CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The 2021 MLB First-Year Player Draft is less than 10 days away, and Eastlake High School graduate Marcelo Mayer shouldn’t have to wait too long to hear his name called.
Most draft projections have the 18-year-old shortstop going in the top five picks and as high as No. 1.
“It would mean a lot,” Mayer said. “As a kid, you work so hard to become a professional baseball player and just to be named in the draft is pretty special.”
That dream could become a reality for Mayer after finishing a senior season in which he posted a robust .392 batting average to go along with 14 home runs — one shy of the school record — and 45 RBIs. But those numbers don’t mean as much to him as winning.
“My individual goal was to win a CIF championship with the team, so we did accomplish that,” he said.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound infielder has the chance to become the third player from Eastlake High to go in the first round of the MLB Draft, joining Keoni Cavaco, selected at No. 13 in 2019 by the Minnesota Twins, and Adrián González, the top pick in the 2000 draft.
In 15 big league seasons, the former Padre González hit 317 home runs, won two Silver Sluggers and was named to five All-Star teams.
Eastlake coach Dave Gallegos says Mayer measures up to Gonzalez.
“Marcelo had more power and pop on the bat,” Gallegos said. “The athleticism goes to Marcelo. Other than that, they’re both smart baseball players. The only thing I’d give about Marcelo is in high school, he had a bit more pop than Adrián did, but Adrián was special.”
Gallegos believes Mayer owns the same special potential and sees him bound for the big leagues. So do his teammates, many of whom requested autographs after Mayer’s final baseball game. During that game, Mayer hit a grand slam in his final at-bat.
“I’ve played with that kid since I’ve been in third grade,” Eastlake senior Walker Lannom said. “Just to see him go on, it’s just I’m going to hang this up on my wall. He’s my homie, you know? It’s not like an autograph because he’s famous; it’s an autograph because that’s my boy and I want to see him succeed in life and I want to see everything go good for him.”
However, Mayer does have options. If he doesn’t like when or where he gets drafted, he has a scholarship waiting for him at USC. It’s a school he calls his “dream college.”
Wherever baseball takes him, scouts, coaches and friends agree: He has a big time future ahead of him.
“I’m very proud,” Mayer said. “It’s a great program and they do a good job with players here. Just to be another player that’s hopefully going to get drafted means a lot.”