The 2016 season got out to a very strong start for Phillip Ervin. He was assigned to the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos and in his first game of the year he went 2-4 with a double and a triple. Over the next week though he went into a big slump, going just 2-21 (.095) with both of those hits coming in a game on April 11th. on the 16th and 17 he seemed to be turning things around, going 1-3 with a double and then 4-4. It didn’t last though as he entered another prolonged slump, going 1-26 over the next week (.042). The final week of April was about as hot as his slumps were cold, hitting .545/.657/1.273 to finish out the month with a .239/.363/.433 line. It was very inconsistent, but overall it was a good month in terms of getting on base and providing a little bit of pop. He also stole eight bases in eight chances.
The first week was a little bit of a weird mix. He struggled to find the hits, going 3-17 (.176), but walked three times and was hit by another pitch (.333 OBP) and he showed off good power. It was more of the same over the next two weeks where the outfielder went 8-36 (.22), but had four walks with just eight strikeouts and added four extra-base hits. The final seven games of the month were a struggle of sorts. The average was up, at .250, and he drew five walks to boost the on-base percentage, but he also slugged .286. Much like April, he struggled to hit for average, but carried a good on-base percentage with a .340 mark and his power was solid. He also added in 11 more steals in 13 chances.
June started out well. In the first seven games of the month, Phillip ervin hit .333/.438/.519 with give walks and nine strikeouts to go with three extra-base hits. The following eight games were about as cold as could be for the outfielder though, hitting just .103/.133/.138 in 30 plate appearances with one walk and 12 strikeouts. After going 1-3 on the 18th, he wouldn’t play again until the 24th. That final week was good as he’s go 5-17 (.294) with six walks and one strikeout. The slump in the middle of the month really killed things as he maned a .237/.348/.355 line. Once again he found a way to get on base at a good clip, but struggled to find the hits.
After going 2-5 in the first game of July, Phillip Ervin went 1-13 over the next three games before finishing the week strong by going 4-9 with a home run. Two big games salvaged the next week, as they accounted for five hits – four of which went for extra-bases as he OPS’d 1.002 for the week. The former Samford product went into a big slump over the final 13 games of the month, hitting just .171/.326/.257. Much like the rest of the season, he was able to get on base (.327), but struggled to find the hits (.224 average). He added in another six steals in eight attempts though, pushing his total to 29 through the month.
August began with a solid week for Phillip Ervin as he hit .280/.424/.360 with more walks than strikeouts. That carried into the next week as he picked up steam and hit .313/.450/.750 with two home runs and two more walks added in. He would slump over the final two weeks of the month, going 13-54 (.241) and slug just .315, but his 10 walks and three hit-by-pitches led to a .388 on-base percentage in that span. In five games to end the season in September he hit well, posting a .962 OPS. In the final 33 games of the season he had his best stretch of 2016, hitting .264/.411/.418 with more walks, 19, than strikeouts, 16, to go along with seven more steals.
The 2016 season was an interesting one from a statistical standpoint for Phillip Ervin. He hit just .239, an average that’s quite low. But that also came along with a .362 on-base percentage, which is well above-average. He had 22 doubles, three triples and 13 home runs in a ballpark that played pitcher friendly, showing solid power. He also stole 36 bases to go along with 65 walks and 88 strikeouts. His game was actually quite well rounded, with the lone exception being that he didn’t carry much of an average.
For all 2017 Prospect Ranking Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out one per weekday over the offseason).
Phillip Ervin Scouting Report
Hitting | Coming out of college, Ervin was said to have an above-average hit tool and his debut suggested that could certainly be the case. Then he suffered a wrist injury and he’s never been the same, though it’s tough to blame that this far down the road. What’s likely holding him back is his overwhelming pull tendencies, which make him easier to defend and easier to pitch. He puts the ball in the air a ton, which also tends to make for easier outs. Add it all up and he’s a guy who, while he can hit the ball hard and he makes plenty of contact and legs out his share of infield hits, may continue to struggle to hit for average if he can’t adjust somewhere along the way.
Power | Ervin shows good pullside power, with 15-20 homers a reality in the near future. His power, though, is mostly to the pull side. He’s hit one home run to right field in his entire career as a professional.
Running | He’s deceptively fast. He doesn’t appear to be moving as quickly as the stopwatch says he is. He’s got plus speed. He’s able to use it well on the bases, too.
Arm | A year after racking up 15 total assists in Daytona he only had three for Pensacola. His arm is an average one and should play in the corners, or in center, though it won’t stand out in right field.
Defense | While he’s got the speed to play center field, he’s not the best route runner and it makes him a fringy center field candidate from an every day standpoint. In the corners his range stands out, but more so because of his speed.
Phillip Ervin is a rather safe bet to be a big leaguer. Right now, he profiles well as a 4th outfielder. He can provide speed off of the bench, he’s got some pop in his bat, he can handle all three outfield spots, he can make contact – he’s basically everything you look for in an additional outfielder. If he’s able to figure out how to bring his average up a little bit, he could find his way into a starters role rather quickly as the rest of his game would play quite well, especially if he’s going to be in center field.