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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ben Lively's excellent start to the season

Last week John Sickels did a quick profile on Reds prospect Ben Lively:
Cincinnati Reds pitching prospect Ben Lively is making mincemeat of the High-A California League. Last night he threw six shutout innings against Modesto, allowing one hit and one walk, fanning ten. The walk was the first free pass he's given up all year: through 23 innings over four starts, Lively has a 33/1 K/BB ratio. He's allowed eight hits total in those four starts, holding Cal League hitters to a .105 average.
Here's his FanGraphs page:

I'm no prospect expert, but here's what I said about Lively when I profiled Reds pitching prospects earlier this month:
Ben Lively ranks right with him (David Holmberg) on the prospect charts, but as a 2013 college draftee, he has only pitched 4 innings above rookie ball. Still, his performance last season was amazing. If he continues to dominate this year, I'd think that he could be promoted aggressively.
Well, he's certainly acquitting himself well in Bakersfield!  Sickels mentions that he has an unconventional delivery with a fair bit of deception.  I'm keen to see how it plays in higher AA, which he might be seeing by mid-season at this rate.

Update: Via Doug Gray, Ben Lively had ANOTHER amazing start today:
* Ben Lively threw 6 shutout innings with 7 strikeouts. 
Once again the story of the game was starting pitching as Ben Lively continues to just embarrass California League hitters as he lowered his ERA to 0.31 on the season while maintaining a 40-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
So, that's another 6 innings, 7 K's, no walks. Yowzah!