Double-A homer

Top-ranked Red Sox prospect finds rhythm during left-on-left showdown

June 8th, 2023

Top-ranked Red Sox prospect found his groove Wednesday night with his first Double-A homer.

After slashing .130/.222/.174 in his first six games for Portland, he re-introduced himself as the 55-grade power hitter he is with a deep shot to right off of Guardians prospect Jaime Arias.

Before Mayer was promoted to Double-A, MLB Pipeline’s No. 3 shortstop prospect did most of his damage vs. righties, slashing .293/.370/.553 off of right-handed pitching with High-A Greenville. Homering off of Arias, he proved not only that he can mash Double-A pitching, but that he can connect for power against lefties as well, in the process marking his first roundtripper off a southpaw since Aug. 13, 2022.

“I take pride in facing lefties,” Mayer said. “Left-on-left is always a tough matchup. So for me, it’s just about practicing, working on it, seeing spin from the left side. Being able to do that I think translates to the games.”

In fact, it was his second hit of the day against Arias -- going 2-for-2 to start the game. The homer proved to be contagious, as his teammate and No. 20 Red Sox prospect Chase Meidroth, made it back-to-back homers after Mayer ripped his solo shot.

“It’s a cool moment for sure,” Mayer said about going back to back with Meidroth. “Especially since with this team -- we’re so tight. Me and Chase are boys. He usually doesn’t bat after me, so him batting in the cleanup spot and hitting a home run after me was pretty cool to share.”

Despite Mayer’s memorable performance, the Sea Dogs dropped the contest to Akron, 9-6. Mayer did, however, raise his OPS 195 points after his outing against the Rubber Ducks. Mayer, however, isn’t too caught up with the statistical aspect of his performance.

“I try not to be based too much off of results,” Mayer said. “So this doesn’t really change much for me. It’s just about going out there and playing hard, trusting my routine. I think if you fall in the trap of gaining confidence off good performances, it can be a roller coaster of emotions. Because then if you play bad, you lose confidence.”

Mayer grew accustomed to hitting for power with Greenville this season, as he launched seven long balls in 35 High-A games on the year before his promotion. Roping 11 doubles, he posted a slugging percentage of .524 in his time with the Drive.

Perhaps it was just a matter of time before MLB Pipeline’s No. 5 overall prospect found his power again at the next level. Regardless, his approach at the plate stays consistent.

“I’m just looking to hit strikes hard and if it goes out, it goes out,” Mayer said. “But I’m not really stepping into the box and trying to hit homers. I’m just going out there and trying to hit hard line drives, and if they sneak out, they sneak out.”