The California League is supposed to be a hitter's league. Ben Lively's first half of the season has directly confronted that truism, and now the right-handed pitcher is the player with the most impressive first-half resume in the Class A Advanced circuit.
As such, it's no surprise that Lively was named Wednesday as the California League starting pitcher for the 2014 California/Carolina League All-Star Game to be played June 17 at Wilmington's Daniel S. Frawley Stadium.
Through 12 starts (74 innings) with Bakersfield, Lively is 9-1 with a league-leading 1.95 ERA. The Reds' No. 12 prospect also stands second in the Minor Leagues with 86 strikeouts and fourth with a 0.85 WHIP.
But on the prospect landscape, Lively doesn't have the biggest name on the Cal League contingent. That belongs to Astros top prospect and 2012 first overall pick Carlos Correa, who will come off the bench in the Class A Advanced showcase. The 19-year-old owns a .328/.399/.495 line with five homers, three triples, 13 doubles, 49 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 50 games with Lancaster.
He was beat out for the starting shortstop job by Dodgers top prospect Corey Seager, who leads the league with 21 doubles and ranks third in average (.335) and OPS (.960).
Lancaster second baseman Tony Kemp, who leads the Minors in hits (77) and runs (64), and Lake Elsinore outfielder Hunter Renfroe, who leads the league with 15 home runs, will add to an impressive Cal League lineup.
Here is the rest of the California League All-Star team:
2014 CALIFORNIA LEAGUE ALL-STARS
|Diego Goris||INF||Lake Elsinore||SD|
|Chris Jacobs*||INF||Rancho Cucamonga||LAD|
|Corey Seager*||INF||Rancho Cucamonga||LAD|
|Gabriel Guerrero*||OF/DH||High Desert||SEA|
|Hunter Renfroe*||OF||Lake Elsinore||SD|
|Austin Adams||RHP||Inland Empire||LAA|
|Trevor Gott||RHP||Lake Elsinore||SD|
|Steven Okert||LHP||San Jose||SF|
|Joe Ross||RHP||Lake Elsinore||SD|
|Nate Smith†||LHP||Inland Empire||LAA|
|Kurt Spomer†||RHP||Inland Empire||LAA|
|Denny Hocking||Manager||Inland Empire||LAA|
|Brenton Del Chairo||Hitting Coach||Inland Empire||LAA|
|Matt Wise||Pitching Coach||Inland Empire||LAA|
|Omar Uribe||Trainer||Inland Empire||LAA|