The Cincinnati Reds selected Samford outfielder Phillip Ervin with the No. 27 pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Thursday.
Ervin entered the 2013 season with some momentum, having been named the MVP of the Cape Cod League last summer and earning preseason All-American honors. The Leroy, Ala., native responded by hitting .337/.459/.597 with 11 home runs and 21 stolen bases in 55 games as a junior.
Scouts view Ervin as a good fielder with a strong arm, but his average speed which, along with his running back body type, may prohibit him from staying in center field. His best tool is his power, which is a result of his short, quick swing. "Ervin's has ridiculous bat speed," Matt Garrioch of Minor League Ball wrote. "He whips the bat through the zone creating plus power. He could be an average or above hitter as well but he hasn't shown the consistency you would want in a top of the draft player."
Despite his performance at the Cape, which saw him hit 11 home runs in just 38 games, Ervin has been knocked for playing against weak competition. Still, Ervin is seen as a high-floor offensive player with 20-20 potential.