Blewett was optioned to Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday.
Blewett recorded a 4.79 ERA at Double-A Northwest Arkansas last season but will nevertheless earn a promotion. He showed good control, walking 7.5 percent of batters, but he didn't get enough whiffs, recording a strikeout rate of just 15.4 percent.
Blewett's contract was purchased from Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Tuesday, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Blewett, a second-round pick out of high school in 2014, was added to the team's 40-man roster in order to protect him from the upcoming Rule 5 draft. The 22-year-old posted a lackluster 4.79 ERA and 1.44 WHIP across 148.1 innings with the Naturals, though he looked solid in the Arizona Fall League, compiling a 2.49 ERA and 1.15 WHIP across six starts (25.1 innings).
Blewett was sent to minor-league camp Monday, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic Kansas City reports.
Blewett tossed three innings and gave up five runs on six hits and two walks in three spring training appearances. He figures to begin the regular season at either High-A Wilmington or Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Blewett posted a 4.07 ERA and 1.34 WHIP over 27 starts during his first season with High-A Wilmington in 2017.
The 21-year-old managed to trim his walk rate (3.1 BB/9) from 2016's campaign at Low-A Lexington, but Blewett's strikeout rate (7.6 K/9) also took a slight hit. At 6-foot-6, the right-hander's long delivery continues to be a work in progress. Blewett will probably require more incubation at Wilmington when 2018 opens, but a promotion to MiLB's higher levels next season is certainly possible.
Blewett said he adjusted his throwing posture which helped him find success late in last season's minor-league campaign, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo reports.
Blewett, the Royals' second-round pick in 2014, was drafted out of high school and spent his first two full seasons at Low-A Lexington (where he'll begin once again in 2017). The first year and a half didn't go well for Blewett, but things turned around late last year. Compared to the early portion of 2016, the right-hander lowered his ERA by more than a run during the second half of the season. He also increased his strikeout rate while lowering his WHIP. "I started to stay taller, using my height and not dropping down," the 20-year-old said. "That was big. I was throwing the ball downhill. My curveball was a lot sharper. Everything was just more efficient." Standing tall at 6-foot-6, Blewett is ranked by RotoWire as the club's No. 13 prospect and the fourth best pitcher in the Royals' system. He's obviously still a few years off the radar, but his development is certainly worth keeping an eye on in dynasty formats.
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|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2017||AFA-Wilmington Blue Rock||7||10||4.07||27||27||1||1||0||152.2||153||76||69||16||7||52||129|