The Reds selected an outfielder with their first pick in the draft for the first time since they took Drew Stubbs in 2007, picking Samford University center fielder Phillip Ervin with the 27th overall pick Thursday night.
The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Ervin, a native of Leroy, Ala., hit .337 with 11 home runs, 40 RBIs and 21 stolen bases as a junior this spring. He led the Southern Conference with a .459 on-base percentage.
Ervin was named MVP in the prestigious Cape Cod League last summer when he hit .323 for the Harwich Mariners. He played for state championship football and baseball teams in high school.
The Reds took pitchers in the first round in three of the last four years: Nick Travieso in 2012, Robert Stephenson in 2011 and Mike Leake in 2009. Ervin is the first college player the Reds have taken with their first overall pick since Yasmani Grandal in 2010.
The Astros had the No. 1 overall pick and took Stanford pitcher Mark Appel, a Houston native who was drafted No. 8 last year by the Pirates before electing to return to college.