Boston’s Marcelo Mayer Stands Poised For A Healthy New Year


For the first two months of last season, shortstop Marcelo Mayer asserted himself as one of the top prospects in baseball. 

Scouts came out of High-A Greenville raving about a player who showed the defensive instincts and clock to stay at shortstop with potential middle-of-the-order power.

A weighted bat program and general strength gains had helped Mayer’s 90th percentile and max exit velocities jump to surpass the major league average. That contributed to the 2021 fourth overall pick hitting .290/.366/.524 with seven home runs through 35 South Atlantic League games.

That performance convinced the Red Sox to promote Mayer to Double-A Portland, making the then-20-year-old the youngest Boston position player to reach the level since Xander Bogaerts in 2013.

But Mayer’s performance suffered considerably in the Eastern League. He hit just .189/.254/.355 in 43 games before his season ended at the beginning of August with a left shoulder impingement. 

The impingement actually occurred in Greenville shortly before Mayer’s promotion. While Mayer and team officials attributed some of his struggles to an adjustment to Double-A, it became clear that the shoulder—which ultimately required a cortisone injection in September—had hindered his offensive performance.

“(The shoulder) ended up getting to a point where I just couldn’t really do it anymore,” Mayer said. “I think a lot of that’s on me not really knowing my body and not knowing how to handle a full season or communicate with my trainers.

“At the end of the day, my shoulder was hurting a little bit, but that’s no excuse. I should’ve said something earlier.”

Early in the offseason, Mayer limited baseball activity while focusing on rehabbing his shoulder and strength gains. By mid January he had returned to full baseball activities.

With that, he and the Red Sox are hopeful that the shortstop will be able to re-establish himself as a potential franchise pillar.

“(The shoulder) feels as good as ever, so I’m excited for the new year,” Mayer said.

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