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SoxProspects News

May 30, 2023 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Mayer earns promotion to Portland

After a promising start to the season in Greenville, Boston's No. 1 prospect was promoted to Double-A over Memorial Day weekend. While that story will undoubtedly steal all the headlines, another prospect who was acquired over the winter also advanced a level. On the flip side of that, an outfielder-turned-pitcher from a notable three-teamtrade with the Royals and Mets was released. 



Mayer promoted to Portland
As was first reported by The Boston Globe's Alex Speier, top prospect Marcelo Mayer (pictured) was promoted from High-A Greenville to Double-A Portland on Sunday. Mayer, 20, will join the Sea Dogs in New Jersey for the start of their upcoming series against the Somerset Patriots. 

Originally selected by Boston with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 amateur draft, Mayer has been regarded as the No. 1 or No. 2 prospect in the organization since signing for $6.664 million out of Eastlake High School (Chula Vista, Calif.). In 35 games for Greenville this season, the left-handed hitting shortstop batted .290/.366/.524 with 11 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 34 RBIs, 23 runs scored, five stolen bases, 17 walks, and 37 strikeouts over 164 plate appearances. That includes a .321/.357/.641 slash line in 18 May contests. 

Mayer, who does not turn 21 until December, is now slated to join the likes of Ceddanne Rafaela (No. 3), Nick Yorke (No. 4), Matthew Lugo (No. 12), Nathan Hickey (No. 15), Chase Meidroth (No. 22), Luis Guerrero (No. 23), Niko Kavadas (No. 27), Phillip Sikes (No. 28), and Ryan Fernandez (No. 30) on a very talented Portland roster.

Denlinger makes the jump to Worcester
With Mayer making the jump to Portland, the Red Sox also promoted relief prospect Theo Denlinger to Triple-A Worcester on Sunday, according to Jim Leitner of the Telegraph Herald.  

Denlinger, 26, was acquired from the White Sox in exchange for Franklin German this past February. In 14 appearances for the Sea Dogs to begin the 2023 season, the right-hander posted a 2.29 ERA and 3.10 FIP to go along with 20 strikeouts to seven walks over 19 2/3 innings of relief in which he held opposing hitters to a .147 batting average against.

A former seventh-round selection of Chicago in 2021, Denlinger is currently ranked as the No. 48 prospect in the organization. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound hurler throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a two-pitch mix that consists of a 93-96 mph fastball that tops out at 97 mph and a 79-82 mph curveball that features long, 11-to-5 break. 

Valdez released 
Last Thursday, the Red Sox officially released outfielder-turned-pitcher Freddy Valdez from their extended spring training roster. Valdez, 21, was one of five players Boston acquired as part of the three-team trade with the Royals and Mets that sent Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City in February 2021.

Valdez was one of three players to be named later in that deal along with right-handers Luis De La Rosa and Grant Gambrell. The then-19-year-old out of the Dominican Republic had been regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 14 prospect in the Mets' farm system on account of possessing athleticism and power from the right side of the plate.

Unfortunately, Valdez never put it all together in his two seasons with the Red Sox. He batted just .229 with no home runs in 2021 and followed that up by batting .192 with one home run in 22 Florida Complex League games last year. The 6-foot-3, 212-pounder was converted into a pitcher earlier this season, but never made it out of extended spring training before being cut loose. 

Other moves
Yu Chang's rehab assignment with Portland was paused on Saturday as the infielder continues to deal with soreness in his left wrist. Christian Arroyo (right hamstring strain) began a rehab assignment with the WooSox on Friday. Garrett Whitlock (right elbow ulnar neuritis) was reinstated from the 15-day injured list on Saturday while Brennan Bernardino was optioned to Worcester. Lefty Dalton Rogers was promoted to Greenville on Wednesday while righty Bradley Blalock (Tommy John surgery) was added to Salem's active roster. 

Blalock made his first start since September 2021 last Wednesday. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed one run on one hit and one walk to go along with three strikeouts over four innings. He threw 44 pitches (26 pitches) and was up to 97 mph with his fastball, per MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith


Players of the Week

Daniel Palka, 1B/RF, Worcester Red Sox
5 G, 18 AB, 7 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 9 RBI, .389/.500/.889
Palka picks up his first Player of the Week honor this season after playing in five of Worcester's six games against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 31-year-old slugger recorded a two-hit game on Tuesday and a three-hit game on Saturday in which he drove in six runs. In the month of May alone, Palka is batting a stout .312/.391/.610 with five doubles, six homers, and 20 RBIs, over his last 22 games for the WooSox.

Hunter Dobbins, RHP, Greenville Drive
1 G, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K
One of three Greenville starters to put together a double-digit strikeout game last week, Dobbins shined in his outing against the Rome Braves on Friday. In addition to punching out 10 over seven scoreless frames, the 23-year-old righty induced 19 swings-and-misses on his 86 pitches (63 strikes). He now owns a 3.27 ERA and 3.51 FIP with 21 strikeouts to four walks in four starts (22 innings) for the Drive this season. 

Photo Credit: Marcelo Mayer by Kelly O'Connor