No. 01: Red Sox shortstop prospect Marcelo Mayer
Marcelo Mayer missed the end of the 2023 season due to an injury that he was playing through for months. The injury explains the sudden uptick in strikeouts and struggles at the plate for the left-handed hitter.
Mayer still finished the season with impressive numbers, especially for a 20-year-old splitting time between High-A and Double-A.
The lefty slashed .236/.306/.433 with 19 doubles, two triples, and 12 home runs between the two levels. He drove in 54 runs, scored 43 more, and stole nine bases.
Mayer looked fantastic for the majority of the season. He was walking at a good rate and keeping the strikeouts down. However, Mayer suffered a shoulder injury in early May. After missing a week, he returned and continued to produce for a while. By the end of the year, the injury had caught up to him, though.
Even with the dip in production caused by the injury, 2023 was a positive for Mayer. He was crushing High-A so much that he was in Double-A earlier than expected (made his Portland debut on May 31).
Mayer is a smooth fielder at shortstop. He has a great arm and surprising range. If there were any questions about whether or not he could stick at the position, Mayer has effectively ended all that.
Hitting, Mayer looks like someone who will keep the K rate down while using an effortless-looking swing to terrorize pitchers.
Mayer isn't a speedster, but he's athletic and makes smart base running decisions, which could lead to a handful of steals every year.
There's potential for an average that sits around .300 while Mayer hits 20-plus home runs and steals 15-plus bases each season. He should start 2024 in Double-A with a strong chance of moving up to Triple-A midway through the season.