Yesterday saw plenty of news on Nick Senzel. First Jon Heyman tweeted that the team was considering calling up their top prospect. Then a few hours later Jonathan Mayo of reported that it was going to happen on Friday. C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic was told that for now he’s in the minors, but he would be in the big leagues “very soon” yesterday afternoon. With the Louisville Bats playing a morning game in Toledo, Senzel was in the leadoff spot and playing in center field. After the game was over it was officially time as the organization informed Senzel that he was getting the call to the big leagues.

After being the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 Major League Baseball draft, Nick Senzel has worked his way up through the Cincinnati Reds farm system. His first year was spent in Billings and Dayton. In 2017 he saw action in the first half with Daytona before moving up to Pensacola where he hit .340.

It was the 2018 season that slowed down his ascension to the Major Leagues. He missed a few weeks due to a bout of vertigo early in the year. Then after returning he went on an absolute tear for the Bats. Unfortunately in late June he injured his finger on a relay throw while playing second base and missed the remainder of the season. He was hitting .310/.378/.509 at the time of the injury.

During the offseason he made the transition to the outfield. After having surgery to have bone spurs removed in his elbow, he remained in Goodyear all offseason to work on learning the new spot on the field. When spring training started he was the favorite to get the job according to manager David Bell. But ultimately the decision was made to send Nick Senzel to minor league camp. Two days later he injured his ankle when a spike got caught while sliding into second base.

Here’s what Cincinnati General Manager Nick Krall said on Sunday, April 21st about Senzel as he was getting ready to head to Louisville.

It’s just keep getting your reps and keep improving. We saw an improvement from the beginning of spring training to the end of spring training and it wasn’t quite ready to be here.

He needs to keep improving to become the guy we need out there. We have a lot of faith that he can get to that point. At some point, he’ll get up here and he’s still going to be learning.

Center field is indeed a new position for Senzel. Prior to spring training he had never played a game there. But he seemed to pick up on it quickly. I spoke with multiple scouts in Goodyear who said he was the best defensive center fielder on the team right now, with a few noting that he was behind Michael Lorenzen – but of course the team wasn’t going to put Lorenzen out there as a starter. The front office, however, seemed to be saying that he needed to continue to improve. Eight games in Triple-A was apparently enough time to figure out whatever it was that was needed.

Over the span of his career since being drafted, Nick Senzel posted a .312/.388/.508 line in 239 games and 904 at-bats. Here’s his career set of stats from his time in the minor leagues.

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19 Responses

  1. Hanawi

    Don’t think they make this move now if Schebler was giving them anything in CF.

    • Stock

      Agree Hanawi. if Schebler was hitting like he did in ST then the Reds may be in 1st and there would be no spot for Senzel.

      I still think the Reds will be in a close battle with the Cubs for 2nd place in the division and finish with 85 – 90 wins.

  2. Patrick

    the are going to do what the Reds do. They will bring Senzel up even though he would be better off in AAA learning the OF and plate discipline (which at the moment is an awful k-rate and BB rate not good). But hey have to sell those seats.

    I also blame Schebler’s poor start and the refusal to use Ervin in CF on a regular basis for the premature promotion.

    For reference on what is likely to happen hitting wise look at Bruce’s initial call up year. I see an ops around .750 would have expected better if the Reds would have allowed him to knock the rust off. It has taken Winker awhile after his injury and he is a better hitter than Senzel.

  3. Shamrock

    Yea, not too many folks (Doug and Senz’s agent excluded) felt like Nick beat out Schebler (or even Ervin for that matter) for the job this spring.
    However, Scheb seems to have fallen off just as hard and fast as Duvall did last year.
    As a Reds fan, 1st and foremost, I really hope that Senzel comes up, immediately silences his critics, and sets the world ablaze!!

    What’s the update on Scooter?
    (i feel like he’s the guy who this team has been missing the most)

  4. Jeffreyp05

    Ervin sent down today. Bowman called up. When is Senzel joining the team? Are they are down to 3 bench players for tonight?

    • Cguy

      Ervin is better off playing everyday for the Bats than pinch hitting for the Reds. So if/when Senzel is called up Friday, it appears a rp will be sent down (or dfa). Who might that be?

  5. AirborneJayJay

    The Reds ticket sales this year are down 11% from last season, one of the worst attendance years since 1970, the opening of Riverfront Stadium.
    Senzel might give a bump to a small walkup figure Friday night, but it won’t be by much. This is a move that wreaks of desperation by the Reds front office, which is in panic mode on attendance. Or lack thereof. Been a lot of empty seats in GABP.
    Puig is a disaster at drawing fans. That Dodgers trade is looking more and more like dismal clunker for the Reds. The front office has to live with their disastrous strategy, one they are also dying with day by day.
    Bowman got called up, but Zach Duke is still on the team. That baseball genius, Dick “Forest Gump” Williams.

    • Wes

      Sales are down for most teams and in all pro sports. 11% is roughly the average sales decline for baseball. The 1-8 start and 4 hour games are just as bad as puigs performance too.

      Got to catch the game last night on my 55 inch high def w surround sound with my feet up on the couch; took a nap for a couple innings in the middle. After the 10th I got to walk up my steps and climb in bed. Hard to compete w that convenience and expense vs experience.

    • Shawn

      Do you know anything about Senzel? He will hit and field better than Schebler. Is one of the top prospects in baseball. You act like they are calling him up for ticket sales. He will soon be one of the best players on this team

      • jon

        Senzel is not a better CF than Schebler.Senzel has proven zero at the MLB level.He’s hitting .250 at AAA with 13 k’s in 35 abs. It will be a long time before he’s one of the best players on the reds.

  6. Adam

    I am so sick of this discussion I don’t always agree with Doug but he is right on this one the guy has hit everywhere has nothing to prove he was drafted out of the top baseball conference in the nation and was the best hitter every stop he has been at he was one of top hitters……The guy needs to be in Cincy and stay here but most of you guys are going to complain about Van Meter deserving the call up….. Get real he is a huge investment and deserves he look

    • Doc

      Vlad Jr has hit everywhere, and a lot better than Senzel. Have you checked his line since he got called up? .214 average. .286 slugging. And the rest isn’t pretty either.

      I wish Senzel and the Reds the best, but I have no reason to believe he is the savior.

      • Jonathan Linn

        Hi Doc – Vlad Jr. has been up a total of 6 games? Come on now….

  7. Wes

    If senzel didn’t get hurt last season he would have lost his prospect eligibility in 2018. He would have been starting center field this whole season if he didn’t hurt his ankle.

    Minor leagues is 20% player needs to work on game 80% you’re not good enough to play in majors. Senzel has been good enough for a long time.

    • Doc

      Were ifs and butts scoops and nuts we’d be hardware millionaires.

      He did get hurt last season. And he has been hurt already this season.

      He is good enough; he needs the other 20%.

  8. Phil

    Of course Senzel belongs in Cincinnati. And of course Scheb probably wasn’t going to continue his torrid spring into the regular season. The injury was unfortunate, but this all worked out well for the future. The Reds will hit sooner than later, and maybe the kid provides a spark. Good things on the horizon.