Reds' No. 10 prospect one of two OF non-roster invitees
By William Boor
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- With several prospects and young players in camp, Reds manager Bryan Price has had the opportunity to personally observe some of the organization's prospects -- a luxury that's unavailable during the regular season.
"I just want to be able to see him," Price said. "I know he really kind of came on a bit in the Fall League last year. He had a really great first season when we drafted him. He scuffled a bit in his next season and then last year he kind of came back a bit."
Ervin, one of the two outfielder non-roster invitees in Reds' camp (top prospect Jesse Winker is the other), was the Reds' first-round selection (23rd overall) in the 2013 Draft.
The 23-year old outfielder hit .331 in 46 games that year before his numbers dipped in 2014.
Ervin bounced back in 2015, was promoted to Double-A Pensacola late in the year and finished off the season in the highly-regarded Arizona Fall League.
"He's a guy that we think can be not just a left fielder, but play some in center field as well. We think he can defend," Price said. "He's been a very successful base stealer, he's shown some power, an ability to drive in some runs."
• While predictions and prognostications are the norm this type of year, the lineups that the Reds trot out early in Cactus League play are not worth over-analyzing.
"I've got a pretty good feel about the lineup when we're completely healthy," Price said. "But until we get Billy [Hamilton] back throwing regularly and until we get [Devin] Mesoraco and [Zack] Cozart back playing regularly, it's really hard."
• Jonathan Sanchez pitched two scoreless innings in Thursday's 9-1 win over the Indians.
Sanchez, a 33-year old right-hander competing for a spot in the Reds' rotation, was out of baseball entirely last year, but signed a Minor League deal with the club in late January.
"A couple hitters got away from him, but other than that made some good pitches with his fastball inside," Price said. "[He] had a good breaking ball for a third strike and a good change up. I liked what I saw. The key to his success, same when he was in San Francisco and other places, is commanding the strike zone."
The veteran has thrown 786 1/3 career innings, but hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2013.
William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.