Red Sox

Red Sox top prospects Marcelo Mayer, Miguel Bleis showcase talent in Grapefruit League action

Mayer and Bleis were rated as the No. 10 and No. 88 prospects in baseball, respectively, by Baseball America.

Miguel Bleis (left) and Marcelo Mayer are among the Red Sox prospects at spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.
Both Miguel Bleis (left) and Marcelo Mayer (right) are expected to rise through Boston's farm system this season. Alex Speier/Globe Staff

With the dog days of spring training here and multiple key contributors off at the World Baseball Classic, the Red Sox are giving more and more reps to top prospects during Grapefruit League play.

And even though both shortstop Marcelo Mayer and outfielder Miguel Bleis are still a ways away from the big leagues, the two high-ceiling prospects showcased their immense promise during their first taste of spring-training action on Sunday and Monday.

Mayer — tabbed by Baseball America as the 10th-ranked MLB prospect — made his spring-training debut during Sunday’s 3-3 draw against the Yankees and went 1-for-2 at the plate with an opposite-field double. 

Drafted fourth overall by the Sox during the 2021 MLB Draft, Mayer is considered the crown jewel of Boston’s prospect pipeline and a potential successor to Xander Bogaerts thanks to his athletic frame, poise at the plate, and defensive ability.


Mayer went 0-for-2 with a strikeout during Monday’s 16-3 defeat at the hands of the Blue Jays. However, the 20-year-old infielder did reach base against Toronto by taking another pitch the other way on a sinking liner that was eventually ruled an E7.

After slashing .280/.399/.489 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI in 91 games between Single-A Salem and High-A Greenville last season, Mayer is expected to open the new year in Greenville once again.

But if Mayer continues his current trajectory, a promotion up to Double-A Portland might be in the cards later this summer.

“Impressive,” Alex Cora said of Mayer on Sunday, per Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic. “We saw it last year in the first at-bat he took. He controls the strike zone. He understands which pitches he has to swing at and which ones he doesn’t.

“Last year in Sarasota, first at-bat was a walk and today, he took some changeups down in the zone and he did a good job of that. He uses the whole field. He’s a good player. He had a great season last year. There’s some stuff he still has to work on, but this kid, he’s really good.”


Bleis, who turned 19 earlier this month, might offer the highest upside in Boston’s entire minor-league system.

Ranked the 88th-best prospect in MLB by Baseball America after his stint in the Florida Complex League last year, Bleis is a five-tool player who could develop into a power-hitting corner outfielder.

Bleis was a bright spot in Boston’s lopsided loss to the Blue Jays, with the youngster driving in two runs off an opposite-field single against All-Star starter Alek Manoah.

In the field, Bleis made his presence felt in the bottom of the first.

While a bases-loaded single by Toronto drove in Alejandro Kirk, infielder Brandon Belt was easily thrown out at home plate following a strong throw from Bleis out in right field.

Granted, it was some poor baserunning on the part of Belt and the Blue Jays. But Bleis’ heave home one-hopped right to catcher Stephen Scott for the easy out.

Bleis was later knocked for an error out on Monday, serving as a reminder that the talented teenager still has plenty more to learn as he advances through Boston’s system.


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