The Cincinnati Reds top prospect, Nick Senzel, is the best defensive third baseman in the minors.
While the Cincinnati Reds are considering moving top prospect Nick Senzel all over the field, MLB Pipeline is touting him as the best defensive third baseman in all of the minor leagues. Senzel has exclusively played third base since being drafted. In spring training the Reds plan on giving Senzel time at the corner outfield positions and shortstop, as well as his natural positions of second and third.
Senzel didn’t become the everyday third baseman in college until his last year at the University of Tennessee. Prior to that he played primarily second base in college. In high school he was a shortstop.
Senzel is quicker and more athletic than the average third baseman, but uses those advantages on defense. He plays well there because of his plus hands and strong arm. If it weren’t for fellow prospect Dilson Herrera, Senzel would likely be starting his MLB career at second with third set as eventual position.
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Among other players, Washington Nationals’ outfield prospect Victor Robles was the best defensive player overall. Robles has both plus speed and plus arm strength. He has also worked hard to get a chance to make the big league team out of camp.
The Cincinnati Reds also have other defensive stalwarts sprinkled throughout the minors.
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The Reds are well-stocked defensively at shortstop across the entire system. They have three players that are considered plus defensive shortstops. They are Alfredo Rodriguez, Blake Trahan, and Jose Israel Garcia.
Rodriguez has had difficulty offensively since signing with the Reds. When he was in Cuba, he won the Cuban league’s Gold Glove award at shortstop. He is expected to start 2018 in Double-A.
Trahan is still the potential shortstop of the future. He is a plus defender with spotty offensive outputs.
He nearly made the team last year as the back-up infielder, but ended up struggling in Double-A instead.
Garcia came from the Cuban junior national team. He was a middle infielder in Cuba, but will play shortstop for the Reds. The plan is for him to start in rookie ball in 2018.
The Reds have some of the best defensive players in all of the minor leagues. They have three shortstops that may each be the best at their level of the minors. The best defensive player in the entire system, however, is top prospect Nick Senzel.