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 –
- J.P. Crawford
- Jorge Alfaro
- Mickey Moniak
- Roman Quinn
- Nick Williams
- Franklyn Kilome
- Sixto Sanchez
- Rhys Hoskins
- Dylan Cozens
- “C” Randolph
- Scott Kingery
- Kevin Gowdy
- Harold Arauz
- Andrew Knapp
- Jhailyn Ortiz
- Adonis Medina
- Mark Appel
- Nick Pivetta
- Ben Lively