Bello fans 10 while making Triple-A debut

May 19th, 2022

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Bello dazzles in Triple-A debut (May 18)
Making his debut for Triple-A Worcester on Wednesday night, flame-throwing righty Brayan Bello showed what all the hype is about.

Boston's No. 4 prospect -- and top-rated pitcher -- struck out 10 in six electric innings against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Polar Park in Worcester, Mass.

Bello registered a strikeout on a 98 mph fastball to open the contest, and he dazzled through most of the performance. He allowed six hits, two runs and a walk, throwing 94 pitches. It was the 11th double-digit strikeout game in the 23-year-old's pro career. -- Ian Browne

Rafaela hits for cycle at High-A Greenville (May 17)
Natural are cycles the rarest type of cycle. They’re also the most dramatic, allowing the player to punctuate his achievement with a round-tripper and then celebrate with a jog.

Ceddanne Rafaela lived that reality with a natural cycle in High-A Greenville’s 11-6 win over Hickory. The No. 27 Red Sox prospect became the first player in franchise history to hit for the cycle, and the second player in the Minor Leagues this season. Reds No. 4 prospect Matt McLain notched the milestone for Double-A Chattanooga on April 17.

Rafaela began his milestone night at Flour Field at the West End by looping a single to center field in the first inning. He legged out a double in the third, clanged an RBI triple off the center-field wall in the seventh and pulled a solo homer to left in the eighth. In the process, Rafaela scored three runs and drove in two. Full story »

Bello promoted to Triple-A (May 17)
The Red Sox’s No. 4 prospect, Brayan Bello, has earned a promotion to Triple-A Worcester and could start there as early as May 18. Bello has the most electric arsenal of any Red Sox prospect in years, and it was on full display when he threw a seven-inning no-hitter for Double-A Portland on May 5.

For the Sea Dogs this season, the 22-year-old went 4-2 with a 1.60 ERA in six starts, striking out 42 in 33 2/3 innings. The Dominican Republic native signed with the Red Sox on July 2, 2017. Now, he is just one stop away from Fenway Park. -- Ian Browne

Seabold fans 11 in dominant one-hit outing (May 15)
It was a dominant day for Connor Seabold.

The No. 14 prospect struck out half the batters he faced, racking up 11 whiffs across six scoreless innings of one-hit ball in Triple-A Worcester's 7-4 loss to Rochester. After allowing a two-out single in the second, he retired the next seven batters in a row, striking out five of them (four swinging, one looking). A fielding error and a walk put two on with one out, but the righty got back-to-back K’s to end the threat and give him his first double-digit strikeout performance since Aug. 4, 2021.

The 26-year-old lowered his ERA to 2.45 and has amassed 37 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings. -- Stephanie Sheehan

No no-no, but Bello nasty again for Sea Dogs (May 11)
Last time he took the mound, Brayan Bello twirled the first seven-inning solo no-hitter in Double-A Portland’s history. What did the Red Sox's fourth-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline do for an encore?

Bello wasn’t unhittable Wednesday but was nearly as dominant again, cruising through six scoreless innings to lead Portland to its 4-0 win over Hartford. Retiring 11 of his first 12 hitters, the 22-year-old struck out five and held the Yard Goats to three hits, shaving his season ERA to 1.60 in six starts. He’s held hitters to a .138 batting average against so far this season, with a 42-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 33 2/3 innings.

In short, it’s been a near seamless return to Double-A for Bello, the top-ranked pitcher in Boston’s position-player heavy system. One of those touted hitters, 2020 first-round pick Nick Yorke, also enjoyed a nice night Wednesday, homering for High-A Greenville. -- Joe Trezza

Bello tosses seven-inning no-no for Portland (May 5)
Brayan Bello
had only thrown seven innings once in his four-year professional career.

When he did it for the second time in Double-A Portland’s 3-1 win over Reading in Game 2 of a doubleheader, he did it in emphatic fashion – namely a 96-pitch, seven-inning no-hitter.

“I knew I had no hits, but it wasn’t on my mind until the seventh inning with two outs,” Bello said through interpreter and teammate Oddanier Mosqueda. “When I realized it, I was focused on attacking the hitter more than the other guys.”

Brandon Walter allowed his first walk in five starts this year at the end of his Game 1 start, but the ninth-ranked Red Sox prospect struck out 10 while scattering three hits over six innings as Portland swept the doubleheader with a 5-1 win. Full story »

Duran stays hot with homer, three hits (May 5)
The scorching start to the season continued for Jarren Duran with a three-hit effort -- punctuated by a towering three-run homer -- in Triple-A Worcester's 5-4 win over Toledo in Game 1 of a doubleheader.

The fourth-ranked Red Sox prospect collected hits in his first three trips to the plate: legging out an infield single in the first, finding the grass in left for another single in the second and crushing a go-ahead three-run blast to right in the fourth. It was his second dinger of the year.

Baseball's No. 83 overall prospect is sporting a .397/.478/.638 slash line with eight extra-base hits, nine walks, 15 runs scored and 11 RBIs over 15 games this season. -- Rob Terranova

Downs homers for 3rd straight game (May 4)
For the third straight game, Jeter Downs has gone yard.

The No. 6 prospect smacked a two-run shot in Triple-A Worcester’s 7-1 win over Toledo. The 23-year-old took advantage of a leadoff single and parked a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left for his sixth dinger of the season. Downs is batting .270/.400/.676 with four homers, seven RBIs and seven walks in his past 10 games. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Cora impressed with Duran's first month of 2022 (May 1)
Boston's No. 4 prospect Jarren Duran has been hitting well at Triple-A Worcester. The 2018 seventh-round selection slashed an impressive .391/.481/1.090 in April, with six extra-base hits and seven stolen bases over 46 at-bats. Those numbers would be Top 3 in the International League if Duran met the minimum games played requirement. Red Sox manager Alex Cora said they have worked with Duran on driving the ball, as they like his line drive capability.

"His best tool is actually his speed,” Cora said. “So to be able to hit line drives and run the bases, that's something that we like. We still want him to hit the ball hard. But if he keeps it off the air, it's better for him." -- Byron Kerr

Duran finishes a double shy of the cycle (April 29)
Jarren Duran is known for his blazing speed, but it’s well known how well he can swing the bat too.

The Red Sox's No. 4 prospect finished a double shy of the cycle in a four-hit night as Triple-A Worcester’s leadoff hitter. Duran hit his first home run and triple of the season in the WooSox's 8-6 win over Buffalo, recording both of his RBIs on his third-inning long ball.

After getting a taste of the big leagues in 2021, the 25-year-old has been raking to start 2022. Duran is slashing .381/.469/.548 with a 1.017 OPS through 11 games, tallying four extra-base hits and swiping seven bags. -- Nick Trujillo

Koss homers in four-hit game (April 24)
No. 27 prospect Christian Koss collected four hits in a game for the first time since last July, tallying three singles and a home run with two RBIs in Double-A Portland’s 13-5 win over Binghamton.

After the Rumble Ponies jumped out to a two-run lead in the first, Koss led off the bottom of the frame with a single to center and ended the inning with a solo homer to right-center, his second of the season, in a seven-run inning for the Sea Dogs. The 24-year-old drove in another run on a single to center in the fifth and added a base knock to right to complete his day. Koss raised his average to .321 with 15 RBIs in 12 games. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Mayer connects on first Single-A homer (April 23)
Boston's top prospect
Marcelo Mayer followed up a four-hit performance on April 21 with his first home run of the season -- and first at the Single-A level -- two days later. With two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the first, the 19-year-old belted a dinger to right-center field.

Five innings later, Mayer laced an RBI single to center field for his sixth multihit game of the season and second in his last three. The two RBIs on the shortstop's ledger were his first since April 12 and gave MLB's No. 14 overall prospect 10 for the season.

Through 13 games this season, last year's fourth overall pick in the first round has posted a .333/.397/.491 slash line. -- Tyler Maun

Mayer doubles twice in first career 4-hit day (April 21)
Marcelo Mayer
has been doing it all at the plate in the early goings of the 2022 season, and he reached a milestone in Single-A Salem's 5-4 loss to Charleston – his first career four-hit game.

The fourth overall pick of the 2021 MLB Draft tallied a 4-for-5 day at the plate with two doubles, two runs scored and a stolen base. It was Mayer’s fifth multihit game this season and the first with multiple extra-base hits.

MLB's No. 14 prospect got things going right away in the bottom of the first when he laced a double to left field and came around to score the first run of the game two batters later. He added another two-bagger to left, his sixth of the year, a few innings later and again came around to score shortly thereafter. Full story »

Rafaela, Lugo have big days at the dish in High-A (April 16)
Ceddanne Rafaela has never been much of a power hitter, but the No. 28 prospect is starting to find his power stroke after a two-homer performance in High-A Greenville’s 9-6 win gave him five long balls on the year, which is already half as many as he hit in 102 games last season. Joining him in his strong performance was No. 13 prospect Matthew Lugo, who did everything but homer in his four-hit day – he smacked a single, two doubles and a triple.

Lugo singled to center to drive in Rafaela for the first run of the game. That would be his only RBI for the day, but he doubled to right in his next at-bat and led off the fifth with his second triple of the season. The 20-year-old added one more two-bagger to left to complete his day, and he’s now hitting a torrid .515/.543/.879 with eight of his 17 hits this season going for extra bases. He’s collected at least one base knock in each of the seven games he’s appeared in.

Rafaela enjoyed his first career two-homer game and added a single and a stolen base for a three-hit, three-RBI day. His first dinger was an opposite-field solo shot to right-center. In the fifth, he faced a 2-0 count with a man on and sent the next pitch over the left-field fence to give the Drive a commanding 8-2 lead. Rafaela, who had only clubbed 22 homers in 302 games prior to his multihomer night, now has five dingers on the season to go with 14 runs scored, 10 RBIs and four steals through his first eight games. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Gonzalez matches career high with 9 K’s (April 14)
Wilkelman Gonzalez had everything working in Single-A Salem’s 9-4 win over Fayetteville.

The Red Sox No. 10 prospect fanned nine -- matching his career high -- over five scoreless innings, allowing one hit and three walks. After giving up a single to lead off the game, Gonzalez blanked the Woodpeckers’ hitters for the remainder of the game, retiring nine batters in a row between the second and fourth innings.

The 20-year-old has not allowed a run in seven innings this season, striking out 12 batters and walking four over two starts. -- Nick Trujillo

Casas, Seabold pace WooSox in win (April 13)
Triple-A Worcester gave starting pitcher Connor Seabold some early run support, and the right-hander made sure it would stand. Seabold tossed five sterling innings in his second appearance of the year, allowing just one hit and no runs while striking out a pair as the WooSox beat Lehigh Valley, 7-3. Boston's No. 15 prospect cruised through his five frames on 71 pitches, 45 for strikes, and got seven outs on the ground against two in the air.

At the plate, Triston Casas did damage while driving in three of his team's runs. Casas roped a two-run single to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning before connecting on a solo homer to right in the seventh, his third of the season, off former first overall pick Mark Appel. For the year, Casas is now batting .231/.364/.615 with five hits over his last four games. -- Tyler Maun

Yorke racks up five hits to lead Drive outburst (April 13)
Nick Yorke got 21 games at the High-A level last year. Returning there to start the 2022 season, the infielder wants to be a leader for his teammates. He’s already showing it on the field.

Baseball’s No. 54 overall prospect set a new personal best with five hits, all singles, and reached base six times, tallying four RBIs as High-A Greenville piled up 20 knocks in a 17-3 rout of Asheville. Full story»

Groome starts season on the right foot
Looking very much like the first-rounder he was drafted as in 2016, left-hander Jay Groome permitted one hit without walking anybody and striking out four over five innings in his 2022 debut. Pitching for Double-A Portland, where he made his last three starts of 2021, the No. 12 Red Sox prospect retired six in a row to start the game, then erased the inning-opening single he gave up in the third with a pickoff. He set down another eight in a row, and he threw 33 of 49 pitches for strikes.

Groome's outing fits into a pattern for the Sea Dogs, who through five games have had noteworthy starts out of four Top 30 Boston prospects -- three of them left-handers. Righty Brayan Bello (No. 5) punched out 10 over five shutout frames on Tuesday. On Saturday, Brandon Walter (No. 9) had seven strikeouts in five one-hit innings. And on Opening Night, Chris Murphy (No. 11) allowed a run on a couple of hits and three walks while fanning seven over four innings. -- Josh Jackson

'Go ahead and admire that one' (April 12)
It was the home opener for the Worcester Red Sox, and Triston Casas didn't disappoint the fans at Polar Park. Ranked the club's No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Casas crushed a two-run homer to right-center field that traveled an estimated 477 feet in the WooSox's 8-3 victory over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

It was the 22-year-old's second homer of the season, and he finished the day 1-for-3 with two walks and two strikeouts. In six games this season, Casas is slashing .182/.345/.500. Last year, he roped 14 homers with 59 RBIs in 86 games split between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester. -- Chris Begley

Bello fans 10 over five scoreless innings (April 12)
Brayan Bello is no stranger to double-digit strikeout performances. The No. 5 prospect has now fanned 10 or more batters 10 times in his career since debuting in 2017, including his five-inning shutout effort in the Sea Dogs’ 7-1 win over Harrisburg. In 2021 alone, he fanned 10+ batters five times.

The 22-year-old Bello squared off against 21 batters, allowing four hits and one walk while only pitching with two runners in scoring position all night. He racked up three K’s in the first inning between a single and a walk, fanned a batter on three pitches in the second, struck out a batter with two on and two out in the third and amassed two whiffs in the fourth and fifth to cap off his outing. Of his 10 strikeouts, six came on swings-and-misses and four were caught looking. Bello tossed 49 of his 73 pitches for strikes as he looks to improve on his time last season in Double-A, where he put up a 4.66 ERA with a .266 BAA in 15 starts after a strong showing in High-A (2.27 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings).

Down in Single-A, 2021 fifth-round pick Nathan Hickey had a grand day at the plate. The 22-year-old catcher mashed his first career grand slam, walked three times and drove in five in Salem’s 11-7 victory. The No. 23 prospect did not hit a single home run in his brief 28-game stint last season, but he’s already off to a strong start in 2022 with a homer, double, four walks and five RBIs in his first two games. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Hamilton goes off in debut (April 8)
What a debut for David Hamilton in his first game for Double-A Portland after being acquired from the Brewers in the offseason. The speedy outfielder/middle infielder powered the Sea Dogs to an 11-6 win in Friday’s season opener at home against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, going 5-for-7 with two homers, seven RBIs and a stolen base. 

Hamilton is the lesser known of the two prospects in the deal that also brought Alex Binelas to the Red Sox and sent Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee. Hamilton is mostly known for his speed, but his bat was the story in this one, as he tied a franchise record in RBIs and was a double away from the cycle. Hamilton hit just eight homers in 403 at-bats last season. -- Ian Browne