Mayer collects first Double-A hit ... and two more

June 4th, 2023

Multihit has officially arrived for Double-A Portland.

The No. 5 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline smacked his first hit for the SeaDogs and followed it up with two more, going 3-for-4 in Portland’s 5-4 loss to Somerset.

Mayer was promoted on May 30, but didn’t play his first game with the new club until the next day. Since then, the top-ranked Red Sox prospect went 0-for-16 in four games before Sunday’s matchup.

The hits weren’t there, but Mayer had three free passes in those four games, an encouraging sign for somebody facing pitchers at a new level. Now in his fifth game, everything seems to have clicked.

“I think the first few games, I was trying to do a little too much, obviously, being the new guy up here,” Mayer said. “But I’m just focusing on my approach again and trying to hit the ball hard and trying to hit strikes hard and lay off balls.”

In the first inning, the 20-year-old shortstop poked the first pitch he saw into right field for a line-drive single. The hit came off No. 8 Yankees prospect Richard Fitts, who has accumulated a 1.34 WHIP this season.

“It felt really good,” Mayer said. “Obviously, I didn’t get a hit all week leading up to today, so getting the first out of the way the first at-bat felt great.”

Mayer’s next at-bat came in the third with a runner on base. Facing the 23-year-old right-hander for the second time, he deposited a single into left field, plating fellow Top 100 prospect Ceddanne Rafaela – the No. 3 Red Sox prospect.

Rafaela is one of seven Top 30 Red Sox hitting prospects that Mayer is joining in Double-A, creating a fun and potent lineup.

  • Mayer (No. 1)
  • Rafaela (No. 3)
  • Nick Yorke (No. 5)
  • Matthew Lugo (No. 13)
  • Nathan Hickey (No. 15)
  • Niko Kavadas (No. 19)
  • Chase Meidroth (No. 20)
  • Phillip Sykes (No. 30)

“It’s great, they all carry themselves the right way and it’s really cool to talk with them and have fun and compete,” Mayer said.

Mayer reached on catcher interference in the fifth inning and finished his day off with an RBI-double in the seventh against right-hander Justin Wilson.

The hits were always going to come, the California native’s hit tool is 60-rated, but what is more shocking is that Mayer has been swiping bags. Potentially the only flaw for the 2019 first-round pick is his 45-grade speed, but that has not been a problem. He stole five bases in 35 games with High-A Greenville and now has three in just five Double-A games.

“I’ve always been able to steal, I just haven’t really done it,” Mayer said. “Today, I got the opportunity to do it three times, I got thrown out once, but the other two times I was safe. If given the opportunity, I’m gonna go.”

Mayer has a slash line of .273/.353/.485 between the two levels. He will get his first taste of home baseball at Hadlock Field in Portland in the next series.