Two Red Sox Prospects Land On ESPN’s 2022 Midseason Top 50 Rankings

Marcelo Mayer (No. 9) and Brayan Bello (No. 49) cracked the list


August 16

ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel released an updated version of his top 50 Major League Baseball prospects list Tuesday, roughly two weeks after the 2022 MLB trade deadline, and two Boston Red Sox players cracked the rankings: Marcelo Mayer and Brayan Bello.

Mayer, a 19-year-old shortstop, landed at No. 9, while Bello, a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher, checked in at No. 49.

Here’s what McDaniel wrote about Mayer:

“Mayer is still silky smooth in all aspects as a projectable, lefty-hitting shortstop who projects for above-average tools everywhere except for speed. He also has exceeded expectations with a little more power and patience than I would’ve expected early in his career.”

And here’s what McDaniel wrote about Bello:

“Bello has had steady improvement on his raw stuff for a couple of years and now has three plus pitches. This season, as his command/delivery took a step forward, he now projects as a mid-rotation starter.”

The Red Sox recently promoted Mayer, the fourth overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, from Single-A Salem to High-A Greenville. It might be a couple of years before Mayer debuts in the majors, but many experts considered him the best player in his draft class and he’s only added to the hype with his minor league production thus far.

Bello, meanwhile, made his big league debut in July and totaled five appearances with Boston before landing on the injured list with a groin strain. He struggled in his early taste of The Show, but his upside is obvious, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s a fixture in the Red Sox’s rotation next season and beyond.

Baseball America last week released its updated Top 100 list, which featured four Red Sox players: Mayer (13), Bello (23), first baseman Triston Casas (30) and infielder/outfielder Ceddanne Rafaela (No. 87).

It’s notable that Casas is absent from the ESPN rankings, especially with the hulking slugger seemingly nearing his MLB debut either this season or next season. But McDaniel labeled Casas the Red Sox’s “next-best prospect” after Mayer and Bello.

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