6: SP Brayan Bello
What to look for: Proof that 2021 wasn’t a fluke
With Mata on the shelf for the last few years, Brayan Bello has taken over the mantle as the best pitcher in the Red Sox minor league system. Bello signed with the Red Sox in 2017 at an 18-year-old and spent his first two years in the system dominating the Dominican Summer League and rookie ball. He took his licks in the Single-A Greenville in 2019 (5.43), but his 3.13 K/BB ratio showed he wasn’t overmatched.
It was this past year, however, that Bello really put himself on the map. Bello earned a callup to Double-A after posting a 2.27 over six starts in Greenville, and although he wasn’t nearly as sharp in Portland, his 12.3 K/9 speaks to his swing-and-miss stuff.
Though his mid 90’s fastball and average slider/changeup combination are nothing to write home about, his above-average command of each pitch allows him to generate strikeouts.
What Bello needs to prove in 2022 is that his breakout season was not a fluke. His only experience having success in full-season ball has been his six-game stint at Greenville last year, and he failed to show he has mastered Double-A. Bello will have another chance to prove himself in Portland, but as he now enters his age 23 season, the clock is ticking.