Ervin an early standout in Reds camp

'He looks like a big leaguer,' Price says of top prospect

Ervin an early standout in Reds camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- If the hot start Phillip Ervin is enjoying at Spring Training is indicative of the season he might have in 2016, the Reds outfield prospect would be more than pleased.

"Especially in the first couple of games in big league camp, you're playing well. It's a good feeling," Ervin said on Sunday. "I just want to go out there and keep having fun."

Reds Spring Training info

Ervin, the Reds' first-round pick in the 2013 Draft, is 7-for-11 (.636) in five games. He hit his first homer in Saturday's win over the Cubs and followed with another blast over the center-field fence in the sixth inning of Sunday's 9-3 loss to the Rockies. In his other at-bat vs. Colorado, Ervin hit an infield single to third base.

Last season, the 23-year-old Ervin started out well but that gave way to some hard times at the plate that lasted most of '15.

In 21 games during April, Ervin batted .346/.429/.692 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs for Class A-advanced Daytona. Over the full season at Daytona, and Double-A Pensacola, he batted .241/.346/.379 with 14 homers, 71 RBIs and 34 steals. He's expected to start at Pensacola this season.

"I felt like I got off to a really good start and felt like I just dipped," Ervin said. "I got into too big of a slump. I want to get out of it faster. I want to deal with it better than I did last year. I want to be a little more consistent throughout the season."

Top Prospects: Ervin, CIN

Ervin, who was ranked this year by as the Reds' No. 10 prospect, also struggled some at the plate in '14. But manager Bryan Price has liked what he's seen this spring from the right-handed hitter.

"Watching Phillip Ervin, you see him out there and he looks like a big leaguer," Price said. "He's stolen a couple of bases. He's made some nice defensive plays in the outfield. He's shown some power. He's driven some base hits to right field."

Ervin has been working with Reds hitting coach Don Long, but also taking instruction from a pair of former Reds in Eric Davis and Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. They have shown him where he needs to make improvement.

"I'm not preparing myself correctly for an at-bat, just my setup and stuff, and mentally, too," Ervin said.

Worth noting

• Third baseman Eric Jagielo, acquired from the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman trade during the offseason, made his spring debut Sunday. Jagielo, who was behind after recovering from right-knee surgery performed last season, entered in the sixth inning and went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts.

• The Reds also have a B game scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET Monday at the Indians facility. Robert Stephenson will start, with Sal Romano also expected to pitch vs. Cleveland.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.