If healthy, Nick Senzel is the impact bat the Cincinnati Reds need in 2022

Nick Senzel readies in the Cincinnati Reds outfield.
Nick Senzel readies in the Cincinnati Reds outfield. / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds began Cactus League play on Friday with a 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians; that still feels weird to write. Those two runs scored by the Redlegs were courtesy of a Nick Senzel 2-RBI double that scored Joey Votto and Tyler Stephenson.

The Reds roster has undergone a makeover in the past few days. Cincinnati's front office traded Eugenio Suárez and Jesse Winker to the Seattle Mariners. The Reds also added Donovan Solano and Colin Moran.

Could Nick Senzel be the key to unlocking the Reds offense?

While Cincinnati Reds fans will bemoan the loss of Nick Castellanos, now officially a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, I think we all had a feeling that the All-Star outfielder was not returning to the Queen City in 2022.

Instead, the Reds will have to rely on who they currently have on the roster to help offset the losses of their three former All-Stars. While fans are hopeful that Jonathan India can improve upon his Rookie of the Year season from 2021 and that Mike Moustakas can return to form, perhaps the key to unlocking the team's offensive potential is Nick Senzel.

Without Castellanos and Suárez, the Reds are short on right-handed hitters. Any other player David Bell would send out to play center field (Shogo Akiyama, Tyler Naquin, TJ Friedl, and Jake Fraley) are all left-handed hitters. Senzel's bat is needed in the Cincinnati lineup on a regular basis.

Senzel said himself, via MLB.com, that his only goal for the 2022 season is to play 140-150 games. While that seems like an underwhelming goal, most fans throughout Reds Country would agree that achievement would be quite impressive.

"My only goal is to play 140-150 games. I’m not going to really set anything beyond that because it’s really important to me. I know it sounds like something that’s pretty easily attainable. Obviously, to me, it holds a little more special place if I can attain that. If I do that, good things will happen on the field."

Nick Senzel, Reds CF

Senzel's major league career has been ravaged by injury. To date, over his first three seasons in the bigs, the 26-year-old has played in only 163 games. Being a former first-round pick, everyone knows that the talent is there, but Senzel's inability to stay healthy has severely impacted his standing with the team and the Reds' goals as a whole.

Nick Senzel enters the 2022 season as the clear-cut favorite to be the Cincinnati Reds everyday centerfielder. While he played a handful of games at second and third base last season, the organization has more infielders than they know what to do with.

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Senzel was an impact bat in college and the minor leagues, so there's no reason to think that he can't be the same type of hitter in the major leagues. It all comes down to one question; can he stay on the field? If the answer is yes, the results that Cincinnati Reds fans want to see will come.