Red Sox prospects in the Futures Game: How did Brayan Bello, Jeter Downs fare in showcase?

While the Red Sox were in the process of falling to the Phillies by a final score of 5-4 at Fenway Park on Sunday afternoon, two of the brightest prospects in Boston’s farm system were showcasing their talent nearly 2,000 miles away at Coors Field in Denver.

Infielder Jeter Downs and right-hander Brayan Bello both represented the Red Sox while playing for the American League in Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game, and both prospects were able to get into the game.

Bello, who is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 9 pitching prospect in the Red Sox farm system, came on in relief of Rangers prospect Cole Ragans with one out in the bottom of third inning.

Inheriting a situation in which the American League was already trailing 3-0 and the National League had a runner on first base, Bello’s first pitch — a 97.7 mph fastball — was sent flying off the bat of Cardinals prospect Nolan Gorman, who reached second base on a hard-hit double before advancing to third on a wild pitch.

With that potential run just 90 feet away from scoring, Bello proceeded to give up a sacrifice fly to Padres catcher Luis Campusano that plated Gorman, but then rebounded by getting the Braves’ Michael Harris to line out to second to put an end to an inning as well as his outing.

Of the 11 pitches the 22-year-old hurler threw on Sunday, seven went for strikes, though he only induced one swing-and-miss, which came on an 0-0 changeup to Campusano.

Besides that, Bello averaged 97.9 mph with the four four-seam fastballs he threw while topping out at 98.1 mph with his well-regarded heater. He also threw five sliders and three changeups in total.

Bello, who originally signed with the Sox out of the Dominican Republic for $28,000 back in 2017, is enjoying a breakout season in 2021.

Opening the year with High-A Greenville, the 6-foot-1, 170 pound righty went 5-0 while posting a 2.27 ERA and 2.62 xFIP with 45 strikeouts to just seven walks over six starts spanning 31 2/3 innings of work before earning a promotion to Double-A Portland on June 8.

Since then, Bello has produced an ERA of 3.06 and xFIP of 3.81 to go along with 22 strikeouts and eight walks in five starts (17 2/3 innings pitched) with the Sea Dogs.

Downs, meanwhile, came off the bench in the fifth inning of Sunday’s seven-inning exhibition, as he took over at second base for Rays prospect Xavier Edwards.

Facing off against Nationals 2020 first-round pick Cade Cavalli in his first trip to the plate, Downs was bombarded by a barrage of high-octane fastballs that ranged between 98.4 mph and 100.4 mph.

The talented right-handed hitter was able foul off five of the first seven pitches he saw from Cavalli, but ultimately went down swinging on a 2-2, 91 mph changeup in the dirt that caught him off-balance.

In the seventh inning, however, Downs bounced back against Brewers left-hander Ethan Small.

With one out and runners on first and second, Downs took an 0-1, 92 mph fastball up and on the inner half of the plate and ripped a two-run double to deep left field that left his bat at a scorching 107.7 mph, making it the fourth hardest-hit ball of the day between both sides.

Downs was responsible for two of the three runs the American League scored, as the National League went on to take the showcase by a final score of 8-3.

The soon-to-be 23-year-old — one of three players acquired from the Dodgers in the Mookie Betts/David Price trade — is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in Boston’s farm system and trails only fellow infielder Triston Casas for the top spot.

2021 has marked Downs’ first exposure to the Triple-A level, and the first half of the minor-league season has proven to be an adjustment period for the native of Colombia.

Through 44 games (188 plate appearances) with Triple-A Worcester this year, Downs is boasting a .234/.309/.377 slash line (83 wRC+) to go along with three doubles, seven home runs, 17 RBI, 22 runs scored, 17 walks, and 55 strikeouts.

That said, Downs will look to get back on track after a decent showing in Denver, as the WooSox open up a seven-game series against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at Polar Park on Tuesday night.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Fourth-Ranked Prospect Jarren Duran Blasts First Home Run for Double-A Portland

Red Sox outfield Prospect Jarren Duran crushed his first Eastern League home run as part of a 1-for-3 afternoon in a 9-0 win for the Portland Sea Dogs over the Erie SeaWolves on Thursday.

Now ranked as the fourth-best prospect in Boston’s farm system, it appears that Duran has started to figure it out at the Double-A level.

Since his promotion from High-A Salem to Portland on June 3rd, the 22-year-old is slashing .262/.320/.323 over his last 58 games.

Those numbers may not seem all that impressive when you consider how Duran tore up the Carolina League to begin 2019, but they have been on the rise in the recent weeks.

For instance, the California native came into the month of July with a .211/.279/.263 slash line to go along with three stolen bases and six RBI in his first 24 games with the Sea Dogs.

Once the calendar flipped to July though, Duran began to turn a corner at the plate. That much is evident by how he is slashing a gaudy .386/.421/.486 with that one homer, seven RBI, and nine stolen bases in his last 18 games going back to July 20th.

Given how much he has rose through the prospect rankings this year, it’s easy to forget that Duran is still in his first full season of professional baseball after being selected by Boston in the seventh round of the 2018 amateur draft out of Long Beach State.

Duran was the Sox’ lone representative at the 2019 Futures Game in Cleveland last month, where he went 1-for-2 off the bench with a seventh inning single.


Red Sox’ Ninth-Ranked Prospect Jarren Duran Goes 1-For-2 with Seventh Inning Single in 2019 All-Star Futures Game

In his first ever MLB All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, Red Sox prospect Jarren Duran went 1-for-2 with a single after entering as a pinch-hitter in the bottom half of the sixth inning.

Selected to the showcase on June 28th, Duran bounced out to second in his first at-bat against Padres prospect Adrian Morejon to lead off the sixth.

An inning later, after the AL side had tied things up at two on a one-out, two-run home run from Sam Huff, Duran came to the plate with the potential winning run at second following an Isaac Parades double and the chance to walk it off.

Facing off against Rockies prospect Ben Bowden this time around, Duran nearly came through with a line-drive, opposite field hit to left on a 2-0 four-seamer, but the ball tailed off to foul territory.

Instead, the 22-year-old settled for a bloop single to left on a 3-2, 93 MPH heater from Bowden, one that left fielder Alek Thomas kept in front of him to hold Parades at third.

Another Padres prospect in the form of right-hander Luis Patino came in for Bowden after that Duran base hit, and this contest finished in a 2-2 after eight competitive frames.

Ranked as the ninth-best prospect in Boston’s system, Duran has slashed .240/.298/.298 with five doubles, one triple, six stolen bases, and six RBI in 30 games since being promoted from High-A Salem to Double-A Portland on June 3rd.

2019 is Duran’s first full season in professional baseball after being selected by the Red Sox in the seventh round of the 2018 amatuer draft, so to make the Futures Game this quickly is surely a promising step for the young outfielder.

On another note, Miami Marlins sixth-ranked prospect Isan Diaz, a 23-year-old shortstop out of Puerto Rico who moved to Springfield at the age of four and attended Central High School, went 0-for-3 with a walk for the National League squad.

Red Sox Promote Seventh-Ranked Prospect Bryan Mata to Double-A Portland

For the second time in less than two weeks, the Red Sox have promoted a top right-handed pitching prospect within their organization, this time with right-hander Bryan Mata getting the call up from High-A Salem to Double-A Portland on Monday, per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Mata, 20, is currently ranked as Boston’s seventh-best overall prospect and second among right-handed pitchers on

Signed as an international free agent as a 16-year-old out of Venezuela, Mata began the 2019 campaign with the High-A Salem Red Sox, where he posted a dazzling 1.75 ERA and .201 batting average against over 10 starts and 51 1/3 innings of work.

Selected as the Red Sox’ lone representative in the 2018 Futures Game in Washington D.C., Mata has done a great deal to cut down on walks since then.

In 72 full frames with Salem last year, the young hurler handed out 58 free passes, or averaged 7.25 per nine innings.

This year, in those aforementioned 51 1/3 innings pitched, Mata has allowed just 18 walks total, or 3.16 per nine.

According to his profile, Mata features a four-seam fastball that hovers between 94-96 MPH and tops out at 98 MPH, a slider/cutter hybrid he added this season that hovers around 86-90 MPH, a curveball that hovers between 78-80 MPH and has an 11-5 break, and a changeup that hovers between 84-86 MPH.

Mata will join fellow right-handed prospect Kutter Crawford (No. 19), who was promoted on June 21st, in Portland’s starting rotation and will also make his Eastern League debut in the second game of a doubleheader against the Trenton Thunder on Tuesday.


Red Sox’ Ninth-Ranked Prospect Jarren Duran Selected for 2019 MLB All-Star Futures Game

Rosters for the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Futures Game were announced on Friday, and the Red Sox will be sending just one representative to Cleveland next month in outfield prospect Jarren Duran.

Ranked as Boston’s ninth-best prospect on, Duran will join 24 other prospects representing the American League in the Futures Game in Cleveland on July 7th.

For the last 20 years, the showcase was formatted so that the rosters were divided between U.S.-born and international-born players, but that all changes in 2019, as former Cleveland Indians great Jim Thome will be managing the American League side and long-time right-hander Dennis Martinez will be doing the same for the NL.

This honor is a first for Duran, who was promoted to Double-A Portland on June 3rd after a torrid start to the season with High-A Salem, where he led the Carolina League in hitting with a .387 batting average.

Initially, that promotion led to some struggles for the speedy 22-year-old, as he went just 6-for-38 (.158) with two doubles, one triple, and two RBI in his first 10 games with the Sea Dogs, but has since picked things up a bit over his last 11 contests, batting .250 (11-for-44) with one double and three runs driven in over that span.

Granted, Duran’s on-base percentage has fallen from .304 to .286 in that stretch, but that comes as his slugging percentage has slightly risen from .263 to .268 as well.

The call up to Portland has surely been a period of adjustment for the Sox’ 2018 seventh round draft pick out of Long Beach State, but to be named to the Futures Game in your first full season of professional baseball is pretty impressive nonetheless.

Top #RedSox Pitching Prospect Bryan Mata Tosses Scoreless Inning for World Team in 2018 MLB Futures Game.

While the Red Sox were wrapping up a 5-2 win over the Blue Jays in Boston on Sunday afternoon, All-Star festivities had already begun down south in the nation’s capital.

Yes, the Futures Game is always something to look forward to before the big names make their way to baseball’s Midsummer Classic, and yesterday, the Red Sox were represented by one prospect by the name of Bryan Mata.

Mata, 19, gave up one hit, one walk, and struck out one in a scoreless inning of work for the World team while consistently reaching 94-96 MPH with his two-seam fastball and 75-79 MPH with his curveball.

It certainly was not a clean outing for the Venezuela native, as he had runners on second and third with just one out, but he escaped any further damage, thanks in part to this strikeout of Rockies top prospect Brendan Rodgers for the second out of the inning.


Just look at the sweeping action on that curveball.

Ranked as the #2 prospect in the organization according to, Mata has been with the Red Sox since he signed as an international free agent on January 27th, 2016 as a 16 year-old out of Maracay, Venezuela.

Listed at 6’3″ and 160 lbs., Mata, a righty, owns a 3.42 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 16 games started and 71 innings pitched for High A Salem this season.

Per SoxProspects, Mata has a, “Long way to go developmentally, but a very intriguing arm. Has the profile of a potential mid-rotation starting pitcher. Already shows the beginnings of a three-pitch mix and has a projectable frame. Has shown the ability to miss bats with both his fastball and changeup already, though his curveball lags behind. Physical development will be key given how skinny he is at present.”

Since he’s still so young, I would not expect Mata to sniff a Major League roster for at least another two years. The possibility of being used as a trade piece is certainly there, but in terms of Red Sox pitching prospects, he may be the most interesting one the organization has seen in a while.