MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Blewett's return earns mixed reviews

Blewett's return earns mixed reviews

No New York high school pitcher has gone in the first round since the Blue Jays picked Steve Karsay 22nd overall in 1990. Following an April 18 start in Florida, Baker High (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) right-hander Scott Blewett looked poised to end that drought.

Pitching against St. Joe's (Brooklyn) in front of a bevy of scouts at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Blewett struck out 13 in six innings of two-hit ball. More important, he showcased a fastball that creeped into the mid-90s and a tight curveball.

But Blewett hasn't been as sharp since. He returned to New York and made two more starts before coming down with a minor shoulder strain. He took three weeks off, then returned to the mound Saturday in what would be his final appearance of the season, a 2-1 loss to Auburn High in a state 2-A sectional playoff semifinal.

Blewett hit 95 mph against the first batter of the game, but his velocity steadlily declined over four scoreless innings. His command wasn't sharp, somewhat understandable because of his layoff, and he only threw a handful of curveballs. After striking out 50 batters in his first 26 innings of the season, he fanned just four on Saturday.

"He threw 71 pitches and was laboring hard," an area scout said. "We saw velocity early in the first inning, but it was up and flat. What I was concerned with was arm strength, and he showed that. He had two or three 93s and 94s, and one 95. But they were all up in the leadoff hitter's eyes and he fouled off all of them. In the second inning he was 90-91, in the third he was 88-89 and in the fourth he was down a little more. His last three pitches were 85, 84, 83."

Blewett's upside remains immense, so he still should factor into the early rounds of the Draft, if not the first. He has a big league body at 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds, and he has more athleticism and a sounder delivery than most teenagers his size. The St. John's recruit made steady progress on the showcase circuit last summer, peaking at Perfect Game's World Wood Bat Association World Championship in October, where his fastball peaked at 96 mph.

The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. ET on June 6.

MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.