While Brandon Finnegan made the quickest ascent to the majors in the 2014 draft and Foster Griffin will be the Royals’ lone representative in the 2017 All-Star Futures Game, it is perhaps another player that has the highest ceiling among Royals 2014 draftees.
The team selected Scott Blewett with the 56th selection out of Baker High School in Baldwinsville, NY and signed him for $1.8 million, well above slot value. Blewett was a first round talent entering the season, but a shoulder strain knocked him to the second round.
He threw 28 innings in his pro debut with Burlington before making his full season debut in the South Atlantic League. He made 18 starts with the Lexington Legends in 2015, going 3-5 with a 5.20 ERA over 81.1 innings. Blewett repeated the level as a 20 year old in 2016 and saw better results his second time around. His ERA was cut almost a run from 5.20 to 4.31 and his K/9 spiked from 6.6 to 8.4.
He has shown signs of improvement this season with the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the Carolina League. Through 17 starts, Blewett has a 3.80 ERA while striking out 8.3 per nine innings. He has everything you look for in a potential frontline starter that can throw 200 innings annually, and I believe he can take off at any time.
Blewett features a low-mid 90s fastball that should gain velocity as he fills out his projectable 6’6” frame. His curveball is his primary secondary pitch and shows signs of becoming plus down the line. He is still refining his changeup and it is also worth keeping in mind that Blewett has a higher ceiling than most high schoolers considering he is from upstate New York, so he did not throw as much in high school and is still refining his craft. He is very athletic and is able to repeat his smooth delivery, so long-term durability should not be a concern. If he decided not to sign and attend St. John’s, his college commitment, he would have just been drafted this year as a college junior.
The Royals have admittedly had trouble developing starting pitching recently. Blewett is one of a quartet of high school pitchers taken in the first two rounds in the 2014-15 Drafts, along with 2017 Futures Game participant Foster Griffin, Ashe Russell and Nolan Watson. Blewett has had the most pro success out of that group and while he is still a year or two away, he has one of the higher upsides among Royals’ pitching prospects.
Photo Credits: Patrick Cavey