Phillip Ervin steps off the field after batting practice on a Saturday afternoon in June, wiping the sweat from his forehead before he begins answering questions about how his second season in the Southern League has played out in Pensacola.
“I feel like there have been ups and downs, hot and cold streaks, and I’m trying to find an in-between,” Ervin said. “I’m struggling mentally with that but I just have to keep working hard.”
Ervin is one of those players with Major League potential written all over him, a five-tool player who is seemingly destined to be one of the next big stars of the game.
He was taken in the first round of the 2013 draft by the Cincinnati Reds after playing college baseball at Samford University in his home state of Alabama and understands because of that, there are high expectations on his shoulders.
But he doesn’t let those expectations weigh him down.
“I was excited when I was drafted but I didn’t really think about the expectations,” Ervin said. “I just felt like I have to go out and do what I have my whole life and that is to continue to play hard and develop.”
Ervin has certainly shown signs of promise. This season, he is batting over .200, belting out six home runs, and has stolen 22 bases. He has also knocked in 21 runs.
Ervin isn’t where he wants to be just yet as a player but he is pleased with the direction he is headed in.
Read more in the June 30 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.