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Nick Senzel

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Nicholas Peter Senzel

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Biographical Information[edit]

Third baseman Nick Senzel was the second overall pick of the 2016 amateur draft, by the Cincinnati Reds out of the University of Tennessee. He was signed to a $6.2 million bonus, slightly more than that given to #1 overall pick Mickey Moniak. He began his pro career with the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League, then was promoted to the Dayton Dragons of the Midwest League despite hitting .152 in 10 games. he did a lot better with Dayton, putting up a batting line of .329/.415/.576 in 58 games, with 23 doubles and 7 homers. He scored 38 runs and drove in 36 and showed a good eye at the plate with 32 walks against 49 strikeouts. He played exclusively at third base. This excellent performance confirmed the Reds in their conviction that they had a budding superstar in their hands.

He was named to the United States team for the 2017 Futures Game. He started that year with the Daytona Tortugas of the Florida State League, where he hit .305 in 62 games. He was then promoted to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos of the Southern League and did even better, hitting a scoriching .340 in 57 games. Altogether, in 119 games, his batting line was .321/.391/.514 with 40 doubles, 14 homers, 81 runs and 65 RBIs.

In spring training in 2018, the Reds had him work out at shortstop, a position he had not played since college, or regularly since high school. They had traded starting SS Zack Cozart in the off-season, and with Eugenio Suarez having established himself as a solid third baseman, they were trying to speed up Senzel's arrival to the majors. Hall of Famer Barry Larkin and coach Freddie Benavides were teaching him the ropes of the position and found a receptive student. He was still expected to start the year in the minors with the AAA Louisville Bats, with Jose Peraza starting at short with the major league team, but it was clear that he was going to make his major league at some point during the season, bar an unfortunate incident. However, such an incident did happen. On June 22nd, playing for the Louisville Bats, he tore a tendon in his right index finger, an injury that required season-ending surgery. He was hitting .310 with 6 homers and 25 RBIs in 44 games.

In 2019, he arrived in spring training for the Reds playing a new position, centerfield, with the stated objective of replacing speedster Billy Hamilton who had been traded in the off-season. He began the season back in the minors and hit .257 in 8 games for Louisville after missing three weeks due to an injury, then on May 3rd, he was called up to make his debut with the Reds. Playing CF against the San Francisco Giants, he went 1 for 5 with a run scored in a 12-11 loss. He missed becoming the first player from the first round of the 2016 draft to make it to the Show, having been preceded by #8 pick Cal Quantrill by only a couple of days. The following day, he hit his first career homer off Dereck Rodriguez; a couple of innings earlier, he had been robbed of a homer by CF Kevin Pillar, who had climbed over the wall, holding on with one hand, to catch his hit at Great American Ball Park. He had his first two-homer game against these same Giants on May 6th.

Further Reading[edit]

  • C. Trent Rosencrans: "Reds draft Nick Senzel with No. 2 pick", USA Today Sports, June 10, 2016. [1]
  • Mark Sheldon: "Senzel out to follow lead of top '15 Draft picks: Reds not rushing top prospect, who hopes to reach Majors year after pro debut",, December 22, 2016. [2]
  • Mark Sheldon: "Reds prospect Senzel learning ropes at SS",, March 10, 2018. [3]
  • Mark Sheldon: "Senzel makes push for job in center field: Bell on his transition to CF: 'I feel like he can do it'",, March 3, 2019. [4]

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