You know it’s rebuilding season when one of the most anticipated events of the year for the Texas Rangers is the upcoming draft this July.
The organization must understand the incredible significance of this draft, in particular, as the Rangers hold the 2nd overall selection for the first time since 1974, when they selected right-hander Tommy Boggs out of an Austin, TX high school.
That’s a pretty big deal, because typically a player selected in that slot can be a franchise-altering type of talent, something the Texas Rangers desperately need in order to give the team and fans a shot in the arm, as well as a potential cornerstone piece to build future contending teams around.
There’s no doubt that both players would instantly upgrade Texas’ farm system and give the organization a can’t miss prospect, but there’s another name Rangers fans should be paying attention to as well: Eastlake High School (CA) shortstop Marcelo Mayer.
The Texas Rangers could select high school shortstop prospect Marcelo Mayer with their first round pick in 2021.
Mayer, 18 years old and ranked as MLB Pipeline’s top draft prospect in 2021, grades out as an above average player in almost every facet, with that site even drawing comparisons to Dodgers’ star Corey Seager if his profile pans out. Others have compared him to Giants’ shortstop Brandon Crawford, and hey, we saw what he did against the Rangers when San Francisco was in town earlier in June. That’s a player you’d want on your side.
Mayer, like Lawlar, is also committed to play college ball, but locally at USC instead of Lawlar’s high-profile commitment to Vanderbilt.
However, the key difference between Mayer and Lawlar is Mayer’s willingness to drop his commitment should he be selected by the Pirates at 1 or the Rangers at 2 this summer. Lawlar doesn’t have that same guarantee attached to him, which could be a huge factor.
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Scouts love Mayer’s hands, footwork and a solid throwing arm that all bode well for his ability to stick at shortstop even as a pro.
Pair those skills with his plus hitting and the Texas Rangers could have themselves a a real gem at 2… should he be available by then.
Why the availability question? Well, according to some reports and mock drafts, the Pittsburgh Pirates, who hold the top selection in 2021, are also believed to be enamored with the 18-year-old Mayer. And with them having first pick, they will ultimately have final say over who the Texas Rangers get to select.
The Pirates, like everyone else, have to consider Lawlar’s strong commitment to Vanderbilt in their pre-draft process, and if they’re aiming to take a shortstop, it would appear as though Mayer would be their guy.
If Pittsburgh does indeed select Mayer, the Texas Rangers would still have quality options at 2, including Lawlar and the aforementioned Jack Leiter.
Marcelo Mayer’s stock is rising quickly ahead of the draft, though, and that alone should have Rangers’ fans attention as a legitimate option with the No. 2 overall pick.