Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 62 of 286. Stay tuned.
Patrick O’Reilly Hovis is a 6’3″, 195 lb. right-handed pitcher from Gastonia, North Carolina. Born on October 27th, 1993, he was the ninth round pick of the Miami Marlins in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft, 266th off the board.
Hovis was chosen out of the University of North Carolina. In his only season of Division I ball, he went 9-1 with a 2.25 ERA, with 81 K’s in 64 innings. He held opponents to a 1.06 WHIP, with one start and 33 relief appearances. For his efforts, he was named to the ACC All-Conference Team as a reliever. Hovis signed with the Marlins for a $125,000 bonus.
Players chosen with the 266th overall pick have 13 who made it as far as the major leagues, led by Jackson Todd (1970, Chicago Cubs, 1.6 career WAR), Tommy La Stella (2011, Atlanta Braves, 1.1 WAR), and Aaron Barrett (2010, Washington Nationals, 0.4 WAR). Hovis would love to be the 14th.
Hovis made his first professional appearance on opening day for the Batavia Muckdogs in 2016, the Marlins short-season-A affiliate in the New York-Penn League. He started and threw five innings of one-hit ball, striking out two and earning no-decision in a 3-0 loss to the Auburn Doubledays. It would be a recurrent theme for the Muckdogs that season, as they went on to a 22-53 record. Hovis led the team with 39 strikeouts, acquired in 47 innings. He went 2-4 in 17 appearances, including seven starts, and earned a 1.426 WHIP and a 5.36 ERA. On July 10th, he earned the 6-5 win against the Vermont Lake Monsters, striking out seven in five innings while allowing one run on two hits.
In 2017, Hovis spent the season at the single-A level with the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League. He posted a 2-0 record in 22 trips out of the pen, with a 3.38 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched. He also held batters to 7.06 H/9 and a 1.06 WHIP. On June 27th, in an 8-3 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws, Hovis struck out three over two perfect innings.
Hovis made 37 trips out of the bullpen in 2018, for three different Marlins affiliates. After striking out nine in five innings over three games for the Grasshoppers, the Marlins promoted him to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League.
Hovis excelled at the high-A level, striking out 28 in 21 innings and allowing an opposing slashline of .211/.268/.276 over 82 plate appearances. He went 2-1 with a 3.43 ERA over that time, with a 1.125 WHIP.
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Hovis’ excellent work prompted Marlins management to push him up another level, to the double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League. Hovis was less impressive there, going 0-2 with a 6.14 ERA in 22 frames. Although he did whiff 21, he also pitched to a lousy 1.864 WHIP. His most impressive appearance with the Shrimp was probably on July 31st, when he struck out three over four scoreless innings in a 9-6 loss to the Mobile BayBears.
Shipped back to Jupiter to close the season, Hovis appeared in six more games in high-A. Currently still listed as part of the Hammerheads, Hovis is 25th on the Marlins depth chart for right-handed relievers (on baseball-reference.com). He looks to move up a little on that list as the Hot Stove heats up this offseason. Expect him to begin the season with the Jumbo Shrimp.
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