Pedro Martinez knows a thing or two about dominating hitters without being the most physically imposing presence on the mound, and so it should come as no surprise that he's a big fan of Brayan Bello.
Appearing recently on the MLB Network (as clipped by @redsoxstats on Twitter), Martinez made a bold prediction for the rapidly improving young Red Sox right-hander.
"Brayan Bello is another kid that has the potential to be a Cy Young type of pitchers in the future," Martinez said.
After an understandably rough start to his big league career following just nine starts at Triple-A, Bello has very quickly demonstrated an ability to adapt. He's 2-2 with a 1.69 ERA in four September starts, with 23 strikeouts in 21.1 innings.
Watching Bello makes Martinez feel like he's looking in a mirror. Like Martinez during his playing days, Bello weighs in at only 170 pounds. The Hall of Famer believes the 23-year-old is making the best of an imperfect situation.
"It only brings back good memories of who I was and how I was," Martinez said. "This one was brought up out of necessity by the Red Sox, a little bit prematurely. But he's starting to make the adjustment. It's just too bad he that he had to be brought up before he actually could really get the sense of what he needed to do in the big leagues, and he's having to learn at the big league level."
With a 96 mph sinker, a four-seamer that pushes 100, and an absolutely filthy changeup to go along with a promising slider, Bello has the arsenal to one day reside atop a rotation. He has already transformed himself from potential depth/swingman option in 2023 to write-his-name-in-pen member of the rotation.
He took some lumps along the way, like watching the Red Sox lose his first five starts, but the fact that he's already starting to turn the corner tells Martinez he's resilient.
"He's basically learning by his mistakes in the big leagues, which is something that sounds a little bit unfair to such a young, talented pitcher," Martinez said. "But sometimes, the struggles will make you lift up your head and come back and fight. Take a punch, and you punch back."