Red Sox pitching prospect Brayan Bello has been added to the American League’s All-Star Futures Game roster as an injury replacement, according to Baseball Americs’s J.J. Cooper.
Per Cooper, Bello will be replacing top Mariners pitching prospect Emerson Hancock, who suffered an apparent non-structural arm injury within the last few days.
Bello, 22, is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 20 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking ninth among pitchers in the organization.
The young right-hander initially opened the 2021 minor-league season with High-A Greenville, where he went 5-0 across six starts and posted a 2.27 ERA and 2.62 xFIP to go along with 45 strikeouts to just seven walks over 31 2/3 innings of work.
Those consistently strong performances throughout May and into early June resulted in Bello getting promoted to Double-A Portland on June 8.
In the four weeks since that move, the lanky 6-foot-1, 170 pound hurler has pitched to the tune of a 3.45 ERA and 3.89 xFIP in four starts spanning 15 2/3 total innings for the Sea Dogs. He struck out a season-high of 10 batters in his second outing with Portland back on June 18.
“I saw through social media that he was dominant and then I saw the report today,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Bello’s performance the following day while the team was in Kansas City (via MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith). “I haven’t seen video (of him). Just got the report and he’s been very good so far this season. Yesterday was eye-opening. The report said he was very aggressive, very efficient and with good stuff. So I should probably start watching video and see what we have in him.”
Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic for $28,000 during the 2017 international signing period, Bello’s pitch mix consists of a high-octane fastball that has reached triple digits this season, a plus changeup, and an improving slider, per Smith.
In being selected to play this weekend’s All-Star Futures Game, which takes place at Coors Field on July 11, Bello joins fellow prospect Jeter Downs as the two players who will be representing the Red Sox in the seven-inning exhibition.
The showcase certainly represents an enticing opportunity for Bello, as he will have the chance to show the baseball world what he is capable of ahead of what has the makings to be an extremely important offseason for the righty.
That is the case because Bello, who does not turn 23 until next May, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this December if he is not added to the Sox’ 40-man roster by the November 20 deadline.
As has been written on here before, that is definitely something worth keeping in mind as the minor-league season continues.
(Picture of Brayan Bello: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)