Phillip Ervin

Position: LF
Level: Triple-A
Affiliate: Louisville Bats
League: International League
Born: 07/15/1992 (Age: 30)
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 207
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: 1st Rd. (#27 overall), 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft (CIN)

Prospect Spotlight

Ervin is a former first-rounder from the 2013 MLB Draft with a strong, athletic body and fully developed frame. From a wide-based, squared-up stance, Ervin is a groove swinger who has some strength, loft, and leverage, but who doesn’t make many adjustments and consistently looks to pull, and to cheat on the fastball middle-in. His well-below-average hitting shows that he can be pitched to, especially to the outside margins of the plate, and his numbers are trending down in a big way, from .239/.362/.399 to at Double-A Pensacola last year, to his present .220/.273/.340 slash line through 162 plate appearances with Louisville. He’s also striking out 28% of the time in 2017, after striking out 21% in 2016. So overall, the hit tool project to be below average, with limited ability to make adjustments, and with what appears to be below-average instincts tapered a bit by average power. He does show above-average run times (4.25 seconds home-to-first), and the speed plays slightly better underway, as he had trouble getting out of the box because he ties himself up.

On defense, he is a steady-average defender in left field with average fielding actions and the ability to go side-to-side with average range and fringe-average arm strength. In my limited one-game look seeing him play center field, he would not project as an OF-5 player capable of holding the position for more than a couple of weeks, showing below-average reads and jumps and catching balls that he could get to, but he would be a risky player have out in center field for any extended period of time.

To get to the big leagues, Ervin will need to prove that he can handle the ability to play center field, because a Role 35 OF-4 corner-outfielder role seems to be his ceiling right now, but even that’s a high-risk ceiling. A more realistic role is that of a Role 30 OF-4 – an emergency call-up left fielder with average power who is limited to left field because his arm strength could be exposed in right field.