WORCESTER — The Red Sox’ development process is calculated, precise and successful.
Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom & Co. believe homegrown prospects should experience each level of the minor league system, especially Triple A.
The last step before the majors is an important one, and the Red Sox want these players to hone their skills before any premature promotion to Boston.
However, pitching prospect Brayan Bello could be the exception to the rule.
The 22-year-old right-hander has made four starts for the WooSox since his promotion from Double-A Portland, and he’s been electric. He exudes confidence on and off the mound, and his stay in Worcester could be brief.
He worked 5⅓ innings, allowed three runs on five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts against the Syracuse Mets Saturday afternoon at Polar Park. His fastball reaches 100 mph, and his changeup is filthy. He tossed 94 pitches (56 strikes) during his no-decision as the WooSox finished with an 8-7 walk-off victory in the bottom of the ninth inning.
“He was awesome — awesome,” WooSox manager Chad Tracy said.
Bello’s repertoire of his four-seam fastball, sinker, slider and changeup were all working to keep the Mets batters off balance.
“He was amazing,” Tracy said. “That was one of his better starts, so it was really fun to watch.”
After the first inning, Bello was lights out for the next four innings. He has a total of 34 strikeouts in 22⅓ innings for the WooSox.
Delivering clutch clincher
WooSox’ Roberto Ramos has been dealing with a bit of a back issue of late, but he showed no ill effects during the team’s walk-off victory in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday at Polar Park.
With pinch runner Grant Williams on first, Ramos turned on an inside cutter and drove it into the right field corner to push the winning run across. The WooSox held a 6-1 lead, but the Mets chipped away and tied it at 6-6 in the top of the eighth inning.
Worcester regained the lead in the home half of the inning, but the Mets tied it again in the ninth, before Ramos delivered the final blow in the bottom of the inning.
“We went back and forth with them the whole game,” Ramos said. “We’re just happy to come out with a win in a game that was so close at the end.”
It’s Ramos’ second walk-off hit this season.
“Of course they’re fun when the game’s on the line and your teammates put you in a spot to do stuff like that is always very cool,” he said. “I’m just happy we were able to get the results at the end.”
Receiver is producing
WooSox catcher Connor Wong is a man on a mission this season. He was limited to 50 games in 2021 for a variety of reasons, but he’s making most of his opportunity as the starting catcher in 2022.
The 25-year-old backstop went 3 for 4, including a single, double, home run, three RBIs, two runs and a walk. He fell a triple shy of the cycle.
“Wong looks great right now. He really does,” Tracy said. “He’s swinging the bat well. I love that the ball’s going to the middle of the field. He’s staying on the ball and driving it to the big part of the field. He had a big day for us.”
Backup catcher Ronaldo Hernandez served as the designated hitter Saturday and went 3 for 5, including a solo home run, double and single. He scored three runs. He wound up a triple shy of the cycle.
Progress for Seabold
WooSox starter Connor Seabold, who has been on the IL with a pectoral strain, threw a live BP session Saturday afternoon, and it went well. He simulated a two-inning outing and tossed 30 pitches.
“He was great,” Tracy said. “Looked great, felt great.”
There’s no update on when Seabold will be activated, but he’s hoping to be back on the mound in game action next week.
But can he drain that corner 3?
A cool moment occurred in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday at Polar Park. When the WooSox’ Grant Williams was inserted as a pinch runner, the 7,623 in attendance began to chant, “Let’s go, Celtics.”
“That’s funny, but pretty cool awareness by our fans,” Tracy said. “That’s pretty cool. Our fans, I can’t say enough, (Saturday) was loud, and it was a packed house today for an afternoon game. They’re awesome.”
Williams, whose namesake stars for the Celtics, even finds its funny. Boston faces the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday.
Contact Joe McDonald at JMcDonald2@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoeyMacHockey
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Red Sox prospect Brayan Bello mows ’em down again in fourth start for Worcester