Ben Lively has never wowed scouts with his raw stuff, but the right-hander has quietly put together a solid college career at the University of Central Florida and got selected as the 135th overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft by the Reds.
"I was pumped," Lively said. "I had a couple teams that were on the lines, and my advisor told me I was going to be picked in about two seconds. It popped up, and I was so excited."
Lively isn't afraid to attack hitters with his four-pitch arsenal, even though he doesn't feature a plus pitch.
His fastball sits in the low-90s and his slider is his best secondary offering. Listed at 6-foot-4, 211 pounds, Lively has ideal size for a righty. He commands all four of his pitches well and his delivery creates some deception.
As a junior this spring, Lively went 7-5 with a team-best 2.04 ERA over 15 starts at UCF, striking out 101 batters in 106 innings. It was a solid follow-up to Lively's impressive sophomore campaign, during which he went 9-2 with a 3.00 ERA and tallied 84 whiffs in just 81 innings.
Lively has also performed well in a few high-profile matchups this season, beating Jacksonville's Chris Anderson and Marshall's Aaron Blair.
Moving forward, Lively said he has one main focus as he prepares for the next level.
"Just get a little bit stronger," Lively said. "I threw a lot more strikes this year than I have in the past, so I feel good about that. I just want to keep getting stronger."
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.