Daily Archives: December 31, 2014

More Ben Lively info

Thanks to Jim for putting up the post when the deal went down. Here is some more analysis and info on Lively.

MLB.com has already moved Lively to the Phillies section of their coverage and ranked him #8 overall. Heres what they have to say on his stuff:

None of Lively’s pitches jump off the page, but he does have four of them that he can throw for strikes. His fastball can touch 93-94 mph, and his slider shows signs of being a potential above-average pitch, as well. Lively mixes in his curve and changeup well to keep hitters guessing. All of his stuff plays up because of his unusual delivery in which his arm stays hidden, making it tough for hitters to pick up the ball.

In their league top 20s this year, Lively was ranked 16th in the Cal League and then 20th in the Southern League. Given that there are 10 teams in the CAL and 10 teams in the SOU, it means it is moderately difficult to make the list, and that he made both is promising. Here are some highlights from those BA writeups

CAL: Lively’s delivery features deception—his arm angle drops slightly and he throws across his body—helping his fastball get inon hitters. He’ll pound all quadrants of the strike zone with command of a 91-92 mph fastball that bumps 94.

SOU: Lively ranges from 88-92 mph and sits at about 90, often working up and over the plate, but batters struggle to square him up because they don’t see the ball until the last instant. He throws what one manager deemed an “invisible” fastball. Lively’s low-80s curveball can be an out pitch for him, for he executed it with more depth in 2014, and his slider and changeup grade as major league average. When scouts factor in plus control, they come away convinced Lively can be at least a durable No. 4 starter.

Here are video clips: one, two, and three.

BP ranked him #7 in the Reds system, giving him a future #3 SP profile. They also had him 88-92, with a plus slider and average change and curve. They note the biggest question mark is about his delivery and mechanics, and whether he will be able to repeat them well enough to be a consistent starting pitcher.

Nevertheless, to receive a potential MLB starter who will be worth a win or two a year at worst, for a guy who was not in the long term plans, its a nice get by the Phillies.

So, which piece is next to go?

Phillies Acquire Reds’ Lively

The long-awaited trade of Marlon Byrd has finally occured.  The Phillies sent Byrd and cash to the Cincinnati Reds for RHP Ben Lively.  The trade caps weeks of anticipation by Phillies’ fans who have been waiting for the team to turn their few marketable assets into young prospects.

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50

Lively was the Reds 4th round pick (#135) in 2013.  He pitched for Pensacola, the Reds AA affiliate in the Southern League.  He was ranked as the Reds #8 prospect by MLB.

Lively began the year as the Reds’ preseason #13 and received the 2014 Minor League Player of the Year Award for the Reds as voted by the Cincinnati chapter of the BBWAA.