Scott Blewett Earns His 40-Man Spot
If there was any question whether the Royals would add Scott Blewett to the 40-man roster, the 22-year-old righthander removed all doubt in the Arizona Fall League.
Blewett went 4-0, 2.49 in six AFL starts while striking out 21 and allowing eight walks in 25.1 innings. In an Oct. 26 start at Scottsdale, he yielded one hit, struck out six and walked none in five scoreless innings.
Blewett's keys to success were "sticking with the game plan, attacking the zone and just trusting myself and my mechanics," he said. "Getting that fastball command down early helps everything else come into play, especially my breaking ball and changeup . . .
"Once they’re all working, it’s fun to pitch."
Little worked for the 6-foot-6 Blewett during the first half of 2018 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. The 2014 second-rounder out of high school in Baldwinsville, N.Y., ran up a 6.05 ERA in April and a 5.67 mark in May. He finished strong by going 3-0, 2.57 in five August starts.
"It’s been kind of a trend throughout my entire pro career,” Blewett said. "I start off slow the first half and kind of kick into gear the second half. I don’t think it’s a lack of focus. It’s just my body getting going. I feel good in spring training and going into the season, it’s just my stuff isn’t to where I know it can be.
Blewett said his fluidity and stuff sharpens over the course of the season, so that when the Texas League season ended, he wanted to continue pitching.
"I told (the Royals), 'Hey I want to keep throwing. I don’t want to end when the season is over," Blewett said. "I want a smaller break and, hopefully, I can roll over what I did in the Arizona Fall League into next year, so I don’t get off to that slow start.”
Blewett also developed a slider in bullpen sessions during the second half.
"I haven’t gotten it into games, too much . . . It’s a work in progress," Blewett said. "I’ve got to work on shortening it up and making it a little harder. Right now it’s about 80-83 (mph).”
Blewett has ranked among the Royals' Top 30 Prospects in each of his pro seasons despite never recording an ERA lower than 4.07.
"Have I had dominant years? Not really, but that shows room for improvement,” Blewett said.
Royals Go Back To The Rule 5 Well
The Royals doubled up on Rule 5 picks, taking Sam McWilliams and Chris Ellis, with the hope that one or both can duplicate the results of Brad Keller.
— The Royals selected 23-year-old righthander Sam McWilliams with the second pick in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft. He spent the majority of 2018 in the Rays system at Double-A Montgomery, where he recorded a 4.38 ERA, 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings and 1.40 WHIP in 137.2 innings.
— The Royals will bring two Rule 5 picks to big league camp for a second year in a row after purchasing the rights to 26-year-old righthander Chris Ellis from the Rangers after the draft. He finished the 2018 season at Triple-A Memphis in the Cardinals system and then made three starts in the Dominican League in which he didn't allow an earned run in 18 innings.