Cincinnati Reds: 3 breakout hitters who will emerge in 2021

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 18: A detail of the Franklin batting gloves worn by Yasiel Puig #66 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 18: A detail of the Franklin batting gloves worn by Yasiel Puig #66 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next
Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds bats against the Chicago White Sox.
CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 20: Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds bats against the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Nick Senzel, Reds outfielder

I’ve been beating the drum for Nick Senzel since he was left off the Opening Day roster in 2019 for reasons I won’t get into here. However, while I still believe Senzel has the ability to be the future of this Cincinnati Reds franchise, he must prove to all the doubters that he can stay healthy. Period!

That’s a big ask for a player that has seen a considerable amount of time on the injured list during his first two seasons in the big leagues. Obviously, last year’s absence was completely out of his control and not the result of poor conditioning. In fact, the majority of Senzel’s injuries have been odd, awkward, or downright strange in nature.

It’s time for Nick Senzel to put all that nonsense behind him and control what he can control. While some fans will point to the Reds’ crowded outfield as a problem, I think it’s that depth that will help Senzel realize his potential. Having a four-man rotation of Senzel, Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winker, and Nick Castellanos will allow David Bell to play his three best outfielders based on the matchup.

Setting the first two games of the 2020 season, Senzel was off to a hot start. The right-handed hitting centerfielder hit .289/.364/.579 with five doubles, two home runs, and eight RBIs from July 29th through August 14th. Then the former first-rounder headed to the injured list and did not return until a month later.

Upon his return from the IL, Nick Senzel failed to perform and did not look to be in baseball shape. However, during the Reds two-game run in the 2020 postseason, Senzel looked to be back on track. Hopefully, Senzel can recapture that level of performance we saw early on last season, and above all else, stay healthy.