The Cincinnati Reds’ top prospect Nick Senzel wants to make it to Cincinnati during the 2017 season.
Nick Senzel wants to play for the Cincinnati Reds this year after watching others quickly ascend from a top draft pick to play at the MLB level. In 2016, the top pick from the 2015 draft, Dansby Swanson, made his MLB debut with the Atlanta Braves after being the cornerstone of a major off-season trade. The Braves had planned to wait an entire season to debut Swanson, but Swanson’s good play combined with lack of shortstop depth forced the Braves’ hand.
Another player that quickly rode up through the minors was Chicago Cub prospect Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber was drafted in 2014 and made his debut in 2015. By 2016 he was World Series hero for the Cubs team that broke the Curse of the Billy Goat.
Senzel wants to be counted among these players. He likely has the offensive capabilities to make it to the big leagues in 2017, but his defense may not allow it. Senzel has been working hard at improving his skill as a third baseman, but 2016 was only his third season playing that position.
Senzel got off to a slow start in 2016 after having a lay-off following the end of the college baseball season. When he got to Dayton he returned to his normal self. He batted .329 with a .415 OBP during his time at Dayton.
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The Cincinnati Reds’ front office doesn’t want him in Cincinnati during the 2017 season.
There are several reasons that the front office doesn’t want Senzel in Cincinnati in 2017. Some of the reasons are for the organization and others are for the player. All of them have to do with the rebuild.
The primary reason that the Reds don’t want Senzel in Cincinnati that they don’t want to start his arbitration clock. The longer that they can wait before starting the clock, the more productive controllable years the Reds will have. They also want to keep Senzel from getting to free agency.
The Reds also want to see Senzel mature before he makes it to the big leagues. Senzel did play three years at the University of Tennessee, but he is still only 21-years old. In addition to the physical aspect, the Reds want to see Senzel overcome adversity.
The other issue is, of course, that there is nowhere for Senzel to play in 2016. Eugenio Suarez has third base locked down and doesn’t have anywhere else to shift. Senzel can only play third at the professional level.
Senzel wants to get to the big leagues as quickly as possible. The Reds want to make sure that he is 100% ready before they promote him. That probably means he will come up sometime in 2018.