Marcelo Mayer heard the talk and didn't know what to make of it. Would he be the first pick in the draft? Would he fall out of the top five? Would he join a winning organization or a rebuilding one?
"I think everything was up for grabs," Mayer said on Wednesday. "I had no clue what was going on. I was talking to my agent and I could've gone from one to six. I'm glad where the pieces fell."
The pieces fell perfectly from both Mayer's perspective and that of the Red Sox. When Mayer somewhat surprisingly didn't go No. 1 to the Pirates, that set in motion a series of dominoes that almost immediately landed him in Boston at No. 4, giving the Red Sox a cornerstone talent for their farm system and Mayer a chance eventually to play for a winner.
"It's totally amazing," he said. "It's a dream come true. It's something that I've dreamt of for my whole life. Just to be able to get the call from the Boston Red Sox, which is a franchise that's a winning organization and has a great front office and fans is amazing."
Saying he wants to sign, "as soon as possible," the 18-year-old shortstop looks forward to making a name for himself with the Red Sox in much the same way that the shortstop of his hometown San Diego Padres, Fernando Tatis Jr., has become a household name.
"I just love the way he plays," Mayer said. "He's always playing with a smile. He's super energetic. He loves to win and I love to win. He's a player who sells tickets. I think he's really good for the game. . . . That's something that I want to do, but my main goal is to win a World Series with the Red Sox before anything else."
During his senior season at Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, Calif., Mayer hit nearly .400 with 14 home runs, including a grand slam in his final high school at-bat. The 6-foot-3, 188-pounder has room to grow, especially since he admits barely picking up a weight during his high school career in order to maintain his flexibility.
"As soon as I report to wherever I'm supposed to report, I'm going to have a meeting with a strength coach to put myself in the best position possible," Mayer said, later adding. "Me and my dad wanted me to stay super loose and not get stiff. We saw a lot of kids who were really good at a young age and started hitting the weight room really hard and they got stiff and lost all their mobility, so I wanted to stay away from that."
Mayer attended the All-Star festivities in Colorado over the weekend, where he met Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, among others.
"It was amazing," he said. "It was amazing, just to get there on Sunday and to come to the All-Star Game and be with all the All-Stars was truly great."
If all goes according to plan, there will be multiple All-Star Games in Mayer's future. He said his favorite player growing up was Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, but more recently he has watched both Tatis and Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager reach the big leagues after just three years in the minors.
Can he make an equally quick ascent?
"Of course, the main goal is always to become a professional major leaguer," he said. "But I don't have a certain set date. I know there's a lot of great players in the Boston organization and I know I'm going to have to work hard to get to where I want to be."