The Reds picked Samford University center fielder Phillip Ervin with the 27th overall pick in the first round of Thursday night’s Major League Baseball Draft.
The 20-year-old native of Alabama hit .337 with a .459 on-base percentage and .597 slugging percentage for the Bulldogs, with 11 home runs and 21 stolen bases. Baseball America ranked him as the third-best center fielder in the draft, calling him “one of the sureest bets among college outfielders in the draft class.”
Ervin hits and throws right-handed and is 5-foot-10, 205 pounds.
“I love the makeup of this guy, he’s a winning baseball player,” said John Hart on the MLB Network telecast. Hart was formally the Indians general manager.
Ervin is the first position player the Reds have picked with their first overall pick since taking Yasmani Grandal in the first round of the 2010 draft. He’s the first outfielder the team’s taken with its first pick since Drew Stubbs in 2006.
Ervin won MVP honors at the Cape Cod League last summer. In the wooden bat league, Erwin played for the Harwich Mariners and hit .323 with 11 home runs and 31 RBI. He also had 10 stolen bases in 12 attempts