Marcelo Mayer was expected by many to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, yet the 18-year-old shortstop from Eastlake High School in California somehow fell to the Red Sox with the No. 4 overall selection.
While Mayer's talent is excellent, there was one question he had to answer right away: How did the lifelong Yankees fan feel about being drafted by his favorite team's archrival?
Unsurprisingly, Mayer was quickly willing to switch his allegiance.
"I'm the biggest Red Sox fan of all time right now," he said in an interview with ESPN.
Well, that was easy. It's not a surprise, though. After all, the slot value of Boston's No. 4 pick in the draft is about $6.7 million, so the Sox are set to give Mayer a hefty payday.
Mayer was the consensus No. 1 prospect in the draft and only slipped after the Pirates surprisingly selected Louisville catcher Henry Davis No. 1 overall. The 18-year-old shortstop has drawn comparisons to Corey Seager offensively and Brandon Crawford defensively.
Seager is one of the current shortstops who the lefty-hitting Mayer admires the most, along with Fernando Tatis Jr. and Francisco Lindor.
“The modern-era shortstops are more of bat-first guys,” Mayer told the San Diego Tribune in late May. “Tatis, Seager and Lindor can swing it, but also field their positions with pride.
“I 100 percent want to stay at shortstop. As a hitter, I’ve always had power. As I’ve grown stronger, I really started to tap into that power and elevate my game.”
He'll get a chance to do that in a Boston system that helped turn Xander Bogaerts into an All-Star and one of MLB's best shortstops. As such, Mayer is happy with where he landed despite his mini-fall.
"It was everything I could have asked for," Mayer said on MLB Network. "It's something I'm going to remember for the rest of my life."