Shortstop Marcelo Mayer, the No. 1 prospect in the Red Sox system according to, will return to the Sea Dogs this spring. Mayer was called up to Portland in late May last season but had his season shortened because of a shoulder injury. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Many of the names on the Portland Sea Dogs Opening Day roster will be familiar to fans who followed the team last season. A handful are names Boston Red Sox fans have their eyes on.

Shortstop Marcelo Mayer, center fielder Roman Anthony, and catcher Kyle Teel – the top three prospects in the Red Sox system according to – will begin the season with the Sea Dogs. The trio are joined by right-handed starting pitcher Wikelman Gonzalez, the No. 7 prospect, and Nick Yorke, the No. 8 prospect who is expected to see time in outfield this season as well as second base, where he earned Most Valuable Player honors for the Sea Dogs last season.

“There’s a little more flexibility with the roster (in Portland),” said Brian Abraham, Boston’s director of player development. “(Yorke) can play some left field, he can play some second base. He can play every day, and be with other young promising prospects.”

Other players among Boston’s top 30 prospects who will begin the season with the Sea Dogs are first baseman/third baseman Blaze Jordan (No. 21), infielder Eddinson Paulino (No. 24), and right-handed pitchers Hunter Dobbins (No. 27) and Angel Bastardo (No. 28).

The Sea Dogs are scheduled to open the season Friday night at Hadlock Field against the Hartford Yard Goats.

Having so many top prospects together on one team can only lead to a competitive atmosphere, Abraham said.


“Each of these guys is pushing each other to get better,” Abraham said. “We’re just looking for another year of development.”

Twenty-two players on the Sea Dogs Opening Day roster spent time with the team last season. Last month, ranked Boston’s minor league talent 14th of the 30 major league clubs, up two spots from its 2023 midseason rank of 16.

The fourth overall pick in 2021, Mayer was promoted to Portland from High-A Greenville in late May last season, and played in 43 games with the Sea Dogs before going on the injured list Aug. 5 with a shoulder injury. Mayer, 21, hit .189 with the Sea Dogs last season with six home runs and 20 RBI.

Both Anthony and Teel rocketed through the Red Sox system last season, joining the Sea Dogs for the final two weeks of the season. A second-round pick in 2022, Anthony, 19, hit .343 in 10 games with Portland last season, with one home run, four doubles, eight RBI, and three stolen bases. After being drafted 14th overall out of the University of Virginia in last June’s draft, Teel, 22, played just three games with Boston’s rookie league team in Fort Myers, Florida before bypassing Low-A Salem and going to High-A Greenville. After 14 games in Greenville, Teel was promoted to Portland, where he played nine games, hitting .323 with one home run, two doubles, 11 RBI, and a pair of stolen bases.

Starting pitcher Wikelman Gonzalez will begin the season with the Sea Dogs after making 10 starts for Portland last season. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Gonzalez leads Portland’s pitching staff. The 22-year old was the starting pitcher in the Sea Dogs’ combined no-hitter at Hadlock Field on July 23 last season. In 10 starts with Portland last season, Gonzalez went 3-1 with a 2.42 earned run average, striking out 63 in 48 1/3 innings. Dobbins and Bastardo also pitched in Portland last season after being called up from Greenville.

Abraham said there’s no timetable for any of the Portland prospects regarding a promotion to Triple-A Worcester.


“We don’t put a limitation on our guys. When it’s time, it’s time,” Abraham said.

Plenty of top prospects have come through Portland on their way to the big leagues, including Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, and Rafael Devers. Having the three top prospects on the team at once is a first since the Sea Dogs became the Double-A affiliate of the Red Sox with the 2003 season, said Portland General Manager Geoff Iacuessa.

“We’ve had some great players, but this is certainly the heaviest we’ve been from a top end perspective,” Iacuessa said.

While the Sea Dogs roster wasn’t announced until Tuesday, anticipation of top prospects beginning the season in Portland has been evident all offseason. Ticket sales are up from a year ago at this time, Iacuessa said. The Sea Dogs drew 403,957 fans to 66 home games in 2023, the second-most in Double-A behind Richmond. It was the first time since 2009 the Sea Dogs drew more than 400,000 fans.

Players began arriving Sunday, Iacuessa said. The first full-team workout is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday at Hadlock Field. With a nor’easter expected to hit the region, Iacuessa said the team will make a decision regarding the Fan Fest scheduled for Wednesday evening at the Portland Expo sometime Wednesday morning.

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