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SoxProspects News

May 17, 2022 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Bello reportedly promoted to Worcester


It is the middle of May and promotion season has started to begin. Brayan Bello (pictured, right) and AJ Politi have reportedly been promoted from Portland to Triple-A Worcester, while the big league team has started to get healthy, as Rich Hill and Jonathan Arauz have both returned from the COVID-19 IL.

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Brayan Bello reportedly promoted to Triple-A Worcester

While it has not been officially announced by the organization, right-handed pitcher Brayan Bello is moving on up. First reported by @BostonStrong_34 on Twitter on Monday afternoon, Bello seemingly confirmed the reports with a litany of Instagram stories through the early evening, including his new locker and jersey.

Bello is the organization's highest-ranked pitching prospect, slotted at No. 4 on the SoxProspects rankings. The Dominican Republic native has three pitches that can flash plus at times and has a bright future at the major league level, whether as a starter or a high-leverage bullpen arm, with a fastball that can reach 99 mph. Much of the organization's talent is concentrated among hitters, as Bello is the only arm of the top five prospects, but the 23-year-old shoved in Portland and was ready to move on to Triple-A.

In 97 1/3 innings across 21 starts at Double-A Portland, Bello struck out 129 hitters against 36 walks and earned a 1.21 WHIP and a 3.79 ERA. His best start came on May 5, when he pitched a seven-inning no-hitter against Reading. He was clearly ready to move to Worcester, with a WHIP below 0.90 in 33 2/3 innings this season and will reportedly make his debut on Tuesday.


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Bello, Politi reportedly moved to Worcester

Aside from Bello, reliever AJ Politi (pictured, left) will reportedly be making the trip from Portland to Worcester. They will be filling the roster spots of Kyle Hart and Darin Gilles, each of whom will join Portland. Politi has struck out 20 batters in 13 1/3 innings with the Sea Dogs this season. Gilles has struggled for Worcester, with a 2.89 WHIP and 16.39 ERA after being signed to a minor league deal in March. Hart has been in a hybrid role this season, starting twice in seven appearances, but he sports a 5.88 ERA in 26 innings. 

Rich Hill, Jonathan Arauz return from COVID-19 IL

After spending eight days on the COVID-19 IL, Rich Hill returned to the active roster May 14, requiring a pair of other moves. Kutter Crawford, who was pitching sparingly out of the bullpen, was optioned to make room on the active roster, while Jaylin Davis was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster space, as John Schreiber will remain with the big club. Davis has slashed .257/.282/.446 in 74 at-bats this year.

Jonathan Arauz also returned from the COVID-19 IL on May 12 and was optioned to Worcester. The infielder is 0 for 7 so far with Boston this year and has hit 5 for 29 in the minor leagues.

Josh Taylor transferred to 60-day disabled list

Josh Taylor had a setback with his rehab from a back ailment and was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on May 12. Taylor was originally expected to be a key part of the Boston bullpen this year, but is unlikely to make his season debut for a significant period of time.

Four placed on 7-day IL

A trio of position players landed on the injured list this week. Nick Decker, currently with Greenville, landed on the shelf first, on May 11, while a pair of Portland hitters in Cameron Cannon and Wil Dalton, would do so two days later. Additionally, Angel Bastardo, a right-handed pitcher with Salem, hit the 7-day injured list May 14.

Anddy Flores released

Signed in July 2021 out of Maracay, Venezuela, Anddy Flores was released on May 12. He pitched just six innings for the organization, appearing in seven DSL games. He walked 16 hitters, struck out seven and allowed 13 runs, 10 of which were earned.

Key Links

The latest episode of the SoxProspects Podcast, No. 247, focuses on Ian Cundall's trip to Portland to see some of the promising young arms. Co-hosts Chris Hatfield and Cundall also discussed the strong starts from 40-man roster members Jeter Downs, Connor Seabold and Josh Winkowski, each of which may be major league depth.

According to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, right-handed pitcher Noah Song has completed flight school and has again applied for a waiver to delay his military service, as a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, and resume his baseball career. Previously ranked in the top 10 of the system, Song was removed because he has not pitched in an organized game since 2019.

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette's Joe McDonald sat down with Jeter Downs, who had a tough 2021 but has seen a better stat line thus far in 2022, in addition to playing with more confidence.

Jacob Wallace, the system's 34th-ranked prospect, was the subject of a profile by Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant, who chatted with the former UConn pitcher when Portland visited Hartford.

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Players of the Week

Blaze Jordan, 3B/1B, Salem Red Sox
5 G, 22 AB, 9 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 5 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, .409/.458/.864

Jordan (pictured, right) had quite the impressive week a the plate, leading the organization's qualifiers in slugging percentage by nearly 100 points, while finishing second in batting average. He was also one of four players to hit multiple home runs this week. The 19-year-old has some swing and miss in his game, but has impressive power. While he hasn't tapped into that as much this year, with three home runs, two of which were this week, the Mississippi native is in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak, hitting 18 for 47. If he can keep the strikeouts down, Jordan could be a special hitter. 

Brayan Bello, RHP, Portland Sea Dogs
1 G, 1-0, 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K

For the second straight week, and for likely the final time as a member of Double-A Portland, Bello is the pitcher of the week. Scattering three hits over six innings of shutout work against Hartford in his final start with the Sea Dogs before his reported promotion, Bello put the cherry on top of what was an impressive run, particularly so far this season, as highlighted above. He has posted a 0.83 WHIP and struck out 42 batters in 33 2/3 innings across his six starts this season.

Photo Credit: Brayan Bello by Kelly O'Connor