The Cincinnati Reds first round selection (#27 overall): Phillip Ervin - Outfield - Samford

Ervin is a short, but athletic outfielder who has played center and left field in college. He is an above-average to plus speed guy who could play all three outfield positions depending on the team needs. Offensively he has above-average power potential and scouts love his swing. If you watch the video, you can see how short and quick it is to the ball.

More to come soon.


2011 213 79 15 2 4 41 25 28 7 1 .371 .440 .516
2012 260 85 18 1 10 52 23 39 16 5 .327 .406 .519
2013 196 66 14 2 11 40 39 25 21 2 .337 .459 .597


33 Responses

  1. Todd

    Love the picks tonight! Full confidence in Buckley and Uncle Walt! Doug, how singable is Kevin Franklin?

  2. Todd

    Love the picks tonight! Full confidence in Buckley and Uncle Walt! Doug, how signable is Kevin Franklin?

    • Doug Gray

      As far as I have seen, he is considered signable. Baseball America saw him as signable as a 4th-5th round pick.

  3. The Duke

    His upside seems like an ideal #2 hitter for this team. Right handed, good plate discipline, a swing made for high contact rates, some decent pop, and he might be able to stick in CF, but has the arm for RF if need be.

    Is Samford in the CWS? Is he healthy? Could we see Ervin signed and in Dayton in the next couple of weeks? That could be a 3 first round pick OF with Winker/Ervin/Gelalich, albeit two of of them are supplemental first rounders.

    • Doug Gray

      Samford isn’t in the CWS. Not sure we see him in Dayton. Their outfield is already awfully crowded with Winker/Gelalich/Amaral/Arias. I guess that perhaps Amaral could head to Billings as he isn’t hitting well right now.

      • The Duke

        After seeing him live, Amaral has a whiff of org filler about him. I wouldn’t hesitate to send him down to get Ervin playing time in A ball over rookie ball, assuming they think he is ready for it.

      • RobL

        You are right, he is filler. He has no power and will not have any. Until he starts spraying balls all over the field, you send him were you need to.

  4. Keith

    He struck out once in 213 ABs in 2011? Awesome. That alone sold me on it.

  5. Dan

    Sounds like a nice player, but it’s hard to feel excited about him as a 1st round pick. Frankly, he sounds a lot like Dave Sappelt to me. Thoughts?

    • doctor

      Dan – I also had similiar thought that the Reds drafted another Sappelt/Heisey clone just from reading a few reports. Hopefully, he turns out to be a better than that for the Reds club in 2-3 years.

      • mdccclxix

        He has better power, speed and defense than Sappelt and probably a better hit tool than Heisey.

      • Dan

        Looks to me like Sappelt’s and Ervin’s college numbers are pretty similar, in southern mid-major conferences. Sappelt had more power, Ervin had a better OBP.

        Sappelt (college) – .344/.397/.572, 33 HR in 831 PA

        Ervin (college) – .344/.433/.541, 25 HR in 784 PA

        I mean, I don’t know how much that really means… but they look pretty darn similar to me. (Other than the Cape Cod numbers, I guess.) But Sappelt went in the 9th round.

      • The Duke

        Scouting is why. Taking numbers and disregarding scouting is as bad or worse than a scout disregarding statistical analysis.

      • Kindell

        Ervin projects much better than Sappelt ever did. The first area you can tell that in is the bat speed he produces through the zone. He has also shown that he can hit with wooden bats and I think he will get stronger and be a 25 HR guy and above average corner outfielder.

    • Doug Gray

      I can see the comparison, but for every grade you would give Sappelt’s tools, bump it up by at least one grade and you get the tools grades for Ervin. Sappelt may be an “Ervin-light” type of guy. The biggest difference though is in the power. Sappelt was a 40 guy. Ervin might be a 55 guy. That really plays well in center.

  6. Kevin

    He was MVP of the Cape Cod league last year (wood bats) where he hit 11 homers in 147 PA including this one:

    There’s a lot to like here. If he was 2 inches taller and played at USC he wouldn’t have dropped to 27th.

  7. sultan of swaff

    Man, what long arms. The mock drafts had him going a bit sooner, so maybe he fell to the Reds. I do like his compact stroke, and combined with what appears to be good plate discipline, he should move relatively quickly thru the system. Is he a first rounder? Well, if LaMarre is a 2nd rounder, then the answer is yes.

    Anyone else notice how much he runs just like Jackie Robinson?

  8. Kevin Davis


    Find it a little surprising that Chris Buckley says the Reds project him as a center fielder. What does that say about Hamilton ? If Ervin is coming from college you would project him to probably rise faster through the system than a high school player.

    • The Duke

      It says you can never have too much talent up the middle. If Hamilton is an all-star and the corners are blocked, and Ervin looks like a stud, then you trade for something you need. In the end, get as much talent as possible, even if it is “blocked”.

    • RobL

      Even as a fast riser, his earliest most optimistic eta would be mid 2015. A lot of things can happen between now and then. Plus, there are two other outfield spots if both guys prove capable.

      This also falls under adding value to your franchise. Say Hamilton is an all-star in cf, Winker is mashing in left, and Bruce has finally put everything together and has signed another extension, while Ervin is a centerfielder tearing up AAA. The Reds then have a good trade piece to add to an area of need on the big league team. Having a lot of good players is a good thing. Plus, a lot can happen between now and then.

      • Kindell

        I still think they view him as a corner outfielder long term. He is a great athlete whose body can add muscle and still not lose athleticism. He has great bad speed and raw power, some added strength will allow him to project as a corner outfielder. Assuming that Hamilton sticks at center field, you know have a replacement plan for when Ludwick’s contract is up. Hamilton, Ervin, Bruce, in the outfield and Winker on the rise. I really like how the outfield is starting to stack up. I really hope we find some quality infield prospects in the rest of this draft. We have some nice prospects in OF and in pitching at the top. We need to get some infield guys and some catchers.

  9. Cam

    Sappelt played with the old juiced college bats. Ervin played with the new bbcor which have way less pop, so the # comparison is apples to oranges.

    • Guy

      That’s an excellent point. Same reason Kris Bryant went two. Hit 31 HR, which wouldn’t have been near as compelling with the old bats.

    • The Duke

      Good point, I completely forgot about the newer bats. Ervin walks more too.

  10. CoachD178

    Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal were blocked too. So the Reds flipped them for Mat Latos. You take the best players and you trade your surplus for MLB needs. If they felt these kids were the most talented guys on the board take them, regardless of position. I really like Ervin’s swing, really fast hands and can generate some power.

    • Kevin

      And thankfully they did trade Grandal. There’s a slim chance he’ll be banned for life. But MLBPA probably will put a big fight and that won’t happen. Pretty effective argument that it’s a case of Triple Jeopardy.

      Still, I’m glad the Reds rid themselves of U of Miami products. Frankly, I’m now automatically skeptical of any player that came out of Miami in the past decade.

      • Ryan

        Thats unfair to alot of players. Guys like Alonso went there for obvious geographical reasons.

  11. Ryan

    I really like this pick. Sounds as though he has the complete package with no major flaws(like low contact rate/ high strikeout rate). Seems like a safe pick but also one with potential upside. Wouldn’t surprise me(if they sign him quickly) if he began in Dayton(would def have to go to a game or 2 with 3 first rounders on the squad). Should be fun to watch him progress though the system regardless though.

    • Doug Gray

      They currently have four first rounders on the Dragons if we want to cheat and count supplemental guys. Travieso/Stephenson/Winker/Gelalich

  12. Ryan

    I knew someone would go there lol. That team could be scary good once Langfield gets healthy and Ervin gets the call.