Top Red Sox prospect Brayan Bello becomes first pitcher in International League this season to strike out 10 batters in multiple games

Red Sox pitching prospect Brayan Bello has made two starts in the International League since being promoted from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester earlier this month. As of Wednesday, he is the only International League pitcher with multiple 10-strikeout games.

After dazzling in his Triple-A debut at Polar Park last Wednesday, Bello was back at it again for the WooSox as they went up against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Coca-Cola Park on Tuesday night.

Over six strong innings of work, the right-hander allowed just two earned runs while scattering three hits and two walks to go along with another 10 strikeouts. Of the 97 pitches he threw, 58 went for strikes and 20 of those were of the swing-and-miss variety.

The WooSox ultimately trounced the IronPigs by a final score of 13-2, allowing Bello to improve to a perfect 2-0 at the Triple-A level. In addition to the perfect record, the 23-year-old has struck out 20 of the first 49 batters he has faced for Worcester. His 40.8% strikeout rate would rank first among International League pitchers if he was qualified.

Originally signed by the Red Sox for just $28,000 as an international free agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2017, Bello is now regarded by Baseball America as the top pitching prospect in Boston’s farm system as well as the 79th-ranked prospect in all of baseball.

Equipped with a high-octane fastball that can reach 96-98 mph and is complemented by a changeup and slider, Bello is coming off a 2021 campaign in which he was named the Sox’ Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. The 6-foot-1, 170 pound hurler was also added to the club’s 40-man roster in November.

Considering the fact that he is already on Boston’s 40-man roster, Bello could force his way into the major-leagues as soon as this season. If he continues to impress against a stiffer level of competition at Triple-A, the Red Sox may have little choice but to call him up before the year is over.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

Red Sox pitching prospect Bryan Mata reaches 100 mph in first competitive action since undergoing Tommy John surgery

For the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last April, Red Sox pitching prospect Brayan Mata faced off against batters from another organization on Thursday, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Down in Fort Myers, Mata threw two innings in an extended spring training game. The right-hander did not allow a run or hit over those two frames while recording five strikeouts, two walks, and topping out at 100 mph with his fastball.

Mata, 23, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 11 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks fifth among pitchers in the organization.

Originally signed out of Venezuela for just $25,000 in 2016, Mata was added to the Sox’ 40-man roster in November 2020. The following spring, it seemed as though the righty had a good chance to break camp in Triple-A Worcester’s starting rotation before it was revealed he would require season-ending surgery.

Fast forward 13 months, and Mata is back on the mound and working his way towards getting into minor-league games again. Per Speier, Mata will likely begin a rehab assignment in early June, when the Florida Complex League season begins.

From there, the Red Sox plan to keep Mata on a starter’s schedule and get to a point where they could possibly pair him with fellow right-hander Brayan Bello in Worcester this summer.

Prior to going under the knife, the 6-foot-3 and 229 pound hurler worked with a five-pitch mix that consisted of a 94-96 mph four-seam fastball, a 91-93 mph two-seam fastball, an 86-90 mph slider, a 78-80 mph curveball, and an 84-86 changeup.

There were some questions whether Mata could stick as a starter or would be better suited for a move to the bullpen. But, as noted by Speier, he is considered to have a high ceiling in either role.

While the Red Sox will understandably take their time when it comes to his rehab, the possibility remains that Mata — who is already on Boston’s 40-man roster — could make his major-league debut by the end of the 2022 season if all goes well.

(Picture of Bryan Mata: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Top Red Sox pitching prospect Brayan Bello strikes out 10 in debut for Triple-A Worcester

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)

Red Sox promote top pitching prospect Brayan Bello to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have promoted top pitching prospect Brayan Bello to Triple-A Worcester, as confirmed by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. Per his Instagram story, Bello spent part of his Monday at Polar Park and will wear the No. 64 with the WooSox.

According to Boston Strong on Twitter, who first took note of Bello’s social media activity, Bello will make his Triple-A debut against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Wednesday night.

Bello, who turns 23 on Tuesday, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 1 pitching prospect (fourth overall) in Boston’s farm system and the 86th-ranked prospect in all of baseball.

In six starts for Double-A Portland this season, the hard-throwing right-hander has posted a 1.60 ERA and 3.20 FIP to go along with 42 strikeouts to 12 walks over 33 2/3 innings of work. He tossed a seven-inning no-hitter against the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field earlier this month.

Among qualified Eastern League pitchers, Bello ranks seventh in strikeout rate (32.6%), second in swinging strike rate (19.3%) first in batting average against (.137), second in WHIP (0.83), second in ERA, eighth in FIP, and fifth in xFIP (2.68), per FanGraphs.

The reigning Red Sox Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year, Bello was originally signed by Boston for a modest $28,000 coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2017. It has been quite the ascent for the Samana native since then.

Listed at a lanky 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Bello operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a high-90s fastball that tops out at 99-100 mph, an 85-89 mph changeup, and an 84-88 mph slider.

Since he is already on the Boston’s 40-man roster, Bello could very well make his big-league debut later this season. For the time being, though, the 22-year-old will join a talented WooSox rotation that consists of other high-caliber prospects like Connor Seabold, Josh Winckowski, and Kutter Crawford.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox’ Kyle Hart, Brayan Bello earn International League, Eastern League Pitcher of the Week honors

A pair of Red Sox minor-league pitchers have received weekly honors from the respective leagues they pitch in. On Monday, Triple-A Worcester left-hander Kyle Hart was named the International League’s Pitcher of the Week while Double-A Portland right-hander Brayan Bello was named the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Week.

Hart made his second start and seventh overall appearance of the season for Worcester on the road against the Toledo Mud Hens on Saturday. The lefty did not give up a hit and scattered three walks to go along with a season-high eight strikeouts over six scoreless innings of work. 53 of the 81 pitches he threw went for strikes.

With the WooSox this year, Hart — who pitched in the majors in 2020 — has posted a 5.88 ERA and 5.83 FIP with 26 strikeouts to 15 walks across his seven outings that span a total of 26 innings pitched. The 29-year-old southpaw has put up these numbers while holding opposing left-handed hitters to a .237/.268/.500 slash line and opposing right-handed hitters to a .258/.390/.436 slash line against.

Bello, on the other hand, is four days removed from tossing a seven-inning no hitter against the Reading Fightin Phils in the night cap of a doubleheader at Hadlock Field on May 5.

Making his fifth start of the season for the Sea Dogs this past Thursday, Bello allowed one unearned run to score on three walks and five strikeouts in the process of recording the fifth no-hitter in team history. He finished the night having thrown 96 pitches — 55 of which went for strikes.

Through his first five starts of 2022, Bello has produced a 1.95 ERA and 3.37 FIP with 37 strikeouts to 11 walks over 27 2/3 innings pitched. Among qualified Eastern League pitchers, the Dominican-born righty ranks sixth in strikeout rate (34.3%), second in swinging strike rate (20.3%), 24th in walk rate (10.2%), third in batting average against (.134), fifth in WHIP (0.87), fifth in ERA, 10th in FIP, and fourth in xFIP (2.62), per FanGraphs.

Bello, who turns 23 next week, is the reigning Red Sox Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Equipped with a high-octane fastball, the 6-foot-1, 170 pound hurler is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks first among pitchers in the organization.

(Picture of Kyle Hart: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Top Red Sox pitching prospect Brayan Bello tosses 7-inning no-hitter for Portland Sea Dogs

One day after being added to Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list, Red Sox pitching prospect tossed a seven-inning no-hitter for Double-A Portland on Thursday night.

Making his fifth start of the season for the Sea Dogs as they went up against the Reading Fightin Phils (Phillies affiliate) in the second game of a doubleheader at Hadlock Field, Bello allowed just one unearned run on no hits, three walks, and five strikeouts over seven innings of work.

Interestingly enough, the right-hander’s bid for a perfect game was broken up right away as he issued a leadoff walk to the very first batter he faced. He then breezed through the first three innings of his outing before running into some trouble in the fourth.

There, old friend Josh Ockimey drew a leadoff walk of his own and effectively switched places with Jhailyn Ortiz after he grounded into a force out at second base. A fielding error committed by Pedro Castellanos allowed Ortiz to advance to third and a throwing error committed by Christian Koss allowed him to score his side’s only run.

From there, Bello ended things in the fourth with a strikeout and proceeded to retire nine of the final 10 hitters he faced. He completed the no-hitter and secured a 3-1 win by getting Jonathan Guzman to ground out to ground out to shortstop. He was greeted by his teammates on the mound once the final out of the seventh was recorded.

Of the 96 pitches Bello threw on Thursday, 55 went for strikes. The Dominican-born righty now owns an ERA of 1.95 and WHIP of 0.87 through his first five starts (27 2/3 innings pitched) of the year.

Bello, who turns 23 in less than two weeks, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 pitching prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking first among pitchers in the organization. The Samana native entered the publication’s top 100 rankings on Wednesday and is now regarded as the 97th-ranked prospect in all of baseball.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Bello operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a high-90s fastball that tops out at 99-100 mph, an 85-89 mph changeup, and an 84-88 mph slider. He has a chance to earn a promotion to Triple-A Worcester at some point this summer and is already on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster.

Shortly before Bello took the mound for the Sea Dogs on Thursday night, Brandon Walter had just put the finishing touches on a solid outing himself. Fresh off being named the Eastern League Pitcher of the month for April, the 25-year-old left-hander scattered three hits, one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with 10 strikeouts over six scoreless innings of work earlier in the afternoon. His ERA on the season now sits at a miniscule 0.93.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox’ Brayan Bello enters Baseball America’s top 100 prospects rankings

Red Sox pitching prospect Brayan Bello has entered Baseball America’s latest top 100 prospect rankings. The right-hander now comes in as the 97th-ranked prospect in all of baseball, joining the likes of fellow Red Sox minor-leaguers Marcelo Mayer (No. 14), Triston Casas (No. 18), Nick Yorke (No. 33), and Jarren Duran (No. 84).

Previously, Bello was identified by Baseball America as a prospect who fell just outside the publication’s top 100 list. That came back in January, when Bello was a few months removed from a 2021 season in which he was named the Sox’ Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year and was subsequently added to Boston’s 40-man roster in November.

Bello, who turns 23 later this month, returned to Double-A Portland for the start of the 2022 campaign and has thus far posted a 2.61 ERA and 2.34 xFIP with 32 strikeouts to eight walks over four starts spanning 20 2/3 innings of work.

Among qualified Eastern League pitchers this season, the 22-year-old ranks third in strikeouts per nine innings (13.94), fourth in strikeout rate (38.6%), ninth in batting average against (.173), 11th in WHIP (1.02), 12th in ERA, second in xFIP, and first in swinging strike rate (23.6%), per FanGraphs.

Since earning a promotion from High-A Greenville to Portland last June, Bello has pitched to the tune of a 4.16 ERA and 3.19 FIP to go along with 119 strikeouts and 32 walks across 19 starts (84 1/3 innings pitched) with the Sea Dogs.

Originally signed by the Red Sox for just $28,000 as an international free agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2017, Bello is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks first among pitchers in the organization.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Bello operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a high-90s fastball that tops out at 99-100 mph, an 85-89 mph changeup, and an 84-88 mph slider.

Considering the amount of success he is enjoying and the amount of attention he is receiving while pitching at the Double-A level, it seems likely that Bello could be on his way to Triple-A Worcester at some point before the 2022 season ends.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Top Red Sox pitching prospects Brayan Bello, Jay Groome returning to Double-A Portland for start of 2022 season

Two of the top pitching prospects in the Red Sox farm system are returning to Double-A Portland for the start of the 2022 season.

As part of a flurry of roster moves made on Monday, the Sox announced that left-hander Jay Groome and right-hander Brayan Bello had been transferred from Triple-A Worcester to Double-A Portland.

Both Bello and Groome are on Boston’s 40-man roster and were invited to big-league camp at the onset of spring training. When they were reassigned to minor-league camp last month, the Sox announced the move by saying they had been optioned to Worcester. So the fact that they were transferred from Worcester to Portland on Monday should not be viewed as a demotion since they were expected to begin the season in Double-A to begin with.

Bello, 22, and Groome, 23, are currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 and No. 10 prospects in Boston’s farm system, respectively. The former ranks first among pitchers in the organization while the latter ranks fourth. They both began last season with High-A Greenville and ended the year in Portland.

Bello, a former international free agent signed out the Dominican Republic in 2017, posted a 2.27 ERA and 2.82 FIP to go along with 45 strikeouts and seven walks over six starts (31 2/3 innings pitched) with Greenville before earning a promotion to Portland on June 8.

With the Sea Dogs, the righty produced a 4.66 ERA — but much more respectable 3.12 FIP — with 87 strikeouts to 24 walks over 15 starts spanning 63 2/3 innings of work. He also represented the Red Sox in the All-Star Futures Game and was named the organization’s Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year.

Groome, a former first-round draft pick out of Barnegat High School (N.J.) in 2016, posted a 5.29 ERA and 4.35 FIP with 108 strikeouts to 32 walks across 18 starts (81 2/3 innings) with the Drive before being promoted to Portland in early September.

Although it came in a smaller sample size, Groome’s stint with the Sea Dogs last year went more swimmingly than Bello’s. In three starts to close out his season, the lefty pitched to the tune of a 2.30 ERA and 1.15 FIP to go along with 26 strikeouts and just four walks over 15 2/3 innings of work.

Bello, who turns 23 in May, has three pitches in his arsenal: a fastball, changeup, and slider. Groome, who turns 24 in August, operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a fastball, curveball, changeup, and slider.

The two hurlers made just one appearance each in Grapefruit League play this spring, but still showed why they are as highly-touted as they are. It would not be unreasonable if one of the two, or maybe even both, made it up to Worcester by the end of the year.

In the meantime, though, Bello and Groome figure to lead a talented Portland pitching staff that will feature the likes of Chris Murphy, Brandon Walter, Victor Santos, Franklin German, Chase Shugart, and Jacob Wallace, among others.

The Sea Dogs open their season against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays affiliate) at Hadlock Field this coming Friday, April 8. One would have to figure Bello or Groome will get the starting nod on Opening Day.

(Picture of Brayan Bello and Jay Groome: Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)

Red Sox option top pitching prospect Brayan Bello to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have optioned right-hander Brayan Bello to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced following Friday’s 6-4 Grapefruit League loss to the Braves.

Bello, who turns 23 next month, is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 pitching prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking first among pitchers in the organization.

Boston added Bello to their 40-man roster last November in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. He had been participating in his first major-league spring training and will now make his way to minor-league camp.

Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic for just $28,000 in July 2017, Bello made his Grapefruit League debut against the Braves on Friday and needed 13 pitches to get through a scoreless eighth inning in which he struck out one.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, Bello is coming off a 2021 season in which he made it as far as Double-A Portland, represented the Red Sox in the All-Star Futures Game, and was named the organization’s Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year.

The 22-year-old fireballer may have been optioned to the WooSox on Friday, but it seems more likely he will return to the Sea Dogs’ starting rotation for the start of the 2022 minor-league season.

Either way, Bello being optioned to the minor-leagues means the Red Sox now have 56 players at major-league camp. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, this number could soon change with two players (Jeisson Rosario and Kyle Tyler) awaiting their fates after being designated for assignment earlier this week.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)

Red Sox pitching prospect Brayan Bello looking to make most of first invite to major-league spring training

Brayan Bello enters the 2022 season regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in the Red Sox farm system, which ranks first among pitchers in the organization.

It has been quite the rise for Bello, who at this time last year was Baseball America’s 20th-ranked Boston prospect.

The 22-year-old right-hander is coming off a 2021 season in which he posted a 3.87 ERA and 3.02 FIP to go along with 132 strikeouts to 31 walks over 21 starts (95 1/3 innings pitched) between High-A Greenville and Double-A Portland. He also represented the Red Sox in last July’s All-Star Futures Game and was named the team’s Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year.

As a reward for his exceptional campaign, Bello was added to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster last November so he would receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft. The lockout began shortly thereafter, though, which barred the former international signee from communicating with his club since he was now considered a major-leaguer.

Forced to spend his off-season and work out at home in the Dominican Republic instead of Fort Myers, Bello was about as excited as anyone when the lockout ended earlier this month since it meant he would be receiving his first-ever invite to big-league spring training.

“I’m really happy because that just shows the hard work that I put in to be able to even be invited to big-league camp,” Bello recently told The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams. “Like, that’s really what was the goal to be able to have this opportunity. So now that I’m here, like, I’m trying to just take advantage of it.”

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, Bello has a repeatable delivery and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a mid-90s four-seam fastball that touches 98 mph, a changeup that is considered to be a plus offering, and an improving slider. He is also working on developing a two-seamer, per his Baseball America scouting report.

“Everybody raves about him,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Bello, who will likely be making his spring debut on either Tuesday or Wednesday. “[He doesn’t have] a physical presence. But what they said stuff wise, he’s really good.”

Bello, who turns 23 in May, is projected by SoxProspects.com to return to Portland for the start of the 2022 minor-league season next month. He should, however, make it as far as Triple-A Worcester this year and could be on the cusp of making his major-league debut sooner rather than later.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)