This week’s Bells in the Bigs features two former Bells pitchers who advanced to the Major League level with the Cleveland Guardians and Houston Astros.
Guardians right-handed pitcher Zach Pettway was a Bell in 2017 and started all eight games he appeared in that summer. He finished the season with a record of 4-1 in 40.2 innings pitched.
Pettway was a WCL All-Star and All-West-Coast League honorable mention in a season that preceded an impressive four years at UCLA.
Pettway started 15 games his freshman year (2018) and was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention after posting an 8-4 record with a 3.35 ERA. He led the Bruins rotation with 78 strikeouts and walked only 19 batters.
He was the Bruins Opening Day starter in both his sophomore and junior seasons (2019, 2020). During his junior year, he was rated as D1Baseball’s No. 1 junior pitcher in the country and named the Pac-12 pitcher of the week in back-to-back weeks.
In his senior season of 2021, Pettway was again named D1Baseball’s Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and was the male recipient of the Tom Hansen award which is awarded annually to the top male and female senior student athletes who display top performance and academic success.
The 2021 MLB Draft followed his senior season and Pettway was selected in the 16th round by the Cleveland Indians. His final career numbers at UCLA are an impressive 16-11 record with a 3.77 ERA and 241 strikeouts in 264.2 innings.
It is still to be determined where Zach will find his footing within the Guardians organization amid the MLB lockout — but be on the lookout for Zach in the Majors soon.
RHP Seth Martinez was a Bell in 2014 as a rising sophomore from Arizona State University. He appeared in 10 games and started nine that summer, finishing with a 2.03 ERA over 57.2 innings. At the conclusion of the 2014 season, he was named the West Coast League Pitcher of the Year.
Since his summer in Bellingham, Seth’s baseball career has taken him to many destinations. He played two more seasons with the Sun Devils including 111.1 innings over 14 starts his final and junior year (2016).
Martinez was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 17th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. From there, he was assigned to the Athletics of the rookie-level Arizona Complex League (AZL).
He bounced around the Athletics system for four years, starting with the Class A Beloit Snappers of the Midwest League in 2017. He appeared in 20 games for the Snappers and started 10 compiling 95.1 innings and finishing with a 3.49 ERA.
The following season, 2018, Martinez continued with the Snappers and tossed 71.1 innings in 42 games, with no starts. His ERA improved to 3.28 that year.
Martinez was assigned to the Low-A Stockton Ports in May 2019 and threw 43 innings with an ERA of 3.35. That same season, he pitched 28.2 innings with the AA Midland RockHounds of the Texas league and posted a 1.26 ERA.
He never saw major league action with the Athletics but was assigned to the Houston Astros in December of 2020.
Martinez became a mainstay in 2021 with the AAA Sugar Land Skeeters and saw 57.2 innings of work in 36 games with an ERA of 2.81. The Astros took notice and on September 20, 2021, he made his Major League debut against the Los Angeles Angels in a 10-0 win in Anaheim, CA.
Look for these two right handers on Major League mounds within the coming years.