Grading Nick Senzel's anemic 2022 performance with the Reds

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel. / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

On the plus-side, Nick Senzel set a career-high in games played during the 2022 season. Unfortunately, the former first-round pick still ended the season on the IL for the third time in four seasons.

It's becoming very difficult to defend Senzel at this point in his career. While injuries have certainly played a role in shortcomings at the major league level, Senzel's production lagged behind once again despite playing in 110 games and having a relatively healthy 2022 campaign.

Senzel suffered a broken toe that shelved him for the final few games of the season, and while the 26-year-old battled a couple trips to the IL due to illness, he was in the Cincinnati Reds lineup on a regular basis. But even with the consistent playing time, Senzel couldn't live up to the high expectations that come with being a first-round pick.

Reds CF Nick Senzel could not get on track in 2022.

The talent is there. No one should ever question that. But to this point in his career, Nick Senzel has been unable to truly unlock the potential that made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. For his career, Senzel is hitting just .240/.303/.360. This season, Senzel didn't even come close to those numbers.

In 2022, Senzel slashed just .231/.296/.306 with five home runs and 25 RBIs. Senzel was drafted with the notion that he was an advanced hitter with a keen eye for the strike zone. The 26-year-old's profile is one that should see him batting second in the lineup on a nightly basis. But with the numbers he's posted as a professional, Senzel should be batting eight or ninth.

When you flip over to Senzel's Baseball Savant page, there's only one stat that really jumps off the page, and that's his sprint speed. Senzel's barrel-rate is among the bottom 10% in the league. His hard-hit percentage and average exit both rank in the 20th percentile. The bottom line; when Senzel did make contact, it was weak contact.

Senzel did make an adjustment to his batting stance near the end of the season, and it seemed to help the outfielder increase his exit velocity. But alas, another injury caused Senzel's season to come to a close prematurely.

Nick Senzel could be a non-tender candidate this offseason, but with three years of team control remaining, that seems unlikely. That said, Senzel's role with next year's club could look vastly different.

Reds CF Nick Senzel's final grade for the 2022 season: D

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