If Mikey Romero and Marcelo Mayer compete for the Boston Red Sox' starting shortstop job later this decade, it will be a friendly competition.
The Red Sox selected Romero with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft on Sunday night, marking the second consecutive year they've taken a shortstop in the first round after selecting Mayer fourth overall in 2021.
And as it just so happens, Romero and Mayer know each other very well.
"Me and Marcelo, I would say, are best friends," Romero told reporters Sunday night, via MLB.com's Ian Browne. "I text him on a regular basis. We played travel ball together for two years. The relationship is really good and I’m really close to Marcelo."
The 18-year-old Romero just finished his senior year at Orange Lutheran High School in Southern California, while the 19-year-old Mayer played at Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, Calif., about two hours away.
The two stud shortstops played on the same travel team growing up, however, and when Romero found out the Red Sox drafted him, one of his first calls was to Mayer.
"I heard [I was picked] and probably 10 minutes later I FaceTimed Marcelo, and we're just going crazy just because of that relationship," Romero said.
Mayer is the more highly-touted prospect: He has already worked his way up to Single-A Salem and is hitting .297 with eight home runs and a .912 OPS through 53 games this season.
But Romero boasts plenty of talent as well with a similar scouting profile: MLB.com notes his "impressive bat-to-ball skills" and ability to hit to all fields while noting he's a "smooth defender with more than enough arm to go along with the range."
Romero is committed to LSU, but if he signs with the Red Sox, he'll join Mayer in a farm system that's stocking up on position players -- Boston also took a shortstop in the second round Sunday night and now has taken a high school infielder in three consecutive drafts after adding Nick Yorke in 2020.