Reds 3B Nick Senzel has exceeded expectations through 50 games in 2023.
Is this finally the year that Nick Senzel lives up to the hype of being a former first-round draft pick? He's looked pretty good so far, and a lot of the production may be due to defensive position he now has on lockdown.
Senzel's resurgence in the batters' box has also come with the concept of playing the University of Tennessee alum returning to his natural position on the infield dirt. Senzel has become the Cincinnati Reds everyday third baseman and has seen little time in outfield of late.
If Senzel looks like he's played the position for years, it's because he has. The Reds selected with their first-round pick in 2016 as a third baseman. Senzel played either second or third base at every level of the minors. But with the dismissal of Billy Hamilton, the club figured their best way of getting Senzel into the everyday lineup was to move him to the outfield.
The shift seemed to only exacerbate the injury-prone narrative that had hounded Senzel throughout his minor league career. The extra wear and tear of chasing down balls in the outfield and crashing into walls didn't help when it came to keeping Senzel on the field.
This season, Nick Senzel has emerged as a reliable hitter and fielder and is beginning to look a lot like the player Cincinnati thought they were drafting almost 10 years ago. Senzel has certainly exceeded expectations through the first 50 games of this season.