5 bold predictions for the Cincinnati Reds 2023 season

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley / Justin Berl/GettyImages
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4. Bold prediction for Reds 2023 season: Nick Solak starts more games than Nick Senzel.

It feels as though Nick Senzel has been receiving a lot of criticism lately. However, that comes with the territory when you're the No. 2 overall draft pick and have failed to live up to those massive expectations.

Senzel is not alone. A majority of those taken in the first-round of the 2016 MLB Draft have been underwhelming to say the least. Mickey Moniak, the No. 1 overall pick in that year's draft, has career-OPS+ of just 35 and has appeared in only 66 total games in the big leagues.

Another player who was taken in the 2016 MLB Draft is Nick Solak. The Reds acquired Solak in an offseason trade with the Texas Rangers. For his career, Solak has hit .252/.327/.372. But, in his last three minor league seasons, Solak has consistently posted an OPS of .860 or higher.

Solak, much Senzel, can play all over the field. But it would appear as though the Cincinnati Reds view the University of Louisville product as a corner outfielder. Though he won't be competing directly with Senzel for playing time in center field, fans should expect to see plenty of Solak alternating with the left-handed hitting Jake Fraley.

Look for Nick Solak to eventually surpass Nick Senzel on the depth chart, and by season's end, own more starts than the University of Tennesse alum. This feels like Senzel's last shot to make an impression, and his injury-riddled history with the team does not offer much hope.