The Red Sox have promoted pitching prospect Brian Van Belle from High-A Greenville to Double-A Portland, per his agent Gavin Kahn of EnterSports Management.
Van Belle, 25, has made 12 appearances (9 starts) for the Drive this season, posting a 6.14 ERA and 6.03 FIP with 55 strikeouts to eight walks over 58 2/3 innings pitched.
While those numbers may not seem all that encouraging, Van Belle has pitched better as of late. Going back to May 18, the right-hander has pitched to a 2.77 ERA to go along with 24 strikeouts to just three walks over his last five outings (2 starts) that span 26 total innings of work.
Among qualified South Atlantic League pitchers, Van Belle ranks first in walks per nine innings (1.23), first in walk rate (3.1%), and eighth in xFIP (3.90), per FanGraphs.
After not being selected in the pandemic-shortened 2020 draft, Van Belle signed with the Red Sox as an undrafted free agent that June. The University of Miami product had been viewed as one of the top college seniors who was passed over in that draft and ultimately signed with Boston for $20,000.
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Van Belle — a Miami-area native himself — is equipped with a repeatable delivery and a three-pitch mix that consists of a 90-92 mph fastball that tops out at 93 mph, an 82-85 mph changeup, and a 77-80 mph curveball that is labeled as a “work in progress,” according to his SoxProspects.com scouting report.
Van Belle, who turns 26 in September, will presumably join a Sea Dogs’ starting rotation that has seen two of its top starters in Brayan Bello and Brandon Walter earn promotions to Triple-A Worcester within the last month.
Since he last pitched for Greenville on Friday, it feels safe to assume that Van Belle will make his Double-A debut on the road in Portland’s upcoming series against the Reading Fightin Phils.
(Picture of Brian Van Belle: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)