Alex Cora Compares Elite Red Sox Prospect to Carlos Correa

carlos correa

Getty Top prospect Marcelo Mayer made his spring debut for the Boston Red Sox. His play reminds manager Alex Cora of another elite shortstop.

The Boston Red Sox are busy getting ready for MLB’s 2024 regular season. However, manager Alex Cora thinks the future is looking bright. He watched top shortstop prospect Marcelo Mayer make his Grapefruit League debut on March 11. The skipper was so impressed that he compared Mayer to Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa.

MassLive’s Sean McAdam caught Cora’s glowing review. “I’m very impressed with how calm he is in the batter’s box,” said Boston’s manager. “He took a changeup for a ball, then he took a strike, then he went the other way. He’s a good player. He understands the game. And the double play (he turned) was great — the release. He reminded me a lot of Carlos (Correa) with the release on that double play — straight over the top and with something behind it.”

Cora went a step further, saying he’d like for Mayer and Correa to link up at some point. “They’re very similar. It would be good, at one point, to get them connected because they’re very similar in what they do. The only thing is one is righty, one is a lefty. You look at their bodies, when Carlos first came up, he was built just like him. He just got stronger.”

Heading into 2024, MLB Pipeline ranked Mayer as Boston’s top prospect. He’s also viewed as a top-20 prospect across baseball by and Baseball America.

A Look at Mayer’s Current Journey Within Boston’s System

The Red Sox drafted Mayer with the fourth overall pick of the 2021 MLB Draft out of high school. He reported to Rookie Ball shortly thereafter to begin his ascension through Boston’s minor-league system.

Mayer moved on to Single-A Salem to start his 2022 campaign. He was promoted to High-A Greenville after posting a .910 OPS in 308 plate appearances. The shortstop finished the year with similar success over his final 116 plate appearances, which led to a .828 OPS.

He began 2023 in High-A, and it started fast for the 20-year-old. Mayer slashed .290/.366/.524 across 164 trips to the plate. This included 19 extra-base hits (11 doubles, one triple and seven home runs). That led to yet another promotion, landing him in Double-A Portland. Mayer ran into his first significant struggles as a professional through 43 games (189 plate appearances). He hit .189/.254/.355 before a shoulder injury prematurely ended his season.

When Could Red Sox Fans See Him at Fenway?

Based on his struggles in Portland before hitting the injured list, the 21-year-old is expected to begin 2024 in Double-A. But if he adjusts and has a solid start, he could get a midseason promotion, putting him just one stop away from the Show. is pegging his estimated time of arrival to the big leagues as 2024. It could depend on multiple factors, though. Boston’s expected double-play duo will include shortstop Trevor Story and second baseman Vaughn Grissom (when he’s healthy). If injuries persist later in the regular season and Mayer is deemed ready for the next level, he could step into regular big-league playing time that way.

It could also depend on how the Red Sox are performing. Their promise of a “full throttle” offseason hasn’t come to fruition. Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections expect them to be a last-place team for the third straight season. So, if Boston is well out of contention after the All-Star break, that could be another way for Mayer to make his MLB debut and get some playing time. Everything will seemingly hinge on how his year starts with Double-A Portland.

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