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|MoYo, Image- MLB.com|
Righty pitcher Mauricio Llovera
was signed by the Phillies in 2014 as an 18-year-old for a reported
$7500. Since then, Llovera has ascended at a steady pace through the
developmental ranks and could prove to be a considerable bargain at that
Llovera 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-11 225-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 that coaches call “MoYo” 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).
In 2018 with Class A Advanced Clearwater, the Venezuela native 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.
In 2019, Llovera opened the season with Double-A Reading. He notched a 3-4 record with a 4.55 ERA, a .243 BAA, a 1.35 WHIP along with a 9.9 K/9 mark in 14 games (12 starts). His season was cut short in mid-July, as Llovera suffered a reported forearm injury.
Last year, Llovera was a member of the Phillies' taxi squad, which served as the club's reserve players. He made his big league debut against the Mets in September and was touched for four earned runs in just one inning of work.
Llovera possesses a repertoire that includes a fastball which typically resides in the mid 90's and can get up to 97 MPH. His fastball features some movement that can tail up and in to right-handed hitters. He also touts a very good slider, a nice change up and a curve ball to keep the opposition guessing.
Control is not a concern for the 24-year-old, who keeps his offerings around the strike zone. The talented hurler has averaged 2.9 BB/9 in his minor league career to date.
A member of the Phillies' 40-man roster, Llovera has a shot at breaking camp as a reliever this year, but could open the season in the minors.
You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.