Atlanta Braves add to pitching depth and sign Scott Blewett to minor league deal

Atlanta Braves sign  reliever Scott Blewett to a Minor League deal and assign him to Gwinnett,
Atlanta Braves sign reliever Scott Blewett to a Minor League deal and assign him to Gwinnett, / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Late Thursday night, the Atlanta Braves announced the signing of righty Scott Blewett to a minor league deal and assigned 27-year-old righty to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Blewett is the second former Royal acquired by the Atlanta Braves since Wednesday. Kansas City selected Blewett out of Charles W. Baker HS (Baldwinsville, NY) in the second round of the 2014 Rule 4 Amateur Draft and gave him $1.8M to sign his name.

Baseball America’s draft report (subscription required) noted that at 6-foot-6, 213-pounds, the young righty already had a “major league body with strength throughout his extra-large frame.”

When drafted, Blewett featured an 89-92 mph fastball that touched 94 and played up because of his extension, and “riding life through the zone,” and a potentially plus curve.

Moving through the system

BA ranked Blewett among the top ten in a thin farm system from 2014 through 2018, He wasn’t a fast-burner, struggling at all levels until the end of the 2018 campaign, but the Royals liked him enough to add him to the 40-man roster.

Entering 2019, BA ranked 19th among Royals’ prospects. His fastball sat consistently 92-96 with above-average command out of a “powerful, high three-quarter delivery,” backed up by a dependable 10-4 curve and a still developing changeup.

Major League Cup of Coffee

Blewett made two appearances in 2020, then slipped to number 25 on the Royals list entering 2021, and he’d added 30 pounds leading BA to refer to him as “bulky.” He added a sinker and a mid-80s slider in his, so far, unsuccessful search for a third pitch.

He had three short outings in relief for the Royals in 2021 and pitched well, but in 23 starts for AAA Omaha, he pitched to a 6.39 ERA. The Royals nontendered him at the end of the season.

Blewett signed with the White Sox in 2022 but finished the year on the development list after pitching to a 5.09 ERA for AA Birmingham, and the Sox nontendered him when the season ended.

Atlanta Braves Move Him to the Pen?

Blewett turns 27 in two weeks and is a long way down the depth chart. While the Braves may continue to use him as a starter, I believe Atlanta follows Kansas City's lead and moves him to the bullpen, where he can rely on two pitches and maximize his velocity.

The Royals made that move at the end of 2021, where he appeared in 15 games – 12 AAA and three Major League – pitching to a 5.11 ERA, allowing 14 runs in 24,2 IP, but seven of those runs came in two outings.

  • On September 15, Toledo hit four home solo runs accounting for all of their scoring in his 2.1 IP, and
  • The Iowa Cubs tagged him for three runs n five hits, including a homer, on September 29. 

In the remaining 20.1 innings over 13 games, he pitched to a 3.10 ERA while striking out 19. Maybe I’m crazy, but he looks like a middle reliever to me.

That’s a Wrap

Unlike the power reliever the Atlanta Braves announced yesterday - Richard Lovelady – Blewett looks like a work in progress, but one who could move quickly as a reliever.

Despite an unfortunate last name for pitchers, I don’t think Scott’s blown it yet. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun. I’ll go to rehab now and let my PT punish me.