Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #20

Ben Lively was your selection as the #19 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.  Lively received 87 of 289 votes (30%) to achieve a slim, plurality victory over Alberto Tirado (85 votes, 29%).  The two vote difference was the closest vote this year, tighter than Franklyn Kilome’s 3-vote victory over Sixto Sanchez for #6.

Ben Lively was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 26th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft from Gulf Breeze High School and decided to attend college.  He was drafted again by the Cincinnati Reds in the 4th round of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft out of the University of Central Florida.

Lively spent most of his first season as a professional in Rookie ball.  He went 0-3 in 12 starts but posted a 0.73 ERA.  He had a BB/9 of 2.9 and a K/9 of 11.9.  He made a one game cameo start in full-season A and lost, but gave up one earned run in 4.0 innings and struck out seven and walked one.

In 2014, Lively made the jump to Advanced A and continued to have success.  He went 1-1 in 13 starts while posting a 2.28 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 10.2 K/9.  A mid-season promotion to AA led to a 3-6 record in 13 starts with a 3.88 ERA.  He struggled to 4.9 BB/9 but still struck out 9.5 per 9.0 innings.

On December 31, 2014, Lively was traded by the Reds to the Phillies for LF Marlon Byrd and cash.

As a 23-year old, Lively spent the entire 2015 season in AA Reading, a venue that can be tough on pitchers.  Lively went 8-7 with a 4.13 ERA.  His control was better, he had a 2.8 BB/9, but he also posted a career low 7.0 K/9.

Lively exorcised any Eastern League demons he may have had with a 7-0 record in 9 starts to start the 2016 season.  His ERA was 1.87.  His walk rate dropped some more to 2.5 BB/9, and his K/9 rose to 8.3 per nine innings.

Lively continued to pitch well in AAA Lehigh Valley.  He made 19 starts, posted an 11-5 record, and had an ERA of 3.06.  His control improved again as he issued just 2.1 walks per nine innings.  But his strike outs dipped to 6.9 per nine innings.

Lively was named the International League Pitcher of the Week, twice in 2016.  In a 3-game stretch from August 23rd – September 2nd that culminated in a playoff appearance clinching win, Lively went 3-0 in 17.0 innings, allowing 1 earned run, 3 hits, walking 1, and striking out 18.

With his 18 combined wins between two levels, Lively became the first minor league pitcher 18 games in a season since Jhoulys Chacin in 2008.

Lively has averaged over 150 innings pitched over the past 3 seasons – 151.0 in 2014, 143.2 in 2015, and 170.2 in 2016.

Lively throws a fastball, slider, change up, and curve ball.  His fastball was 89-92, touching 93 mph mid-season in 2016.  I had him at 90-92 in the spring of 2015.

Next up is your selection for the #20 prospect in the organization.


Poll to date –

  1. J.P. Crawford
  2. Jorge Alfaro
  3. Mickey Moniak
  4. Roman Quinn
  5. Nick Williams
  6. Franklyn Kilome
  7. Sixto Sanchez
  8. Rhys Hoskins
  9. Dylan Cozens
  10. “C” Randolph
  11. Scott Kingery
  12. Kevin Gowdy
  13. Harold Arauz
  14. Andrew Knapp
  15. Jhailyn Ortiz
  16. Adonis Medina
  17. Mark Appel
  18. Nick Pivetta
  19. Ben Lively

26 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #20

  1. I went with Tirado narrowly over Eshelman. By the way, Drew Anderson should definitely be on the list. The numbers are good and the scouting reports are very strong. You have to have a lot going for you to be put on the 40 man when you’re a 22 year-old in A ball. I’m not sure why nobody is paying attention to him here, but I would have him in the group after Tirado, Garcia and Eshelman. If you want a sleeper with big upside, Anderson is a guy to keep on your radar.

    1. Drew Anderson (78) is part of the next (and last) group of additions with Mitch Waldiing (79), Lucas Williams (72), Kyle Martin (63), Chace Numata (63), and Kyle Young (63). The timing of a prospect’s entering the poll was determined by the numbe r of votes received in the Additional Prospects Poll. Total votes for the next six are shown in parenthesis above. I like Anderson, too. Even missing a year he was younger than league average for both pitchers (-1.1 year) and position players (-0.7 year) in the FSL and pitched well there.

    2. Anderson is a guy to keep an eye on, but something to remember is that (I believe) he made all of his starts last year on at least 5 days rest because of Clearwater’s 6-man rotation. It’ll be interesting to see how he holds up and if he can maintain his velocity if/when he gets on a more demanding schedule.

      1. Anderson’s first Clearwater start was a combined no-hitter with Will Morris and Victor Arano. Anderson was lifted after 4.0 innings because of a 40+ minute rain delay. He made his next start 5 days later, and thereafter on the 6th or 7th day depending on the weather. Summer is our rainy season, however usually in early afternoon without affecting games. Last season we had an unusually high number of rain outs and postponements (five after August 6th leading to 3 double headers). In addition to the rest between starts, another concern may be that he only entered the 6th inning twice, and finished the 6th inning just once. Another concern might be his pitch count which undoubtedly led to several of his early exits. I like Anderson. I’m not bringing these up as criticism but just concerns about an arm coming off an injury and surgery.

  2. I went with Stobbe here. On my list he breaks up a long string of pitchers from #13 to #21. I think he’s a solid player who has an eon to go before he’s close to the majors. My next two picks after him are El Garcia and Eshelman. Tirado slid into my #24 slot. He offered a lot of excitement but he started last year with people thinking a top reliever in AA or above to start and possible ML in September. He falls all the way to A ball and they try him as a starter. Then he goes back to his wild streak in the winter leagues. I think he has a huge upside with a low probability of hitting that. His downside, with a much higher probability, is selling beers in the stands.

  3. Tirado, Elniery, Pinto, Grullon, Brito, Stobbe, Seranthony. When do we start voting for the bad prospects? 🙂 never

  4. I’m not ready to vote for him yet, but I wish there was more love for Viza.

    He was one of the youngest starters in AA last season–the youngest?–and held his own. The organization obviously likes him, as they continually move him up. Even when he was 19 at Lakewood and they trotted him to lose 17 games, the organization has been challenged him.

    He’s more of a finesse guy than a power pitcher, and there’s a good chance he’ll get rocked the closer he gets to The Show, but he certainly merits consideration on our list. I have him below Tirado, Eshelman and Garcia, but not too much further below.

    1. I like Viza, but I like Anderson more. He was lights out in Clearwater with tons of Ks. He’s done really well considering he missed so much time with an injury. He could catch up quickly this year.

      1. Fansgraph Eric Longenhagen seems to be also very high on Viza, I gather from yesterday’s chat room.
        If Viza had entered college he would have been entering his senior year, or he could have possibly been drafted this past 2016 Rule 4.

  5. Pinto is the next in line for me. Most might think that Pinto is my favorite, but he’s not. I profile him as a shutdown RP that can pitch multiple innings, with my main concern is his physical size. Pinto has 2 above ave pitches – mid 90s FB and a sharp CU. Pinto was asked to develop his SL to be viable as SP long term — thus, we didn’t see a very good stat line especially pitching in EL. I can reasonably see Pinto as another version of Edubray Ramos.

    Pinto > Garcia (and Eshelman) = Pinto has proximity, higher floor and better stuff for now
    Pinto > Tirado = Pinto has proximity, less risk profile

    16 Pinto
    17 Lively (PP #19)
    18 Elniery Garcia
    19 Stobbe
    20 Ortiz (PP #15)
    21 Tirado
    22 Eshelman
    23 Appel
    24 Anderson
    25 Canelo

    Agree with Catch about Drew Anderson. He is another high floor, high ceiling prospect with stuff that can dominate.

    1. When I read your posts, I keep thinking I am in 10th grade math class again with the “” and “=” symbols. I keep thinking it’s a word problem: If Pinto > Eshelmen, and Eshelmen is > Tirado, then Pinto is > Tirado.

      1. @catch – no worries, you’re cool. sometimes i post using my phone or ipad and I type my thumb. there are times i hope that we that’s an option to edit a post so i can fixed some of the grammatical errors, etc in my post.

        1. @8mark – if i can, I will personally choice WestCoastPhan – so Ben will become Blake Lively, Drew becomes Pamela Anderson, Elniery becomes Andy Garcia, etc. This will be a good marketing tool for the farm to attract more fans inside the ballpark.

        2. KK et al, I’m sorry that you can not edit your comments. Since I can edit my comments I just assumed that everyone could edit their own comments. I checked to see if there was a setting I could activate to allow you to edit your comments, but WordPress documentation prohibits it. I once considered editing for grammar, but decided against it. Aside from being presumptuous on my part, just editing the misuse of “then” and “than” would become a career.

    1. I’m with Elneiry here also although I have Tirado and Pinto next so they’re all close. I agree with the comments above on Anderson. The Phils obviously like him and they must think other teams like him also, adding him to the 40. There are lots of starting pitchers, it will be fun to see how it all sorts out with rotation spots.

    2. went with him too. next group for me would be stobe, tocci, pujols then tirado but it looks like tirado will be selected this round.

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