Llovera looks like a bargain now after signing for less than $10,000 out of Venezuela in 2014. He started the season in the bullpen for Lakewood but earned his way into the rotation as 2017 progressed. He ultimately profiles as a bullpen piece, where his iffy control and command won’t hinder the effectiveness of loud raw stuff.
Short and very muscular at 5’11 and 200 pounds, the strong-armed righty throws exclusively from the stretch with significant effort in his delivery. He lands closed and works around his body, falling off-line after release with significant recoil through a fast three-quarters arm-stroke. His fastball reaches the upper 90’s and touched as high as 97 mph in my backfields look, sitting in the 94-to-95 range with heavy arm-side life. His mechanics are meant to generate velocity, and there isn’t much ability to locate within the zone. His mid-80’s slider shows flashes of being a Major League offering with sharp bite and two-plane depth at its best, though he drops under it often and is inconsistent executing his breaking ball. Most guys with the power-stuff profile operate with just two firm, crude pitches, so it was enthusing to see Llovera trust his arm speed and pull the string on a handful of effective 85-to-88 changeups to left-handed hitters. Llovera intrigues scouts with his lively plus fastball and flashes of secondary stuff. He will need to get more consistent with his strike throwing and pitch execution to really establish himself as a big league bullpen prospect. He’s in the “extreme risk” category, and far from a sure thing, but his ceiling could be that of a middle-relief piece with strikeout ability.