Prep Baseball Report

SoCal Spring: Week 1 Prospects

Shooter Hunt
National Crosschecker

SAN DIEGO, CA-- With the state of California slowly starting to open back up, and attendance numbers rising at events, a solid well-spaced crowd came together to watch a couple of the top teams in San Diego as Eastlake traveled to Torrey Pines. At a glance, the scouts in attendance nearly outnumbered the family and friends with a rough estimate at close to 50 on a gorgeous day in the Golden State. The game had more than enough energy to hold the attention of each of them, but they came, more specifically, to see some of the top MLB Draft prospects in the country.

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California’s top player, and second rated overall prospect in the country, SS Marcelo Mayer (Eastlake HS, CA), has considerable first round buzz thanks to a sweet left-handed stroke. Long-limbed with a long torso at 6-foot-3, 175-pounds, Mayer has always shown a natural ability to slow the game down, and there is a “California cool”, and more important “confidence”, to his all-around game. His fluidity in all phases of the game was seen throughout including soft, confident hands at shortstop with a loose arm that delivered consistent accurate throws throughout pregame with just one play made in-game, which he performed routinely. The arm plays more average across the diamond with zero effort, and unlike many of his elite peers, Mayer puts the ball in the same spot nearly every time, including between innings. At the plate, he finished the day 1-for-3 (4.33 home-to-first) with a hit-by-pitch. Almost trying to do too much in his first few swings, falling behind with two strikes in his third at-bat seemed to allow him to simplify the approach which let the hands work in driving a single up the middle. The fluidity of his game is most apparent at the plate as he remains relaxed in the approach save for a very minor flapping of the elbows as a load-trigger. The hands work in sync with a short stride, loading down and back before working the barrel flat through the zone. He was pitched to backwards in his first three at-bats, showing some heaviness on the front side, but got off some big swings as he tended to pull off some. His final at-bat came against a mid-90s arm (Carson Williams) in what is likely to be the best arm that he faces this year. Mayer took his best swings in this final look, just missing a 94 mph fastball on the outer black before spitting on a changeup, then fouling a sharp slider straight back, and ultimately grounding out to first base on another 94 mph heater. Overall, it was an average look at a player who has likely only had about 50 game at-bats in the last year. However, the swings that he was able to get off against Williams, who showed his full arsenal in the at-bat, gave a glimpse as to why Mayer could ultimately work his way into the Top 10 of the draft.

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