Brayan Bello Makes A Big Jump
Scouts who saw righthander Brayan Bello with Low-A Greenville in 2019 saw a pitcher with intriguing stuff but uncertain projection.
Bello's lean, 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame suggested projection for his repertoire, which then featured a low-90s fastball, solid changeup and fringy slider.
Bello finished strong that season, recording a 3.00 ERA with 59 strikeouts and nine walks in 54 innings. At the least, he looked like a promising reliever with back-end starting potential if his stuff took a jump.
A few instructional league appearances in the fall of 2020 suggested progress. The 2021 minor league season has served as a sort of new unveiling as the 22-year-old climbed to Double-A Portland.
Bello added strength and filled out during the shutdown, resulting in a velocity bump that had him sitting at 94-95 mph with his fastball. In a late June outing, he sat 95-96 mph and topped out at 98.
“He’s grown into his body and his stuff has gotten a lot better,” Red Sox pitching coordinator Ralph Treuel said. “He’s getting more swings and misses with the fastball. A lot of it has to do with the added velocity.”
Those velocity gains have also helped Bello's changeup play up.
With greater velocity separation from his fastball and improved movement, Bello's changeup became a regular swing-and-miss offering, helping him to dominate in his first 11 starts of 2021 at Greenville, now the organization's High-A affiliate, and Portland. His slider was less consistent but still flashed plus.
Bello, who signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2017, went 5-0, 2.55 with 67 strikeouts and 15 walks through through 49.1 innings. \
One rival evaluator raved about his “electric” mix and pegged him as having the ceiling of a No. 3 starter, suggesting the Red Sox should view the righthander as just short of untradeable.
— Low-A Salem second baseman Nick Yorke, the 17th overall pick in 2020, recovered from a .195/.264/.220 month of May to hit .348/.446/.507 with 11 walks and 11 strikeouts in June.
— Righthander Thad Ward had Tommy John surgery in June.