Phil's World. Party Time. Excellent.
Phillip Ervin, a 1st round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in the 2013 draft, is an OF prospect you definitely want to become familiar with. A bat first toolshed, Ervin is one of the more well-rounded hitters from the 2013 draft. Let's take a close look at the newest Reds prospect.
The 5'11 190 lb. Ervin is not your prototypical righthanded power hitter, but with amazingly quick wrists and a short compact swing, he generates easy plus power with the ability to grow into more. He also has the ability with the short stroke to let balls travel deeper in the strike zone and be able to better identify pitches.
The interest here is in what the scouts say, and from a fantasy perspective, you should take notice:
60 Hit - As I mentioned, short stroke, good balance and ability to barrel balls
60 Power - Plus grade here as well stemming from the Alfonso Soriano wrists that allow the ball to travel deep in the zone
60 Speed - Underway, Ervin takes good routes, has 20-30 stolen base seasons ahead, and once he gets more professional experience, his OF in a corner would be considered outstanding while if in CF it would be a tick above average
60 Arm - Hit 90+ off the mound at Samford and would be a great strength in CF. If he ends up in a corner it puts more pressure on the bat continuing to develop
Ervin profiles safely as a corner OF, although there are people within the Reds organization who believe he is capable of handling CF, which would allow his 60 grade arm to really play up, and could make him an even more valuable player. In a 200 AB sample after signing, Ervin put up a stellar debut:
200 Abs / .331 AVG / 9 HR / 14 SB with a .425 OBP
Assuming he gets a Hi A assignment out of Spring Training, I would expect more of the same from Ervin and a midseason promotion to AA.
ETA: September 2015
Comps: A player like Ervin could have several outcomes. The three I would choose to represent the downside through the upside would reside in this order:
The ceiling would be represented by an Alex Rios type. Shane Victorino would be a safer, more likely outcome. The floor would be represented by someone like Alejandro de Aza, which is to say I am a believer in Phillip Ervin, both as a major leaguer, and as an excellent prospect.