Phillip Ervin began his 2013 season playing outfield at Samford in his junior year of college. After a strong season the Cincinnati Reds took him 27th overall in the draft and sent him to Billings to play for the Mustangs.
Ervin would get his professional career started on June 20th at home against the Great Falls Voyagers with a 1-3 effort that included a walk, steal, hit-by-pitch, RBI and a run while starting in right field. He followed that game up with 2-hit games in five of the next six games that included two home runs and a triple before his 7-game hit streak to start his career came to an end on the 29th. He would finish the short month with a .353/.476/.588 line, covering 42 plate appearances with 7 RBI, 7 walks, 7 strikeouts and 3 steals. He showed off good plate discipline with a 16.7% walk and strikeout rate.
July got off to a good start with a 3-4 effort with two steals against the Missoula Osprey in game 1 of a double header. He went through a bit of a slump from the 5th through the 9th, going just 1-15 with a walk. Over the next seven games he would have four doubles, 5 walks, 6 RBI and score 7 runs. Beginning on the 20th against Orem and going through the 26th against Helena, Ervin would go 14-29 (.483) with 4 doubles, 5 home runs, walk 3 times, score 11 times and drive in 12 runs. After going hitless on the 27th he would go 2-4 with a home run, 2 RBI and 2 runs on the 29th. The Reds promoted the outfielder to Dayton for the final two games of the month where he would go a combined 2-7 with a walk and an RBI. For the month of July he would finish with a .314/.391/.578 line in 115 plate appearances to go with 9 doubles, 6 home runs, 23 RBI, 9 steals, 23 runs scored, 11 walks and 19 strikeouts. His walk rate was solid at 9.5% and his strikeout rate remained the same at 16.5%.
August began with back to back hitless games against Bowling Green as he went 0-5 with 3 walks between the two games. Over the next three games Ervin went 7-12 with a double, 2 walks, 3 runs and an RBI. He would play his final two games on the 9th and 10th of the month, going 5-9 with a double, HR, 2 runs and 4 RBI. He was placed on the disabled list on the 16th after resting it for a few days didn’t improve the injury. He finished out the month with a .361/.465/.500 line over 43 plate appearances to go along with 7 walks and 8 strikeouts. His walk rate was very high, although in a limited sample size, at 16.3% and his strikeout rate remained solid at 18.6%.
It would be tough to ask for a better debut than the one that Phillip Ervin had in 2013. He hit a combined .331/.425/.564 with strong plate discipline and was excellent on the base paths. He played in both center and right field for both Dayton and for Billings. His season came to a premature end with the wrist sprain, but the debut can’t be viewed as anything but a success. With as polished as his bat seems, he could really take off next season and vault through the system.
For more player season review, you can see the entire list here.