The Dynasty Guru Prospect Spotlight – Coby Mayo
According to Baseball America, the Baltimore Orioles have the best farm system in all of baseball. Not only do they have one of the top hitting prospects in all baseball in Adley Rutschman, but the top pitching prospect as well, Grayson Rodriguez. There are several other players worth mentioning, but the one that deserves special attention is third basemen Coby Mayo. Despite only having one professional season, Mayo has demonstrated the skill not just to be a future major league player but a star.
Mayo was drafted in the fourth round of the 2020 draft. The draft report stated that he had a mature approach with plus raw power and a feel to hit. Some scouts were concerned that his swing mechanics would keep him from tapping into that power. Baltimore signed him for $1.75 million, almost $1 million over slot.
With no minor league season in 2020, we had to wait until 2021 to see how Mayo handled professional ball. Before joining the Florida Complex League, he first refined his swing with the coaching staff at extended spring training. The goal was to clean up the swing and get out in front of the ball. It worked. Mayo posted a .964 OPS with three home runs in the FCL. After 23 games, he was promoted to Single-A and continued to mash. In 27 games, he slashed .311/.416/.547, five home runs, and a ridiculous .437 wOBA.
The hit tool is on the way to being solid. Between the two levels, Mayo struck out at an 18.5% rate and walked 13% of the time. He also had a 78% contact rate which is close to elite. He has a good eye at the plate and knows how to work counts. Even with the changes he’s made to his swing to unlock his raw power, it’s still long, and there will likely be some swing and miss to his profile. Despite that, he has shown the ability not to chase many pitches, so it’s possible the K’s are kept in check.
Even though the approach and feel to hit are solid, there is one minor issue Mayo needs to iron out. He is very pull happy at the moment. Close to 50% of his batted balls last year were pulled. Because of this, Mayo can overswing and miss on pitches. He has shown the ability to hit all fields in batting practice, so the capability is there. This is a minor nitpick on his hit tool, which isn’t uncommon to see in young players. It can be worked on with more at-bats.
The carrying tool is the power. Per Mayo himself, his max exit velocity has hit 112 mph, which would be one of the highest in minor league baseball. He’s previously shown the ability to hit to all fields, but as stated above, the approach is very pull-heavy at the moment. While this hasn’t kept him from hitting for power at his current level, more advanced pitchers can exploit this as he moves up. After being drafted, Mayo needed to tweak his swing to get that plus raw power to show up in-game consistently. So there is little concern that he can continue to grow and make adjustments to unlock that power further.
While Mayo is listed as a 3B now, some evaluators believe he will outgrow the position. Already 6’4″ and 215 pounds, his range and first steps are not great now and will only worsen as his frame fills out. His arm is solid and accurate, which will help him at least be average at the hot corner. At worst, a move to the outfield is likely if he cannot field his position.
At only 20 years old, Mayo has checked all the boxes you want to see in a young hitter. A good approach can get the bat on the ball and has tremendous power. In a system that is already the best in baseball, it’s easy to overlook Mayo for some of the other big-name prospects. But this is a very talented bat with the tools that would make any fantasy player drool. I expect to see Mayo begin 2022 in High-A, and seeing what that thunderous bat can do in the full-season ball makes me very impatient for the minor league season to start. Coby Mayo is a potential star in the making who will be part of the next winning Orioles team.