Former Reds first-round pick seeks redemption, returns to his natural position

Nick Senzel will finally get the opportunity to showcase his skills as an everyday infielder.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Nick Senzel (15)
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Nick Senzel (15) / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds parted ways with Nick Senzel earlier this offseason. Senzel, who never lived up to the lofty expectations that come with being the No. 2 overall pick, was non-tendered by Cincinnati earlier this offseason.

It didn't take long for Senzel to find a new home this winter after signing a one-year/$2-million contract with the Washington Nationals.

According to Mark Zuckerman of, Nationals manager Davey Martinez told Senzel that he expects the former first-round pick to be Washington's everyday third baseman in 2024.

Nick Senzel was the Reds first-round pick during the 2016 MLB Draft

Nick Senzel was selected with the second-overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. After putting up terrific numbers at the University of Tennessee, the Cincinnati Reds took Senzel who was considered by most scouts to be the most advanced bat in the draft.

Unfortunately, injuries derailed Senzel's climb through the Reds farm system. Cincinnati also shifted Senzel between second and third base and eventually tried to turn him into the team's full-time centerfielder.

After parting ways with Billy Hamilton prior to the 2019 season, Cincinnti made the decision to move Senzel from the infield dirt to the outfield grass. However, Scott Schebler won the Opening Day job in center field, and an ankle injury slowed Senzel's MLB debut.

Once he made it to The Show, Senzel had moderate success in his rookie season. However, a swing change and late-season injury put Senzel on an unfortunate path. The Reds then signed Mike Moustakas and Shogo Akiyama the following offseason, and an illness halted Senzel's 2020 campaign in its tracks.

The 2021 season saw Senzel battle a knee injury while playing only 36 games. Struggles at the plate defined Senzel's 2022 season, though he did finally see more time at third base. Last season, as a platoon bat, Senzel split time at second and third base while also playing all three outfield spots.

Nick Senzel will be the Nats everyday third baseman in 2024

The Washington Nationals, however, appear ready to let Nick Senzel settle into one position. While Senzel's versatility will undoubtedly see him receive some reps at other positions as games move along, the 28-year-old will be looking to see most of his playing time at the hot corner in 2024.

The stars just never aligned for Senzel during his time in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Fortunately for him, Senzel will be given the opportunity to show that his selection atop the draft was not a mistake.

It's likely that Senzel's stiffest competition for playing time will come from former Nationals top prospect Carter Kieboom, who himself was also selected in the 2016 MLB Draft.