Scorching-hot Nick Senzel has found success after dropping down in the Reds batting order

Cincinnati Reds Nick Senzel
Cincinnati Reds Nick Senzel / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Let's hope the Gatorade bath courtesy of Kyle Farmer after yesterday's walk-off win doesn't cool Nick Senzel down. The former first-round pick is scorching-hot and is finally living up to the hype that saw him taken No. 2 overall in the 2016 MLB Draft.

I will not hide my joy for Senzel. If there was ever a player to root for on this year's Cincinnati Reds squad, it's the former University of Tennessee star.

After years of position changes, injury-plagued campaigns, ill-timed trips to the IL, lack of production at the plate, it appears that Senzel is finally starting to have fun playing baseball again.

Reds centerfielder Nick Senzel's bat is red-hot.

Good things come to those who wait, and the Cincinnati Reds are finally reaping the benefits of drafting Nick Senzel in the first-round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Senzel was supposed to be an advanced bat that would find his way to the majors quickly.

The problem, at the time, was the presence of Eugenio Suárez at third base. Instead of keeping Senzel trapped in the minors, the front office and coaching staff decided to switch him from third base to the outfield

It took some adjustment, but now, during his fourth major league season, Senzel seems to have found his groove in center field. The 27-year-old trails only Albert Almora Jr. for the team lead in outs above average according to Baseball Savant.

Nick Senzel has thrived batting near the bottom of the Reds' lineup.

After Jonathan India returned to the lineup, Reds manager David Bell moved Senzel down in the batting order. More times than not, the centerfielder was hitting eighth in the Cincinnati lineup. Yesterday, for the first time this season, Senzel was plugged into the No. 9 hole in the batting order.

While batting seventh or eighth in the lineup, Nick Senzel has an OPS of .972 while hitting .393 with three doubles, a pair of home runs, and eight RBIs. This is the player that Reds Country hoped they'd see back when Senzel debuted in 2019.

Over his last seven games, Nick Senzel is hitting .429/.478/.762 with two home runs, five RBIs, and most importantly, only two strikeouts. Since Senzel has dropped to No. 7 or lower in the batting order, he's hitting .397/.444/.535.

It's insane to think that Senzel can maintain this torrid pace, but during the 19 games since he was bumped down in the lineup, the centerfielder's batting average has jumped from .208 to .262 and his OPS from .514 to .655.

If Nick Senzel can be an above-average hitter with a high on-base percentage and the ability to crank out 15-plus homers per season, the Cincinnati Reds will have an unexpected boost to their lineup. When Senzel can stay on the field, good things continue to happen.

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