Jan. 23, 2014
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – With the 2014 major league season rapidly approaching, organizational prospect rankings are being released, and former Knight Ben Lively has seen his name listed as a top 10 prospect in the Cincinnati Reds organization by numerous outlets.
Lively, who wrapped up his three-year career at UCF with the fourth-lowest ERA in school history (3.06) while also ranking seventh all-time with 21 wins, began his professional career for the Reds last season with the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer Rookie League. He made 12 starts and struck out 49 in 37 innings while pitching on a restricted innings limit. Late in the year, Lively was promoted to Class A Dayton, where he struck out seven in his lone start.
Former ESPN.com columnist and current editor of the Minor League Ball blog, John Sickels, ranked Lively as the seventh-best prospect for the Reds and had this to say about young righty.
“Fourth round pick from Central Florida made huge gains with his command over the last year; dominated college as well as the Pioneer League,” Sickles wrote. “Throws strikes with low-90s fastball, curve, slider, changeup. Potential fourth starter and perhaps more; I like him. Grade B-.“
Mike Rosenbaum of Prospect Pipeline called Lively the No. 10 prospect in the Reds organization and offered the following:
“Lively, a 6’4”, 190-pound right-hander, has a strong, durable frame built for eating innings; lots of deception in his delivery but it comes at the cost of effort; doesn’t give opposing hitters a good look at the ball; lacks a true plus offering but compensates with a mature four-pitch mix; fastball registers in the 90-95 mph range with late sink and run; has a feel for changing speeds with average changeup and curveball; slider has some swing-and-miss potential with tight spin and diving action off the plate.”
Baseball America listed Lively as its ninth-rated prospect for Cincinnati and called him the 12th best player overall in the entire Reds organization of players aged 25 and under.