Top Red Sox pitching prospect Brayan Bello made his highly-anticipated debut for Triple-A Worcester on Wednesday night.
Matched up against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and pitching in front of 7,210 spectactors at Polar Park, Bello allowed two earned runs on six hits and one walk to go along with 10 strikeouts over six solid innings of work.
The right-hander retired eight of the first nine batters he faced before serving up a solo home run to Estevan Florial with two outs in the top of the third. He then gave up back-to-back one-out doubles to Greg Bird and Phillip Evans an inning later, which allowed another Scranton/Wilkes-Barre run to cross the plate.
From there, though, Bello was able to settle in a little bit as he worked his way out of another jam in the fifth before stranding Bird on second by sitting down the final three RailRiders he faced in his sixth and final frame.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 94 (64 strikes), Bello induced 15 swings-and-misses on the night. According to SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall, who was in attendance on Wednesday, the hard-throwing righty sat between 96-98 mph with his fastball while also mixing in his slider and changeup on a frequent basis.
Bello, who turned 23 on Tuesday, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 4 prospect in Boston’s farm system — which ranks first among pitchers in the organization — and the No. 83 prospect in all of baseball.
The Red Sox originally signed Bello for just $28,000 as an international free agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2017. Last season, the 6-foot-170 pound hurler represented Boston in the All-Star Futures Game and took home 2021 Red Sox Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year honors.
Prior to being promoted from Double-A Portland to Worcester earlier this week, Bello had posted posted a 1.60 ERA and 3.20 FIP to go along with 42 strikeouts to 12 walks over six starts spanning 33 2/3 innings of work for the Sea Dogs. He also threw a seven-inning no-header on May 5 in the process of emerging as one of the top arms in the Eastern League.
Now that he has taken the next step to Triple-A, Bello — who is already on Boston’s 40-man roster — will have an opportunity to make even more of a name for himself as he goes up against stiffer competition with the WooSox.
If he can do that, Bello could be on his way to the big-leagues before long.
(Picture of Brayan Bello: Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)