In this ongoing series that will last most of spring training, we’re going to look at each player that will be in Major League camp with the Cincinnati Reds. Each post will have some information on the player. There will be some background information, profiling, projections, and more. To see all of the posts in the series, you can click here. Today we are going to look at outfielder Nick Senzel.

Nick Senzel’s Background

Acquired: 1st Round, 2016 Major League Baseball Draft.

Born: 6/29/1995

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Height/Weight: 6′ 1″ / 205 lbs

Years of MLB Experience: Zero.

The Cincinnati Reds selected Nick Senzel 2nd overall in the 2016 Major League Baseball draft out of Tennessee. It was quite a rise for Senzel, who went undrafted out of high school. He’s worked his way up through the system rather quickly, though it hasn’t been the easiest climb as he’s dealt with health issues over the last year-and-a-half.

Nick Senzel’s 2018 Season

The 2018 season started out in spring training with Nick Senzel playing some shortstop, some second base, and some third base. He didn’t make the Reds out of spring training and instead was assigned to Triple-A Louisville. He began the season playing second base for the Bats. But he would also see some action at third a couple of times a week. After a month of play he would hit the disabled list for four weeks after a bout of vertigo. He would return on May 29th and catch fire in June where he was hitting .387/.434/.613 through 18 games during the month. In the 19th game, though, he would suffer an injury to his finger while in the field that would require surgery. That would end his season.

Following the regular season he headed to instructional league at the complex in Goodyear to prepare for 2019 as an outfielder. While there, though, his elbow became too much of an issue and he opted for surgery to have bone spurs removed. That kept him out of the Arizona Fall League that would have started in mid-October.

Nick Senzel’s Playing History

After being drafted in 2016 the Cincinnati Reds sent Nick Senzel to rookie-level Billings. He didn’t hit much there in the two weeks he stayed, posting a .152/.293/.182 line after being off for about a month between the end of his college season and the start of his professional career. The Reds promoted him to Dayton for the final two months of the year. He picked up the production there, posting a .982 OPS in 249 plate appearances.

In 2017 he moved up to Advanced-A Daytona and after an .847 OPS in the pitcher friendly Florida State League he was promoted to Double-A in the second half. He crushed the ball for Pensacola in 57 games with a .973 OPS. His season was cut shot by a week-and-a-half when he came down with vertigo in late August. As noted above, the 2018 season was going very well before the injury cost him what was left of it.

Projecting Nick Senzel for 2019

As one of the top prospects in all of baseball, Nick Senzel is seemingly ready to hit in the Major Leagues. The projection systems both agreed with that, projecting him as an above-average hitter. Both, however, also have him with limited playing time.

ZiPS Projections | Steamer Projections | Marcels Projections

How could Nick Senzel fit in Cincinnati in 2019?

There are a few ways that Nick Senzel could fit into Cincinnati in 2019, but the most likely one is as the teams center fielder. That’s what he spent all offseason trying to learn, and it’s where he’s played in the few games this spring. The early returns on Wednesday were very good in center. There’s always a chance that he could slide in at second or third base. That would only happen if something were to unfortunately cause Eugenio Suarez or Scooter Gennett to miss time. It’s tough to see how Senzel doesn’t play in Cincinnati at some point this season.

7 Responses

  1. Mason Reds

    At some point this season? How about opening day?

    • Doug Gray

      They don’t let me make such decisions.

    • BK

      He makes the team in one of three ways: injury to Suarez or Gennett, super utility role starting at least 5 per week or starting CF. He best controls the outcome in CF where he looked good on his initial chances, but fell short last night. With solid, proven ML options for the bench, I think either an injury or CF are the tickets for Senzel on opening day to join the Reds on opening day.

    • ToBeDetermined

      ” It’s tough to see how Senzel doesn’t play in Cincinnati at some point this season. ”

      Doug, let’s not get carried away now. 🙂

  2. j reis

    ok, yesterday proves he is no Eric Davis or Cesar Geronimo out in center. So, I say let’s move on from the experiment. David Bell admitted he would be a “work in progress” out there which is silly because you have natural center fielders coming through the pipeline in Siri and Tramell.
    I say start Senzel in AAA this year and let him get reacquainted with playing 2b.

  3. Nate

    He’s in a tough spot, there almost has to be an injury (to a Red or that would facilitate a trade with the Reds) for Nick to start out in Cincy and not Louisville. But even then service time plays a factor and (right or wrong) I just don’t think he will.

    The FO did a great job in moving Homer & his sunk cost contract but in return have Kemp’s contract that is most likely not able to be moved and 3 capable OF’s blocking Senzel’s next option to be a everyday starter at a set position.