In Brayan's ace quest, who better to learn from than Pedro?

January 25th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Ian Browne’s Red Sox Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Brayan Bello’s quest to be the best homegrown starting pitcher the Red Sox have had in at least a decade was recently aided by an invitation to do some throwing under the tutelage of a legend.

The Dec. 19 session with Pedro Martinez at the Hall of Famer’s home in the Dominican Republic is there to see for anyone who follows Bello on Instagram.

The Red Sox great and the man who could become a star worked together in the outdoor cage at Martinez’s property. Over three videos, Bello throws, and Martinez watches and offers instruction. At one point you can see Martinez pushing Bello’s elbow up, giving him a pointer about his release point.

At Winter Weekend in Springfield, Mass., last weekend, Bello spoke for the first time about his lessons with Martinez.

“Yeah, great experience,” Bello said. “One of my favorite pitchers, and I've just enjoyed learning from him.”

The work Bello did with Martinez -- which will likely continue in Spring Training -- was as much mental as physical.

“He said, basically, ‘Just don't be afraid out there,’” Bello said. “‘Just throw what you're going to throw with conviction.’”

Martinez was known for his lethal fastball-changeup combo. His changeup is regarded as one of the dominant pitches in history.

Interestingly, Bello didn’t talk much about the changeup with Martinez.

“He was more focusing on just the high fastball and slider,” Bello said.

However, Bello knows that another pitch could be the key to his success in what is expected to be his first full season in the Majors.

“The curveball is what I’ve been working on, a newer edition, and I’m looking forward to using it,” Bello said.