MLB Pipeline has been going position by position, ranking the top 10 prospects at each, over the last week. This is ramping up until Saturday when they will unveil their Top 100 prospects in Minor League Baseball. Earlier today they released their Top 10 third base prospects. Cincinnati Reds top prospect Nick Senzel came in as the second best third base prospect on the list, trailing only Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 2018 first round draft pick Jonathan India came in on the list as the fifth best prospect at the position.

The good news is that the Reds have a heck of a stable of prospects at third base. The bad news is, sort of, is that those guys probably won’t be playing there. Eugenio Suarez is among the best third basemen in Major League Baseball. And he’s locked up long term and at incredibly cheap prices.

There is some more good news, though. Both guys can hit. And both guys can play other positions on the field. Nick Senzel has been working on learning center field since the 2018 season ended. During the 2018 season he spent a majority of his time at second base – playing 28 games there, 14 more at third, and a single game at shortstop. He did all of that, while carrying a .310/.378/.509 line for the Triple-A Louisville Bats.

Jonathan India, on the other hand, began his season at the lower levels of the minors. He was drafted fifth overall in the 2018 draft by the Reds and assigned to rookie-level Greeneville out of the gate. He only spent two weeks there before joining Billings for a handful of days. An injury opened up a spot in Dayton, where India would spend the final five weeks of the season. He would spend time at both third base (33 games) and shortstop (9 games) during the year. Most scouts think shortstop is not in the cards long term. They do, however, think second base could be an option, along with third base where he profiles the best. During the season he hit .240/.380/.433 between his three stops in his debut.

12 Responses

  1. Tom

    Both players are excellent candidates at 2b or 3b, could obviously fill in at 1b, and in a pinch can cover ss. Before all the talk begins about not needing both players, consider Scooter may not be back in 2020. Senzel to 2b. Meanwhile, it’s 2022 before India has played a year at all stops in the minors and is ready to enter MLB. Excellent depth to have. If he plays some OF during his time in the minors he’ll be a great bench piece and possible starter in his first year. Wherever Votto is offensively and defensively at that point is unknown, but within India’s first 3 years in MLB he’ll have all kinds of opportunity to earn a spot somewhere. I do not want to see a repeat of the Grandal vs Alonso vs Mesoraco vs Votto vs Frazier sell off. Could have / should have kept them all during 2011-2015 to reinforce a contending team.

    • Oldtimer

      Among all the great Reds players in my lifetime (born 1951), I can only remember one (#14) who produced as much at age 35 (and later) as he did before that age. Bench didn’t. Morgan didn’t. Perez didn’t. I can’t think of any others who did.

      Votto may be the second. He turns 35 in 2019.

      • Bernie

        It’s going to be rough for the Reds if he’s not the second; that contract still has a long time left on it.

    • Michael Smith


      I have to ask where you think Alonso was going to play? Ill buy into the possibility of having both catcher but Alonso literally had no where to go.

      • Tom

        He could have played a little LF, filled in at 1b a few games, played DH and pinch hit frequently.
        LF in 2011 was Fred Lewis, Chris Heisey, Dave Sappelt, Jonny Gomes.
        2012 Votto only played 111 games
        2013 Xavier Paul, Ludwick, Derrick Robinson, and Heisey played generally poorly at the plate and in the field.
        2014 Votto played 62 games, Ludwick and Heisey were in sharp decline and the bench was just bad
        2015 Marlon Byrd was brought in via trade and the bench remained weak

        Point is that Alonso, Grandal, Boxberger and even Volquez would have helped the team during that stretch more than Latos ended up helping them. Heck Travis Wood threw 630 innings of 4 era ball 2012-2015. Instead we had Sean Marshall for a short while.

        What I like about this year’s trades is they didn’t reach near the top 5 players in the system.

        Josiah Gray is a lotto ticket.
        Jeter Downs is a stud, but 4-5 years away from impact.
        Both could be replaced with QO comp picks next year.
        Shed Long hurts a bit in terms of depth from 2021 to 2025 but he wasn’t a top prospect.
        The draft pick is an unknown but shouldn’t interrupt the pipeline too significantly.

    • Bill

      Tom, I agree with your premise. While no player should be untouchable in a trade and we should trade from our depth, we also need good depth to be successful long-term. I reading about how players are “blocked”. In a 162 game slate, players need rest and players get hurt. Depth is a must!

  2. The Duke

    In the article talking about the tools, they listed Senzel’s speed as a 60, along with his hit, defense, and arm.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s about time the rest of the baseball world catches up to what I’ve been screaming about Senzel’s speed for three years now.

      • Mjc

        Doug, you have I agree. You’ve went into detail about his speed being overlooked in the past.i also think Allot of people here have overlooked Jonathon India, I think he’s going to be a big time player.

  3. Michael Smith


    Edison had an era+ of 87 and 60 for 2012-13.
    Latos was at 118 and 120

    Alonso was a tick above average in those years and Grandal played an impressive 88 games including drug suspension those two years.

    In summary this is revisionist history. If you want to argue that Grandal should have stayed and Meso should have been in the trade ill buy it. Both were very good prospects at the time. Not sure why you think the reds running out Edison every 5th day would have made the team better. Alonso could not play any where but first and the reds had an MVP at the position.

    • Tom

      Edinson could have perhaps gone to the pen. Wood, Boxberger, Edinson had enough talent and performance in the years following 2011 to at least approximate what Latos and Marshall provided. The offense was actually pretty bad during those years only scoring around 700 runs on average. Another consideration is whether a stronger offensive club would have required getting Choo for Didi which was another loss in value. 2013 and 2014 could have looked like

      Phillips / Didi 2B
      Frazier / Alonso / Ludwick LF
      Votto / Alonso 1B
      Rolen / Cozart 3B
      Bruce RF
      Meso / Grandal C
      Cozart / Didi SS
      Stubbs / Hamilton CF



      Had no trades or different trades been made you can see they’d have had more talent. Perhaps the timelines are not as clean as I’ve presented, but Grandal, Wood, Meso, Didi, Alonso, Boxberger, etc all had more options to utilize. Volquez could have moved to the pen. Perhaps another trade could have been less damaging to the future. The Reds were enjoying a revival that’s was not yet fully mature and it could have been better and longer, potentially, than it was.

  4. MK

    Think it would be a mistake to think India and Senzel are clones. I see Senzel being a .300 hitter, 20-25 HR, 90 RBI, 25 SB guy with plus infield defense (not seen his outfield play); India a .275, 30-35 HR, 90 RBI, 5 SB guy with average infield defense (maybe better defense at first). There is a lot time for it to work its way out.