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Reds Prospect Phillip Ervin Headlines Impressive 2013 Draftee Debuts


June 1, 2012; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Samford Bulldogs outfielder Phillip Ervin (6) prepares to bat during the fourth inning in game one of the Tallahassee regional at Dick Howser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

With his lightning-fast bat and a well rounded overall game, Cincinnati Reds prospect Phillip Ervin had as good a professional debut as anyone in 2013. And that’s saying something.

Ervin, the 27th pick of the draft, hit .331/.425/.564 with nine home runs and 14 stolen bases over 46 games. The 21-year-old went straight to Rookie ball, but after tearing up the Pioneer League he was promoted to Class-A Dayton for the final 12 games of 2013.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound center fielder was a standout at Samford University and the 2012 Cape Cod League MVP. The five-tool player was overlooked by most Division I programs after he spent most of his senior year of high school recovering from a torn ACL suffered playing football, according to Drew Champlin of AL.com.

As you would expect, the majority of the top picks from this year’s draft had stellar professional debuts. Here’s a look at how the top-10 picks fared:

  1. Mark Appel, RHP, HOU: 3.79 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 in 38 IP
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC: .336/.390/.688, 9 HR in 36 games
  3. Jonathan Gray, RHP, COL: 1.93 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 12.3 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 in 37 ⅓ IP
  4. Kohl Stewart, RHP, MIN: 1.35 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 in 20 IP
  5. Clint Frazier, OF, CLE: .297/.362/.506, 5 HR in 44 games
  6. Colin Moran, 3B, MIA: .299/.354/.442, 4HR in 42 games
  7. Trey Ball, LHP, BOS: 6.43 ERA, 2.29 WHIP, 6.4 K/9, 7.7 BB/9 in 7 IP
  8. Hunter Dozier, SS, KC: .308/.397/.495, 7 HR in 69 games
  9. Austin Meadows, OF, PIT: .316/.424/.554, 7 HR in 48 games
  10. Phillip Bickford, RHP, TOR: Did not sign

Along with Ervin, however, there were plenty more impressive performances outside the top-10.

D.J. Peterson, the Seattle Mariners’ No. 12 pick, slugged 13 home runs in 55 games between Low-A and Class-A. The 21-year-old out of the University of New Mexico slashed .303/.365/.553. Peterson would have had even bigger numbers had he not suffered a broken jaw from being hit by a pitch in August.

Hunter Harvey, the 18-year-old son of former major leaguer Bryan Harvey, was among the most dominant pitchers to debut. The Baltimore Orioles’ No. 22 pick had a 1.78 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 11.7 K/9 in 25 ⅓ innings.

Probable the most overpowering 2013 draftee was Corey Knebel, second-round pick of the Detroit Tigers. The 6-foot-3 right-hander had a 0.87 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 11.9 K/9 to go with 15 saves. The former Texas Longhorns closer could work his way through the minors in a hurry.

Another power bat who got off to an impressive start was Ryan McMahon, second round pick of the Colorado Rockies. The 18-year-old in 11 home runs in 59 games for Grand Junction in the Pioneer League. His slash line was .321/.402/.583.