Monday, November 19, 2012

Scouting the Draft: Phillip Ervin

First off, thanks to Shankbone for finding this guy.  Phil Ervin may be the best college player nobody has heard of, although a few draft oriented websites are starting to pick up on him.

Ervin plays for Samford University, a place sometimes referred to in college baseball circles as a mid-major program.  He is listed as a P/OF, but has played CF for the last 2 seasons and knocked the snot out of the ball while displaying 5 tools.  What has perked up everyone's attention is his performance in the Cape Cod League this summer where all he did was win MVP honors. He's a compact 5'11", 190 lbs. Hey, wasn't Willie Mays about that size?  Here's a listing of his college and off-season stats:

2011 Samford  .371/.440/.516, 4 HR, 7 SB, 25 BB, 28 K's in 244 PA's.
2012 Samford  .327/.406/.519, 10 HR, 16 SB, 23 BB, 39 K's in 298 PA's.

2011 Northwoods League  .305/.392/.523, 6 HR, 9 SB, 16 BB, 21 K in 153 PA.
2012 Cape Cod League      .323/.429/.631, 11 HR, 10 SB, 17 BB, 29 K's in 154 PA.

Notice there is little, if any dropoff in BA/K/BB numbers hitting with wood and even more power!  I'm guessing his build makes him a tough guy to tie up on the inside corner which is where most hitters have the toughest transition from metal to wood bats. Caveat:  offensive numbers were up significantly in the Cape Cod League this year leading to some speculation about juiced balls.

At this point, it's a bit tough to get a read on Ervin's draft ranking.  Big League Futures has him at #32 which would put him just outside the first round.  Maybe he's there somewhere, but I could not find his name in the top 200 at  MLB Prospect Guide has him at #49. Baseball Prospectus has him probably going in the top 2 rounds and a near lock to be top 100 if he performs well in his junior season. I will be interested to see where BA has him ranked in the college top 100.  The rap on mid-major guys is quality of competition and Ervin is on the smallish size with little room for projection in his body.  The Southern Conference has some serious baseball programs in it such as Coastal Carolina, Western Carolina and Georgia Southern.  Samford will be playing several series against SEC schools in 2013.

My feeling is he might be a tweener where the late first round is a bit rich for him but maybe he won't be around for the second round?  Or he could drop to the mid single digit rounds due to lack of elite competition in college.  At any rate, I will definitely be keeping tabs on Phillip Ervin as college baseball gets started in the spring and as the draft approaches.

There are videos available on Youtube, mostly from the Cape Cod League.


  1. Well, we have been hoping to get a real OF out of our farm one of these days. I still have hope for Gary Brown to end the drought. This guy looks very interesting, and he fits the mold the Giants seem to look for on several levels: first, the excelling in the cape with wooden bats. second, the advanced college thing. third, they aren't afraid to veer away from major programs (Panik with St. John's, Agosta St. Mary's are my prime examples). Fourth gets a bit murky, but he seems like a high character guy, and that may count. Baseball IQ would be a 5th criteria, and that is murky as well, but I think we've seen that from Crawford and Belt.

    I agree, he looks like he might be a tweener. If he bursts out with a HR barrage though, he might be looked at more as a Victor Roache/Jackie Bradley type. And by the way, Bradley is looking very good for busting through to the show!

    1. Well, I really love this kid and plan to follow him closely once college season starts. Love to follow players from mid-major programs too. Thanks for pointing him out to me, Shankbone!

    2. Posey, Panik, and Noonan were considered high baseball IQ guys by Giants too. Cainer as well.

      But they also selected Fairley and Fred Lewis...

    3. I consider Schierholtz to be a real OF. But every time he would get it going, he would get injured and derail his hot streak. Then compound it by coming back before he was ready.

      I still expect Brown to be our starting CF and to do well for us. Not Posey or Bumgarner well, but I would not be surprised by that either. I like him better than Bowker and Lewis, and expect him to figure it out eventually.

      I like this guy, thanks for bringing him up. Maybe you can give us an update later in the spring. Make very good case that he fits Giants profile for things they look for.