Cincinnati Reds: Healthy and energized, Nick Senzel will shine in 2021

Cincinnati Reds center fielder Nick Senzel (15) runs in for batting practice before the first inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game.
Cincinnati Reds center fielder Nick Senzel (15) runs in for batting practice before the first inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game. /

Slugging his way through the spring, Cincinnati Reds‘ centerfielder Nick Senzel is sparking some hope back into the lineup with each crack of his bat. There’s always a special atmosphere in the city when a high-level prospect is about to make his major league debut. Such was the case with Senzel back in 2019.

Senzel’s hype has fizzled out and it just about sputtered away by the end of last season due to the 25-year-old missing so much time. But this spring, the blooming right-handed hitter is looking dangerous at the plate, as speedy as ever in the outfield, and is completely healthy as Opening Day nears.

A healthy Nick Senzel could greatly boost the Reds’ lineup.

It’s Nick Senzel‘s time to shine. While the rest of us want to forget 2020 as best we can, “20-20” is something we’ll be talking about this summer– with Senzel’s name attached to those conversations. With Senzel being named the everyday starting centerfielder, 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases should be a fun goal that could spark some energy into the young man.

Let’s not forget that in his rookie season, Senzel hit 12 home runs and stole 14 bases while only appearing in 104 games. His encouraging spring training in 2021 has the coaching staff excited to see what he can accomplish this upcoming season.

Through 25 plate appearances out West in the Cactus League, Nick Senzel is slashing .318/.400/.636. If you notice the slugging percentage and add in the fact that the Reds centerfielder has more hits than he does strikeouts, and you can see why the staff is excited.

Senzel has smacked two homers and a double, plus a handful of singles thus far in spring training – only going down at the plate six times. Full health, fewer strikeouts, and more pop in the bat is a good set of improvements to begin your third MLB season.

Staying on the field and continuing those improvements is what manager David Bell wants to see. Bell recently told Mark Sheldon at that “the more [Senzel] plays, the more he can get into that flow, the better for him.”

It’s encouraging to see that Bell wants Senzel to play as much as possible. Bell also made remarks about Senzel’s impressive speed and outfield skills, telling that the centerfielder is “running extremely well.” If he stays on the field, it sounds like Senzel is the starter.

Attention Reds fans: The Nick Senzel Hype Tour is heading to Cincinnati!

Still not ready to join the Nick Senzel Hype Tour 2k21? Let’s remember that this is still only Nick Senzel’s third season (second normal one) in the big leagues and could be his first full season if he stays healthy.

This is a guy who was a Top-10 prospect in baseball just a few years ago. Andrew Gould of FantasyPros has Nick Senzel at the top of his list of sleepers this season in fantasy baseball. Gould reminds us that ranked Senzel amongst Ronald Acuña and Vlad Guerrero Jr. on their 2018 Top-100 Prospects list, and ahead of Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr.

Senzel is only three years removed from that ranking and has never had a full, normal season. Entering this 162-game campaign completely healthy with noticeable improvements, and it’s no wonder fantasy-heads see so much upside in the Reds centerfielder.

Opening Day is now less than 15 days away. No. 15 is ready for the sun to shine on his patch of centerfield grass at Great American Ball Park. The staff is excited about the improvements they’ve seen the 25-year-old make.

If Nick Senzel can stay healthy, he seems to have the starting job in centerfield locked down. It’s Senzel’s time and fans should get excited for the Cincinnati Reds outfielder to have an exciting and energizing season.