José Augusto Pett
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 6", Weight 200 lb.
José Pett drew attention in 1992 as the first man from Brazil to sign with a major-league organization. In his book Venezuelan Bust, Baseball Boom, author Milton Jamail described how the 16-year-old prospect "provoked a feeding frenzy among scouts." The Toronto Blue Jays, led by Pat Gillick, won the bidding with a bonus of $760,000 (tax-free because of an agreement between Brazil and Canada). It shattered the signing bonus record for a non-American amateur; Ramser Correa had signed for $127,500 in 1987.
Pett pitched for Brazil in the 1992 World Junior Championship. He projected as an excellent prospect, but he never made it past Triple-A; no Brazilian would make the majors until Yan Gomes, playing for the Blue Jays, in 2012. Baseball America listed Pett as baseball's #75 prospect going into 1993, 5th in the Jays chain, between Steve Karsay and Howard Battle. He was 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA for the GCL Blue Jays in 1993. The tall righty went 4-8 with a 3.66 ERA for the '94 Dunedin Blue Jays. Baseball America downgraded him to Toronto's #7 prospect, between Chris Carpenter and Edwin Hurtado. At AA at age 19, he posted a 7-8, 4.26 record with the Knoxville Smokies.
He was superb in the winter of 1995-1996 for the Cardenales de Lara (6-0, 2.30 ERA, .88 WHIP). He tied Mike Sirotka for 8th in the Venezuelan League in wins. Baseball America put him on their top-100 prospect list for the second time, this time at #93, between Gabe Alvarez and Preston Wilson. Among Toronto minor leaguers, he was #4, between Carpenter and José Silva. He had a rough summer, though, split between Knoxville (4-2, 4.09) and the Syracuse Chiefs (2-9, 5.83). He tied Ty Hartshorn for 4th in the Jays chain in losses, was second in hits allowed (171, behind Travis Baptist) and allowed the most runs (101, 3 ahead of Mike Romano).
The Blue Jays traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization with Craig Wilson, Brandon Cromer, Silva, Abraham Nunez and Mike Halperin for Orlando Merced, Dan Plesac and Carlos Garcia. He was unimpressive with the Carolina Mudcats (4-4, 3.51) and Calgary Cannons (0-3, 9.64) and his career was effectively over after that year, although he came back for one game in Class A with the Cleveland Indians' Mahoning Valley Scrappers in 2000.
He had gone 23-36 with a 4.52 ERA in 90 games (86 starts) in the minors. In 485 1/3 IP, he allowed 517 hits and 156 walks while striking out 282.