The Cincinnati Reds have the second best third base prospect in all of baseball and he’s almost ready for the show.
The Cincinnati Reds used the second pick of the 2016 draft on Nick Senzel. He was taken out of the University of Tennessee and ended his season at Dayton. He wants to see Cincinnati in 2017, but that is a bit of a stretch.
20-year old Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox is the top prospect at third base according to MLB Pipeline. His name is familiar to Red Sox fans, but has been obscurred on the national scene by Yoan Moncada. The Chicago White Sox acquired Moncada in the Chris Sale deal, so Devers will now get more national attention.
The player just behind Senzel is Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., of the Toronto Blue Jays. Guerrero’s skill set focuses on offense. He is behind former American League MVP Josh Donaldson on the depth chart, so a position change may be in order.
The player most likely to see the majors this year is Matt Chapman of the Oakland Athletics. This off-season the Athletics traded Danny Valencia to the Seattle Mariners and signed Trevor Plouffe to hold down the fort until Chapman is ready. Chapman is a power hitter that plays plus defense.
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The other prospect that is close to the majors is Christian Arroyo of the San Francisco Giants. He moved from short to third during the 2016 season. He could make his MLB debut this summer if Eduardo Nunez doesn’t seem to be up to the task in 2017.
Nick Senzel wants to start his MLB career, but the Cincinnati Reds want to see more of Eugenio Suarez.
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Unlike most of the prospects on the list, Senzel’s defense is nearly big league ready. Senzel batted .329 with a .415 OBP in Single-A Dayton. That combination with a little more power will get him to the majors.
For his part, Suarez had a fine year in his first at third base in 2016. He had some ugly plays defensively, but overall he played average third base and was an average MLB base runner. Offensively, he showed power and an ability to get on base when he wasn’t slumping.
Of the two, though, Senzel’s future is more likely at third. Suarez will likely play right field or first base at some point if he stays in the National League.
He may become the player to replace an aging Joey Votto at first base.
Senzel is the Reds’ best hope for another elite talent to make the majors. He can play defense and get on base. Whether he makes there in 2017 or 2018 doesn’t matter as much as if he is ready to stay.