Brayan Bello is living up to the hype as the most promising pitching prospect the Boston Red Sox have had in more than a decade.
After showing flashes of potential in his brief 2022 rookie season, Bello has stepped up as Boston's ace in Year 2. The 24-year-old right-hander has a 3.04 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP through 14 starts this season. In each of his last five outings, Bello has pitched at least 6 2/3 innings with no more than two runs allowed.
He is the first Red Sox pitcher age 24 or younger to accomplish that feat since Roger Clemens in 1986, per The Boston Globe's Alex Speier.
Bello put the league on notice when he tossed seven no-hit innings against the Miami Marlins on June 29. A lack of run support resulted in him taking the loss, but his outstanding effort didn't go unnoticed. Veteran closer Kenley Jansen heaped praise on Bello after the game.
“He’s going to be something special,” Jansen said, per The Athletic's Jen McCaffrey. “I always call him Pedro (Martinez) Jr. when he’s doing good. I think he has it. I just want to remind him so he knows he’s got it and go out there and have fun and dominate.”
Jansen doubled down on the Pedro comparison during Bello's most recent outing, in which the Dominican Republic native allowed only two runs in seven innings in a 4-2 win over the Texas Rangers.
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"I call him Junior. He's Pedro Martinez Jr.," Jansen said on the NESN broadcast. "He's got the balls to go out there and dominate and he's shown up so far. Every day when we go out there I give him a little talk and kind of call him out, in a fun way. Yeah, he's showing up, man. I'm enjoying watching him play.''
Martinez worked with his fellow countryman in the Dominican Republic during the offseason. As bold as the Bello/Martinez comparisons may seem, the three-time Cy Young Award winner believes his protégé could end up being even better.
“I wish, I WISH I had the talent that Brayan Bello has, when I was coming up," Martinez told the Boston Herald in February. "He’s way more talented than I am."
Obviously, Bello has a long way to go before he enters Pedro Martinez territory. But just as Martinez was appointment television whenever he took the mound, Bello Day is becoming a real thing in Boston.