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Marcelo Mayer talks in an interview about the return journey after an injury

The Boston Red Sox got a nice surprise in the 2021 MLB draft when Marcelo Mayer magically fell to them at number four overall. Boston wasted no time in picking him up.

Mayer quickly became the top prospect in the system and one of the best in baseball.

Mayer’s 2022 season made it clear why his fall to the fourth pick was such a shock to everyone. The left-handed hitter hit .280/.399/.489 with 30 doubles, two triples and 13 home runs in 424 at-bats. He scored 53 runs, added 61 more and stole 17 bases in 91 games between Single-A and High-A.

2023 gave fans more Mayer magic to start the season. It took just 35 games in High-A to start the year before being promoted to Double-A. There, Mayer showed some brilliance, but an injury hampered his development. After 43 games with Portland, he was ruled out for the rest of the season.

Mayer hit .236/.306/.433 with 19 doubles, two triples and 13 home runs in 354 at-bats. He scored 54 runs, added 43 more and stole nine bases in 78 games between High-A and Double-A.

As the slash line dropped, Mayer kept up the home runs and drove in more runs despite fewer games played. Most importantly, Mayer has proven time and time again that he has the talent to be a quality shortstop.

Now healthy, the 21-year-old is off to a good start in Double-A. On April 12, Mayer hit his first home run of the season, a towering 450-foot blast. Through seven games, the left-handed hitter is slashing .357/.387/.500 with one double and one home run. He scored five runs, scored another seven and stole two bases (on two attempts). Oh, and he’s hit safely in all seven games.

BoSox Injection sat down with the Red Sox’ top prospect to talk about his injury, the social media hype and his short hair.

Q: You played through injuries when you got to Double-A. A lot of fans and media started to sour on you a bit because you were having a hard time. How frustrating was that for you, knowing that you were playing through an injury and people didn’t know about it at the time?

“I’m not worried about what people had to say, but it was frustrating to play with an injury. I didn’t do my part and didn’t make that clear to the training staff, so that’s kind of a lesson learned But I think I learned a lot of good things from it, like when to play through an injury and when to play when you’re just in pain.

The most important thing is to take the positive sides out of it. It’s a new year and I feel good. So now I’m just going to go out there and play my game.”

Q: What was the breaking point last year with that injury? Was it something you realized or did a coach come to you?

“I think both parties knew by the end. I could barely swing during BP and practice. I wised up a little and told them what was going on, and we made the group decision to drop the matter .”

Q: Was this a different kind of offseason for you? Did the injury and rehab change things, or were you ready to go by the time the offseason came around?

“100% I didn’t start swinging until January 25th, I think that was the first day. The first day I swinged was in Boston during that camp. That was the first time I swung in the offseason. I didn’t swing until the bat So then it was another offseason. That being said, I did a lot of good work in the gym. That’s all I could do, and so I took the time to get after it in the weight room and defensively.”

Q: This year, Portland’s lineup is ridiculously big, but the hype has been around the “big three,” namely you, Roman Anthony and Kyle Teel. Has the social media hype leaked into the locker room at all, and what is it like playing with those guys?

“Not really. We’re having fun, dude. It’s a really fun time in that locker room. Not just the three of us, but the whole team. So far, it’s definitely been one of the most fun years I’ve had in baseball , so I I think we just feed off each other’s energy and each other’s talents and go out there and have fun and play our game.”

Q: I don’t know how much you’re on social media, but this year the hype has skyrocketed again. Is that something that you notice at all? Do you see that or do you try to stay away from it during the season?

“You do your best to stay away from it. Sometimes your friends send you stuff, or you see yourself on Twitter. But like I said, I just try to go out there, play my game, play hard, try win the game, and then I think everything else will take care of itself.”

Q: Doubles duos with Nick Yorke and Eddinson Paulino. What is it like to play a full season with them? You’ve had moments with both in the past, but now you’re starting the year with both. Is it good to build that chemistry and do you feel like you have good chemistry with both of them?

“It’s really good. You said it yourself: I’ve played with them in the past. I haven’t started with Nick Yorke for a season, which was cool, and then I played with Pauli. So I think I’ve Played with them for two or three seasons now. And yes, they are really good ball players, very talented. It was a lot of fun sharing the field and the clubhouse with them, they are great guys.”

Q: Last year you were promoted to Double-A with CT (Christopher Troye). Was it positive for you to have a friend that you could get promoted with and go through that probably slightly awkward first week?

“Yes, 100%. CT is a very good friend of mine. He has experience, he has studied, he is older than me. We were both drafted at the same time and we were roommates, so it’s nice to have someone around So he’s someone to learn from. He goes about his business the right way. So it’s cool to see how he works and how he goes about his business.”

Question: You’ve had some time to get used to it now. Thoughts on the short hair, and will you go back to the long hair?

“I don’t mind. I knew it would piss some people off because it’s the way I look with long hair. I’ve had long hair all my life. But I just said, ‘If that’s the case, I’m going to cut my hair cut’ short hair. I’m definitely going to grow it back. I’m not going to touch it for the rest of the year, I’ll probably shape it up. A little change was needed to start the year fresh.”

Q: Anything about you you want Red Sox fans to know?

“I go out there every day and play as hard as I can. I want to win more than anyone. I think the guys in that locker room want to win more than anyone. We want to make it to the big one.” Leagues, and we want to bring championships to the Red Sox, probably more than what the fans want. Because I know we have a very passionate fan base, and we want to win as much as they do.”