Historical Comparisons: The Scott Blewett Conundrum

In my latest attempt to find historical comps for current Royals prospects, I took a look at what Scott Blewett did at AA in 2018 and tried to find some similar seasons. Of course, with every player, I use a different set of data because every player does certain things that are different from the majority. I’ve done a few of these comparisons in the past, here are the links:

I want to make a couple of things very clear before we get into the research. The first thing I want to make clear is that I like Scott Blewett as a prospect. He’s young, he’s big, he has good stuff, he appears to be a great kid, the Royals speak highly of him, and I think he can be a big league starter. That does not make him a perfect prospect. The second thing that needs to be made clear is that it’s okay to like a prospect and admit that he has some serious flaws. Even Vladdy Jr. has things he needs to work on.

To begin the research for Blewett, I took every pitcher since 2014 (5 seasons worth of data) aged 21-23 to throw 90+ innings at AA (in one season). There were 262 pitchers to accomplish that feat. I then chose 3 stats that I wanted to analyze specifically and narrowed down a list that fit Blewett’s profile. Here were the requirements to be involved in the study:

  • 2014-2018
  • AA (all leagues)
  • 90+ IP in one season
  • 14-17% K%
  • 6-9% BB%
  • < 9% SwStr%

20 pitchers fit these criterion. Here is that list (I’m going to list every single name for you to prove a point):

  • Emilio Ogando
  • Zack Dodson
  • Williams Perez
  • Taylor Guerrier
  • Eddie Butler
  • Ryan O’Sullivan
  • Rob Kaminsky
  • Kyle Ryan
  • Chad Kuhl
  • Michael Lorenzen
  • Rookie Davis
  • Myles Jaye
  • Brady Lail
  • David Hess
  • Jesus Castillo
  • Tyler Viza
  • Andrew Morales
  • Ty Blach
  • Cody Anderson
  • Scott Blewett

That is an awful group to be a part of. Of the 19 names on that list that aren’t Scott Blewett, there MIGHT be one guy worth hoping for on the list. If you gave me a magic red button and I could turn Scott Blewett into that guy, no better no worse, I MIGHT take Chad Kuhl. Kuhl has been worth 3.4 fWAR in 313 career innings, and owns a 4.37 ERA while averaging 20 starts per season since 2016, and he’s by far the best outcome for Blewett comparisons.

Here’s the definition of conundrum: “a confusing and difficult problem or question”. 

Scott Blewett presents quite the conundrum for me. I like Scott Blewett. When I watch him pitch, I see a guy who looks like he could be a really good pitcher. There are a lot of things to like when you watch him throw the baseball, but Scott Blewett has never done anything statistically to make you think he could ever be an effective big leaguer.

I would never write off a prospect before they reached the age of, oh, 25ish. Scott Blewett could change his entire approach to pitching and become Max Scherzer for all that I know. I think he’s got a chance to be a decent big leaguer if he continues to develop and continues to get better.

But literally NO ONE HAS DONE IT in recent history with similar peripheral statistics as Scott Blewett. On his current trajectory, based on past results with his peers, Scott Blewett has little-to-no chance of being an effective big league pitcher. He has to start missing more bats. He has to start striking a few more hitters out. The walks are okay, but they could definitely still be lower. Relying on weak contact is risky business in today’s MLB and it’s never a good thing to hand out free passes if that’s your strategy.

There will be people who read this that say, “You can make stats say what ever you want.” It’s not true, but I understand the point. I’m cherry picking a select grouping of stats here to help predict the future of a prospect. That’s arbitrary and not exactly the most scientific way to go about this. Here is an undeniable fact, however: No pitcher in the last 5 seasons to have a similar statistical grouping as Scott Blewett has had significant major league success. It. Has. Not. Been. Done…Period. I certainly won’t rule Blewett out, as I like the future I think he’ll have in KC, but he’s going to have to make some changes, quickly, if he’s going to stick in the big leagues.

4 thoughts on “Historical Comparisons: The Scott Blewett Conundrum

  1. Pingback: Historical Comparisons: Nicky Lopez | Royals Farm Report

  2. Pingback: Taking an in-depth look at Gabriel Cancel’s 2019 season | Royals Farm Report

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