|Mauricio Llovera with Lakewood in 2017, image- Jay Floyd|
The Venezuela native began his professional career in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2015, recording a 2-3 record with a 3.23 ERA and a .209 batting average against in 11 games (10 starts).
The following year, the five-foot-11 216-pounder was outstanding in the Gulf Coast League, sporting a 7-1 record with a 1.87 ERA, a .205 batting average against and a 9.5 K/9 mark in 11 games (10 starts). The win total was tops in the league. Additionally that season, Llovera allowed one or no runs in eight of his 10 starts.
Moving to Class A Lakewood in 2017, the man who is affectionately known as “MoYo” around these parts would tally a 2-4 record with a save, a 3.35 ERA, a .250 BAA and a 9.8 K/9 mark, splitting time as a starter and as a reliever in 30 appearances (10 starts). The move into relief seemed quite successful, as his ERA splits favored his shorter outings (4.31 ERA as a starter/2.13 ERA in relief).
Last season with Class A Advanced Clearwater, Llovera moved back to a full time starting role, posting an 8-7 record with a 3.72 ERA, a .221 BAA and a 10.2 K/9 mark through 23 games (22 starts).
He wrapped up his 2018 campaign with a string of six outstanding starts in which he notched a 5-0 record with a 0.96 ERA while striking out 48 batters in 37 2/3 innings.
Llovera possesses a repertoire that features a fastball which typically ranges from 94-96 mph and can touch higher. His fastball features some movement that can tail up and in to right-handed hitters. He also touts a very good slider and change up combination that keeps the opposition off balance.
Control is not a concern for Llovera, who stays around the zone. The talented hurler averages 2.8 BB/9 in his minor league career to date and he tossed just a pair of wild pitches in 121 innings last year.
The next step in progression for Llovera will be tackling the Double-A Eastern League this upcoming season. It remains to be seen if his future is as a starter or a reliever, but we should find out what the Phillies’ thoughts on that matter are with the role that the 22-year-old is in, for the Reading Fightins Phils, at the start of the 2019 season.
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