Scott Blewett is having himself quite the autumn in the Arizona Fall League. The 22-year-old right-hander has made three starts and now has a 0.73 ERA after a dominating one-hit, six strikeout performance on Friday night.
So, what do we need to know about the Royals young righty?
A slow start
Blewett was drafted in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of high school in New York. The positives we knew from the start was a tremendous frame (he’s listed at 6’6”, 210) and that he handled the cold weather of the northeast with fire, able to hit the mid-90s with his fastball at the age of 19.
His half-season debut in the Appy League in 2014 was nothing to get overly excited about, nor were the next two seasons. Blewett spent both his age 19 and 20 seasons in the Low-A South Atlantic League to uninspiring results.
Blewett looked improved in 2017 when he finally made it to Wilmington in the Carolina League. Though the numbers weren’t awe-inspiring, his fastball velocity remained steady and according to several reports his curveball was vastly improved giving him two serviceable pitches, leaving Blewett ready for his Double-A debut this past season.
John Sickels ranked Blewett the No. 14 prospect heading into 2018 and is currently getting his 2019 rankings together. Here’s John’s latest summation:
Grade C+: Age 21, second round pick in 2014, 4.07 ERA with 129/52 K/BB in 153 innings in High-A, 153 hits, not a bad year by any means but not exceptional; seems to have typical number four starter stuff with low-90s fastball, workable curve and change-up; fastball hasn’t really picked up much from high school but it’s enough when his command is on; Double-A transition will prove illuminating. ETA 2019.
I’ve seen several reports now say the the fastball hits 96, but sits 93. Obviously, his monstrous frame adds the deception of sink coming down at opposing hitters. The consensus is that his mid-70s curve is tremendously improved, while the change is still “getting there”.
Blewett went 8-6 this year in the Texas League, posting a 4.79 ERA and 1.44 WHIP that were both higher than last year’s stop in Wilmington. He struck out 100 batters while walking 49 in 148.1 innings, posting the worst strikeout rate of his career, but at the same time the second-best walk rate of his career. Thanks to that sink, he gets a lot of ground balls, so maybe as the defense improves up the ladder, that pesky .319 BAA will come down and help him. Both lefties and righties seem to hit him equally well, so once he refines his pitches, he should become more effective.
The Fall League
Blewett already has one Pitcher of the Week honor under his belt and may see more coming. He’s now tossed 12.1 frames of one-run ball, striking out 12 and walking four. It’s also important to note that three of the four walks came in his second outing, as he struck out six and walked none his last time out, his longest start of the fall. He’s landing pitches for strikes and is looking like he may finally reach some of the potential the Royals saw when they drafted him.