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April 9, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Brayan Bello, Nick Decker and more

Today's SoxProspects scouting report update features five prospects who participated in the 2020 Fall Instructional League and who are projected to open the season in either Greenville or Salem.

Brayan Bello
Physical Description: Athletic right-hander with remaining projection. On the skinny side at present.

Mechanics: Loose, quick arm. Throws from a mid-three-quarters arm slot and lands soft and closed on his front side. Could do a better job incorporating his lower half in his delivery. Gets good extension.

Fastball: 93-96 mph. Tops out at 98 mph. Below-average command at present. Tends to crossfire the pitch. Average spin rate. Shows tail down in the zone and some ride when up in the zone. Velocity has steadily increased over his career, from 91-93 mph during the Fall Instructional League in 2018. Will mix in a two-seam fastball on occasion at 92-94 mph. Potential plus offering.

Changeup: 84-87 mph. Started as a work in progress, but is now his best secondary pitch. At its best, shows late arm-side fade. Was able to generate a lot of swinging strikes with the pitch from both right- and left-handed hitters during the 2019 season in Greenville. On occasion, will slow his arm and pitch ends up on the firm side. Potential above-average offering.

Slider: 84-88 mph. Vertical shape. Pitch has shorter break when thrown harder and more break at lower velocities. Pitch has a slightly above-average spin rate compared to the MLB average for a right-hander. Will throw often and in any count. Potential fringe-average pitch.

Career Notes: Did not sign until age 18. Was fairly dominant during debut season in the DSL, but was old for the level. Jumped all the way to Greenville the following year. Struggled in the first half in 2019, but got stronger as the season went on despite nearly doubling his inning total from the previous season. Participated in the 2018 and 2020 Fall Instructional League.

Summation: Has the early makings of a three-pitch mix that makes him a potential number four or five starter. Has a lot of development remaining and a wide variation of potential outcomes. Fastball/changeup combination could profile in a bullpen role if slider and command don't develop. Not imposing physically, but still has projection and has the type of athleticism you look for.

Note: This page will be updated with a complete scouting report after the scouting team has seen the player in regular season game action.


Physical Description: Strong build with a sturdy lower half. Some remaining projection, primarily in his upper body, but already physically developed for his age.
Hit: Starts crouched with an open stance. Long, uppercut swing. Quick hands, above-average bat speed. Does a good job utilizing his lower half. Will take what the pitcher gives him and use all fields. Needs to improve pitch recognition and cut down on swing-and-miss. Has a lot of trouble picking up breaking balls, particularly from left-handers. Had a heavy platoon split in 2019, striking out 45 percent of the time against left-handers, albeit in just 31 plate appearances. Has an idea of what he wants to do at the plate, but over-aggressiveness and swing-and-miss issues hold him back. Potential below-average hit tool.
Power: Plus raw power. Shows easy power during batting practice. Swing has loft and can drive the ball with backspin. Power is most notable to the pull side. Needs to show the ability to hit for power against left-handed pitchers. Potential to develop above-average game power at his peak.
Run: Below-average speed. Aggressive on the basepaths. Gets good jumps and reads.
Field: Reads and first step need some development. Will not be a standout defender, but should develop into an average outfielder at least. Drafted as a center fielder, but moved to right field full-time in 2019.
Arm: Above-average arm strength. Plenty of arm for right field. Arm is accurate, but lacks carry at times.
Career Notes: Committed to Maryland. After being drafted, suffered a small fracture in his left wrist during batting practice before his pro debut and was limited to playing in the season's final two games. Had short IL stints in 2019 for a right ankle contusion and a right hamstring strain. Participated in the 2018 and 2020 Fall Instructional League.
Summation: Potential bat-first, bench corner outfielder limited to duty against right-handers. If bat continues to develop, ceiling of a second-division everyday player. Bat-first profile with enough power to carry him in a corner if his hit tool develops. Has shown strong instincts and plays hard, getting the most out of his tools. Approach and hit tool will determine his future potential, as he really has to cut down on his swing-and-miss or will be exposed by more advanced pitching. Needs to show he can hit left-handed pitching, otherwise could end up in platoon role. Still early in development having not faced much advanced pitching as a high schooler in the Northeast.


Physical Description: Tall, sturdy frame with long arms and legs. Frame has some remaining projection in his upper body, but lower half is filled out.

Mechanics: High three-quarters arm slot. Makes use of his height. Medium-to-high leg kick. Puts some effort on his arm. Lands closed and balanced. Delivery is on the stiff side and can be tough to repeat.

Fastball: 92-95 mph, touching 97 mph. Good extension. Could work on working pitch in and out of the zone more. Command and control need a lot of work. Had trouble throwing strikes at the 2020 Fall Instructional League. Potential plus offering if his well below-average command improves significantly. 

Changeup: 82-84 mph. Flashes some drop. Keeps hitters off-balance when at its best. Potential average offering. 

Slider: 83-85 mph. Only started developing pitch recently, but it has shown some potential. Has good shape and will show some bite on occasion. Potential fringe-average offering. 

Curveball: 77-81 mph. Will flash depth when he snaps it off, but does not consistently get over it. Potential below-average offering.

Career Notes: Son of former MLB All-Star Jay Bell. Older brother Brantley is a third baseman in the Reds organization. Does not have a significant track record as a power arm. Began JuCo career as a two-way player, but blew out his arm early in his sophomore season and underwent Tommy John surgery. Came back with increased velocity and chose to focus exclusively on pitching. Committed to Auburn. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2019 and 2020.

Summation: Projects as a reliever, but will be developed as a starter at least early on. Has a long way to go developmentally to project as a potential major leaguer. Does not have many miles on his arm and is still raw for his age. Moldable. Should post high strikeout numbers in the minors. Needs to find a go-to secondary pitch; his changeup was his best offering at 2020 Fall Instructs, but coming out of the draft his curveball was thought to be his best secondary. Advancement of secondaries and command and control will be keys to development.

Note: This page will be updated with a complete scouting report after the scouting team has seen the player in person.


Physical Description: Undersized right-hander with minimal physical projection. Stocky build, strong lower half.

Mechanics: Throws over the top from the first base side. Effort in delivery. Quick to the plate. Short, quick arm action. Arm-heavy delivery. Hides the ball well behind his body before coming forward. Pitches downhill when he stays on top of the ball, but has the tendency to lose release point at times.

Fastball: 89-92 mph. Tops out at 94 mph. Pitch shows cut at times and sink when down in the zone. Hittable when elevated. Has some idea of fastball command. Pitch jumps on hitters due to overhand arm slot. Will also mix in a two-seam fastball in the 88-90 mph range. Potential fringe-average offering.

Curveball: 67-75 mph. Primarily throws a loopy, 12-to-6 curveball at 73-75 mph, but will also mix in an eephus-like pitch in the high-60s. Throws harder variation as his primary breaking ball. Will show depth and tight rotation. Potential fringe-average offering.

Changeup: 80-82 mph. Straight, throws with deceptive arm speed. Inconsistent pitch, does not have confidence in it. Will show fade on occasion. Potential below-average offering.

Career Notes: Played for the Cuban National Team in the U-18 Baseball World Cup in 2015. Struck out 12 consecutive batters in a 2019 playoff game for Lowell, making national headlines. Participated in 2020 Fall Instructional League.

Summation: Projects as a mid-minors organizational arm. Ceiling of a solid, high-minors contributor. Throws strikes and has a three-pitch mix that should allow him to stick around for a while, but lacks a pitch to carry him in the upper minors.


Physical Description: Tall, skinny pitcher’s frame. Needs to fill out considerably and has room to add muscle.

Mechanics: High three-quarters arm slot. Below-average athlete with limited coordination. High leg kick. Stiff delivery with considerable effort. Upper and lower body do not remain in sync during delivery. Struggles to repeat his delivery. Struggles to find a consistent slot and arm will drag behind rest of his delivery. Could get more extension. Crossfire release. Small hitch on follow-through post-delivery. 

Fastball: 87-91 mph. Tops out at 93 mph. Could add more velocity as he physically matures. Pitch shows natural cut due to his crossfire delivery. Uses his height well, but command and control need work. Really struggles to locate glove-side and maintain velocity from the stretch.

Curveball: 76-78 mph. 12-to-6 shape. On the loose side and lacks depth. Does not consistently snap it off and has a tendency to yank it into the dirt. Needs to develop better feel for the pitch. Work in progress, but will flash average potential. 

Changeup: 80-82 mph. Lacks feel, still a work in progress. At its best, will show some late movement.

Career Notes: Son of former minor league pitcher Scott Loubier. Committed to Wake Forest. Signed for well above slot. Participated in Fall Instructional League in 2019 and 2020.

Summation: Has good size, but stuff and feel have a long way to go developmentally. All about projection at this point. Needs to fill out and improve in all aspects of his game. Refining mechanics and finding a consistent delivery will be key to kickstarting his development in the low minors.

Note: This page will be updated with a complete scouting report after the scouting team has seen the player in game action.


Photo Credit: Brayan Bello, Nick Decker and Yusniel Padron-Artiles by Kelly O'Connor.

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.