Early Nineties Mets Pitcher: Julio Valera (1990)

Julio Enrique Valera was born on October 13th 1968 in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The six foot two right hander was signed out of San Sebastian high school in 1986.

Valera spent two years at A ball winning 15 games at Columbia in 1988. He won ten games (10-6) at AA Jackson the next year making it to AAA Tidewater by the end of the season. He went 10-10 with the '90 Tides second to Manny Hernandez in victories and posting one of the clubs top ERA's.

Valera got called up to the Mets squad in September 1990 debuting at Shea Stadium in a start against the San Francisco Giants. He went six innings earning a 6-5 win & keeping Bud Harrelson's Mets in first place by one game. In his next start the Pirates had taken over first place & they beat up Valera for five runs in the first two innings, he exited with the loss. In three appearances he was 1-1 with a 6.92 ERA.

In 1991 he went an identical 10-10 at AAA Tidewater, making two relief appearances on the Mets club in June. At the start of the 1992 season he was sent to the California Angels for Dick Schofield.

He made the Angels starting staff in 1992 going 8-11 with a 3.73 ERA at the bottom of a rotation that features Mark Langston (13-14) & veteran Bert Blyleven in his final season.

Valera pitched in 19 games the next season (3-6) then spent two years in the minors before getting signed by the Kansas City Royals in 1996. He went 3-2 pitching his final MLB season that year.

In a five year career, Valera was 15-20 with a 6.46 ERA, striking out 179 batters while walking 117 in 85 games (38 starts). Valera pitched in the minor leagues through 2001, for a total of 13 seasons overall. He was 77-91 with a 3.82 at that level.

Retirement: He went on to coach baseball in Puerto Rico.


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