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Reds' Ervin named AFL Hitter of the Week

Outfield prospect hit .333 with eight RBIs, including six in one huge game

Peoria, Ariz. -- Cincinnati Reds outfielder Phillip Ervin, playing for the Peoria Javelinas, has been named Arizona Fall League Hitter of the Week.

Ervin hit .333 with one home run and eight RBIs from Nov. 2-6. Ervin got six of his eight RBIs during last Tuesday's game against the Mesa Solar Sox, when he went 3-for-6 with a home run and two runs scored.

"I am really excited about that," Ervin said. "Just really happy I can come out there and have a really good week and get this honor."

Ervin is currently second in the AFL with eight stolen bases in nine attempts.

Those eight stolen bases lead the Javelinas. Ervin is second on the team in runs (8), doubles (3), and RBIs (9). MLB Pipeline ranks him 11th among prospects in the Reds' system.

Ervin credits the Fall League for helping him advance his knowledge and expertise about the game of baseball.

"The experience here right now, I feel like I am learning a lot and just going out there and learning more about baseball," Ervin said. "I am just happy to be out here so I can compete against really good players.

"I feel like it is really helping me become a better player."

Ervin played 109 games this year for the Reds' Class A Advanced affiliate, the Dayton Tortugas of the Florida State League, before an August promotion to Double-A Pensacola. For the Tortugas, Ervin was second on the team in runs (68), home runs (12), RBIs (63) and stolen bases (30). He also led the Tortugas in walks with 53. Ervin then hit .235 with eight RBIs and two home runs in 17 games for Pensacola.

"Getting called up late, I was really happy just because you always get happy when you move one step closer to the show," Ervin said. "So when I got up there it just felt like an eye-opener to see how much different the competition is."

Accolades are not new for Ervin, who has been very successful at every level. Ervin was named a preseason All-American and preseason Southern Conference Player of the Year with Samford University in 2013. Ervin was MVP of the Cape Cod League back when he played for the Harwich Mariners in 2012.

The Cape Cod League was a great experience for Ervin. It was also his first time not using an aluminum bat.

"I felt like it helped me a lot. Just started using wood bats and stuff a little more," Ervin said. "The competition was really good."

Expectations have always been high for Ervin, who the Reds selected with the 27th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 Draft. The high expectations really affected Ervin early in his career.

"I feel like early when I first got drafted I tried to put a little pressure on," Ervin said." Like I had to prove to everybody why I was drafted so high. But I feel like now I kind of just became more relaxed and try to go out there and try not to do too much. I feel like I should just go out there and have fun."

Being only two stops away from making it to the Majors, Ervin said that just playing the game of baseball is the key for him to live his dream.

"Just go out there and have fun. Just keep getting better, building off each season and just learning from it."

Antonio Cannavaro is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
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