2 players the Reds mishandled and 1 who's on the right track

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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When it comes to player development, the Cincinnati Reds seem to lag behind. So many promising prospects have passed through the clubhouse of Great American Ball Park only to stumble along the way.

Now, not every player who struggles does so because the team mishandled his development. Some players just don't have what it takes to be a major leaguer. Other times, injuries can play a key role in a prospect failng to meet his full potential.

Recently, however, there have been a couple examples of players who've been mishandled by the Cincinnati Reds management. There's also an up-and-coming prospect who appears to be in the correct path.

The Reds mishandled outfielder Nick Senzel.

This one isn't completely on the Cincinnati Reds, as Nick Senzel has done himself no favors due to his inability to stay healthy. But the Reds really screwed up Senzel's development the moment they moved him to the outfield.

This is a narrative that has been repeated ad nauseam, but let's rehash it one more time. The Reds used the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft on third baseman Nick Senzel. Throughout his entire minor league career, Senzel played third base. He also saw time at second base, but was primarily a third baseman.

The Reds then decided to non-tender outfielder Billy Hamilton prior to the 2019 season and inserted Senzel as the team's centerfielder. That was, of course, after manipulating his service time early in the season.

Nick Senzel is athletic enough to play nearly anywhere on the diamond, and the Cincinnati Reds finally appear willing to let him do it - Senzel is being groomed to be the team's super utility player in 2023. But the Reds had the perfect opportunity to keep Senzel on the infield dirt prior to 2020 and they didn't do it.

After trading Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati could have quite simply moved Senzel from center field to second base and allow the newly-signed Shogo Akiyama to take over in the outfield. But no, the Reds decided to sign Mike Moustakas (a career third baseman) to play the keystone. Senzel was then kept in the outfield.

Has playing on the outfield grass and crashing into walls shortened Nick Senzel's career? Seeing as how Senzel has ended three of his first four seasons on the IL, most fans would say yes. Let's hope that Senzel will remain healthy in 2023 and find some traction in his new role.