Boston Red Sox top-30 prospect rankings after the 2021 season
No. 7: Red Sox starting pitching prospect Brayan Bello
Brayan Bello signed with the Red Sox back in 2017. Since then, he’s constantly shown flashes of brilliance. There is plenty to love, including some absolutely nasty pitches. However, in 2021 Bello took a major step forward.
No longer was the right-handed pitcher just showing “flashes of brilliance”. Instead, he was going out on the mound and dominating his competition. Constantly making hitters look miserable, racking up the strikeouts, and starting the year in High-A (the highest level he was ever in) and finishing the year in Double-A.
In that time, Bello combined for a 3.87 ERA, .251 BAA, and 1.28 WHIP in 21 starts. He walked 31 batters in 95 1/3 innings, but managed an absolutely ridiculous 132 strikeouts. That was thanks to those disgusting pitches mentioned earlier.
And at just 22, the fact that he was able to dominate like this is incredibly impressive. It helped him to fly up the ranks of the prospect ladder this year. Meanwhile, he got a lot closer to the Majors than many probably thought he would this early. Suddenly, the jump to Boston could arrive as soon as 2022.
How is he doing all this, you ask? Well Bello has a great four-pitch repertoire. That includes a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and can even touch triple-digits. There’s plenty of movement to the pitch, and he can blow it by batters. Command needs some work though.
He also has a two-seam that is a few MPH slower, but adds even more movement. Again, the command could use some work, but it’s nothing to worry about.
Next up is a slider with pretty sharp break to it. Not the sweepiest of pitches, but the movement is quick, it snaps. That should get a lot of hitters reaching for it. The pitch sits in the mid-high-80s and it can produce a lot of bad swings. However, sometimes he leaves the pitch flat. That’s when he gets in trouble. If he can figure that out and fix the command a little bit, this could be a devastating pitch.
Finally, there’s a very good changeup that sits in the mid-high-80s. Looks pretty similar to his fastball out of his hands. However, Bello can get the pitch to take a pretty devastating drop right at the plate. That, combined with the “slower” speed of the pitch should get a lot of strikeouts for the righty.
Overall, Bello still needs to work on a few things. The command isn’t terrible, but sometimes he loses control. This leads to not only walks, but some hard hit balls – especially if his slider isn’t working. He has a lot going for him too though. And could absolutely build on all three pitches. If that happens, he has true ace potential for the Red Sox.