Scott Blewett is tearing up the Arizona Fall League. Fresh off the AFL Pitcher of the Week Award, Blewett put up another strong outing for the Surprise Saguaros Friday. Blewett threw 5.0 innings allowing no runs on just 1 hit, no walks, and 6 K the day after the Saguaros gave up 21 runs putting his team in position to win. That outing brings his 3 game AFL totals to 2-0, a 0.73 ERA in 12.1 innings, 1 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, and 12 K. Surprise has won two of the three starts Blewett has made and had the lead when he left the game they end up losing.
Blewett spent the season in Double-A with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. We have a partial season ticket plan to the Naturals which means I got to see him make multiple starts this year. I’ve always thought his stuff was good and just happens to get some bad luck in a bad spot. He throws a mid-90s fastball that he can spot to both sides of the plate with some arm side run. When he stays on top of the ball he gets deceptive downhill plane. The change is deceptive and has good arm side sink. His curve is solid and tough to pick up. It also got better through the course of the year. Not only does he have those three pitches, he has been working on a slider. (GIFs of his pitches at the bottom of the article)
His season at NWA was not quite what was expected. I thought Blewett was going to be the best pitching prospect in the system who did not join the system during the season. I’m not sure who won that theoretical award, but it wasn’t Blewett. (Maybe Arnaldo Hernandez?) However, he pitched much better by the end of the year. The last 50.0 innings he threw this year, Blewett had a 2.90 ERA with 42 H, 11 BB, and 34 K. In the first 50.0 innings of the year he gave up 68 H, 34 ER, 24 BB, and 35 K. The middle 40.0 innings of the year, he cut down his walks to just 12 but was still giving up more hits than innings pitched. On the season, his FIP was 4.39 and his xFIP was 4.83 meaning his results didn’t quite perform up to expectations. In fact, over the course of his career this has been the case. Optimists would say some positive regression is coming and it could be happening right now in the AFL.
You could say Blewett’s adjustment to the Texas League was slow. But he is certainly making up for lost time facing the best hitters he has ever faced in the AFL. Blewett is a guy the Royals have to make a roster decision on soon. He is Rule 5 eligible and if he is tearing up the AFL like this by the end of the season, someone is putting him in their bullpen hoping that 95 mph heater plays up.
I think at this point with 539.2 minor league career innings, we know who Scott Blewett is. He is an above average MILB starter who could probably be a decent MLB starter or really good reliever. He is 22-years-old with a chance for a little more projection because he still has room to add some muscle mass to his 6’6″ frame. He has competed consistently in every league he has played in despite being younger than league average every stop along the way. In his career, Blewett has a 9.51 H/9, 3.19 BB/9, 7.32 K/9, and a 1.41 WHIP. He is Rule 5 eligible and the Royals better protect him.