‘I think this kid can be equally as special as me’: Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez praises Brayan Bello

Red Sox

Bello has an ERA of 3.56 in 22 outings thus far in 2023.

Pedro Martinez had high praise for young Red Sox pitcher Brayan Bello on Friday. Jim Davis/Globe Staff
  • Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts tips his helmet as he comes up to bat against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, in Boston.

    Watch: Mookie Betts receives standing ovation in his return to Fenway Park

  • Red Sox claim Zack Weiss off waivers, transfer Corey Kluber to 60-day Injured List

Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez threw high praise onto Boston’s budding star pitcher Brayan Bello.

Martinez appeared on the broadcast of the Red Sox-Dodgers game Friday night and compared Bello to himself. A three-time Cy Young winner and eight-time All Star, Martinez clearly sees a lot of potential in Bello.

“I think he has no ceiling. I think this kid can be equally as special as me,” Martinez said. “But he still has work to do.”

Bello is early in his major league career but has already proven himself as a starting-caliber pitcher. He is 24 years old and has an ERA of 3.56 in 22 appearances in 2023 – all as a starter. He’s only allowed 50 earned runs in 126.1 innings pitched. Martinez had a career ERA of 2.93, but his age 24 season ERA was 3.70.

In his recent start against the New York Yankees, Bello pitched six confident innings, only allowing one run. After the game, he explained he feels comfortable on the mound for Boston.

Martinez added that Bello’s health and Boston’s ability to properly maintain him will play a crucial role in his career trajectory.

“I just hope that [the Red Sox] know and understand exactly what to do with this kid to keep him healthy,” Martinez said. “Health is going to be the main issue for him.

“If we manage to guide this kid the right way, you could be looking at another Pedro Martinez with better stuff and at a younger age.”

It’s incredibly difficult to match the level of success Martinez had as a major league pitcher. But to be complimented in such a way by one of the all-time greats in Boston speaks volumes to what Bello has shown already.