Nick Senzel, the Cincinnati Reds top prospect, continued his torrid month of August on Tuesday night. At home for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos the third baseman went 1-2 with 2 walks and a 2-run home run. The home run was his 14 of the season and 10th with the Blue Wahoos in 55 games played.

After a big month of July where Nick Senzel posted an OPS of .989, he’s taken things up to 11 in August. Over the span of 20 games in the month the 22-year-old has hit .329/.424/.630 with four doubles and six home runs. He’s also walked 12 times to go with 13 strikeouts and four steals during the month.

For the season Nick Senzel is hitting .316/.385/.511 with 40 doubles, three triples and 14 home runs. That’s come between the Advanced-A Daytona Tortugas and the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos. He’s performed better with Pensacola than Daytona despite the competition being better. The Florida State League generally suppresses offensive output, and that certainly could be the case here. Still, you don’t often see a guy get a promotion to Double-A and increase his OPS by over 100 points.

Reds sign a pitcher from the Mexican League

The Cincinnati Reds have signed right handed pitcher Daniel De La Fuenta out of the Mexican League. The 20-year-old was playing with the Toros de Tijuana. His action was rather limited as he appeared in just three games with the Toros in 2017. Over that span he threw 4.0 shutout innings with a walk and six strikeouts. While he didn’t get much time on the mound with the Toros during the summer, he has pitched quite well in what appears to be a “minor league” version of the Mexican Winter League over the previous two seasons.

According to a local report out of Tijauna, here’s what Reds scout Hector Otero had to say about Daniel De La Fuenta:

We have been following Daniel for two years, he is very mature for the age he has, he looks postured on the mound and without fear, he looks like a veteran, he has always shown that he has the ability to throw strikes.”

Cincinnati’s plan for De La Fuente is to send it to the organization’s facility in Goodyear, Arizona to prepare physically prior to the start of the Reds’ spring camp in March.

The Toros roster is full of former Reds. Carlos Fisher, Mark Serrano, Pedro Villarreal and Jorge Cantu are among a nice roster full of former big leaguers.

35 Responses

  1. Wes

    Brewers have 2 comparable players-
    1. Corey Ray from Louisville cardinals was drafted a couple spots after senzel looks like a complete bust hitting 230 w a 140+ ks in 400 at bats in high A. I think I still prefer senzel to him : )
    2 is Josh hader. Him and Garrett were 2 highest ranked lefties according to MLB to start season. Hader moved back to bullpen and is performing well for brewers. Maybe a similar move is on the horizen for Garrett?

  2. sultanofswaff

    Senzel is gonna have to get the Kris Bryant treatment—held back in AAA to start the season to secure that extra year of control. Unlike a pitcher that generally moves back and forth due to performance or a roster squeeze, when Nick comes up he’ll be here for good.

    So if you’re the GM, who do you want taking grounders somewhere besides 3B—-Senzel or Suarez???

    • Doug Gray

      I’m trying Suarez at shortstop before anything else. If there’s even a small chance he can play there, it’s worth the shot. .380 OBP/25 HR shortstops basically don’t exist. If you can get one it’s worth it’s weight in plutonium.

      • Brock

        How was he in 2015 at short? I remember him playing there but don’t recall how he did. I know he had many errors, but those can be corrected with better footwork and body control. Does he have the range?

      • Doug Gray

        He was very bad, but he had some real problems with the throws. I wonder if the throws are better now, if it wouldn’t improve his overall defensive rating quite a bit.

      • Bill

        As I recall, a lot of the defensive miscues were on routine plays. This is an area where he has made significant improvement while playing 3B. Hoping to see the Reds give him some more looks at SS as this season winds down.

    • Wes

      I’m w Doug. If Suarez can play short his stat line is excellent! Let scooter and peraza battle it out for 2nd and utility. Herrera seems to be odd man out.

      I’m also still high on blandino. He’s had a slow enough start to his career to keep him in aaa next season so you gotta go that route just because there’s no room at the inn. You can’t force out peraza or gennett to make room for him. He’ll have to wait.

      The log jam is already thick enough- how can your u possibly resign cozart?

      Mid season 2018
      Billy
      Winker
      Senzel
      Votto
      Duvall
      Suarez
      Barnhart
      P
      Peraza

      Pretty sweet lineup!

      • sultanofswaff

        A lineup with Peraza, the pitcher, and then Billy could never be better than average. With a super low payroll, I’d look at extending Suarez and Barnhart, then look long and hard at Lorenzo Cain or Carlos Gomez. Billy becomes what he should be—a pinch runner, defensive replacement, spot starter on a good team.

      • CP

        I could also see this possible lineup working come mid 2018:

        Senzel
        Winker/Scheblar
        Votto
        Duvall/Scheblar
        Suarez
        Scooter/Peraza/Herrera
        Billy
        Barnhart/Mesoraco
        P

        Senzel in no Billy, but he has enough speed to man the top of the lineup, and will get on base plenty to justify it. Top 3 spots of the lineup will be filling the bases in front of Duval, and then another high OBP/OPS guy in Suarez to follow. On days you work Schebler into the lineup you simply put Suarez in the 2 hole, and Schebler backing up Duval. Still high OBP in the 2 hole, and still great power threat behind Duval.

        This also packs speed (Peraza/Billy) at the bottom of the lineup, if they can ever get on base, to create run scoring opportunities there as well. Not to mention the lineup will not be lacking in power potential with at least 6 guys with 15+hr potential (Senzel, Votto, Duval, Suarez, Schebler, Scooter). Wild cards with power being Winker/Mesoraco, for developmental/health reasons.

        Long story short these guys will give the manager, whoever he might end up being, a lot of good options to leverage the strengths of the Reds to give opposing teams a tough time finding outs and limiting runs.

        Hard part is we still find ourselves where we started the year this year, wondering where the pitching will be. Being competitive next year will come down to the health/development of the SP more than likely…

      • wes

        I disagree Sulton. I don’t see either of those guys being much of an upgrade over Billy; Cain is always hurt and Gomez’ best days are behind him. Billy will be playing in his age 27 year next season- so if he’s ever going to take the next step forward it’ll have to be over next couple years. And Peraza is just 23 years old. He’s got a ton of MLB experience for a 23 year old. His best days are surely to come.

        IMO Reds need to keep minimal payroll for as long as possible and save that money vs just spending. With the lack of luck from current extensions I’d be proceeding very cautiously if I’m management.

      • Bill

        Wes, I agree…the ability to stash a quality player like Blandino is a great sign the Reds are nearing contention again?

  3. JPhillips

    Winker/Senzel/Votto could be a great top three in the lineup, all with the potential for +.400 OBP.

    • Jasonp

      This is why I am excited about our future. I don’t know if everyone will be as good as I think (Winker/Senzel) or keep on being good (Votto). A line up with those 3 + a current combination of Suarez/Duval and future bats in Trammell,Long, Siri, Fairchild will be fun to watch and will score a lot of runs.

    • Arnold Ziffle

      This is why is will be super important for the Reds to lock up Suarez and Duval to extensions this winter that takes up their arbitration years and maybe a free agent year or two. A 4 or 5 year deal with Suarez and a 3 or 4 year deal for Duvall. I am on the fence on an extension for Billy Hamilton.
      The more success Suarez and Duvall have, the higher their price will be. Lock them up this winter. Now the team will have some direction and some semblance of a plan going foward.

  4. HavaKlu

    The fear of many that Winker did not have the power needed to be a ML OF is rapidly being dispelled by his now hitting twice as many HR as a ML than he did at Louisville in 1/4 as many times at bat. His performance is making Schebler increasingly expendable, especially considering the 4 year age difference.

    • Bubba Woo

      It is? Because he had one two-home run game last week and hit one last night when the Cubs were up 8 and just trying to get off the field? Don’t you think his last 1000 ABs is probably more of an indicator of his potential power?

      • The Duke

        Louisville and Pensacola have been known to suppress power, and that’s where Winker has been the past couple of years while also coming off an injury also known to suppress power for a year or two until it is fully healed in a hamate injury.

  5. The Duke

    Suarez has definitely added some LBs in the past couple years. I’m a little dubious on him transitioning back to SS. If he could do it though, our lineup potential is very high.

    Senzel, 3B
    Winker, LF
    Votto, 1B
    Duvall, RF
    Suarez, SS
    Gennett, 2B
    Barnhart, C
    Pitcher
    Hamilton, CF

    I wonder if we could get an upgrade offensively without sacrificing too much defense in CF by packaging BHam, Schebler, and one of our pitching prospects (Garrett/Romano/Reed) for an established player.

    • alex

      I agree Suarez has gotten a little chunky it looks like. but I do still think he might be more athletic than cozart still. So I think Suarez should be able to handle it and be an avg def ss with a well above avg bat at ss!

      • sultanofswaff

        Agreed. Suarez would be as athletic as Cozart for a number of years moving forward. He won’t be a gold glover, but he could be Jhonny Peralta in his prime. Throwing issues were his bugaboo previously and he seems to have those corrected. I think it could work.

  6. Greenfield Red

    It’s interesting to me the Reds have several minor leaguers who are having great years while the minor league teams as a whole are losing at an alarming rate. However, if you look at the stats from each level, you’ll see 3 or 4 guys having really good years, and the rest of the team having awful years. There isn’t a lot of in between. I guess it takes more than 3 or 4 guys to win.

    • RedsKoolAidDrinker

      And I’d take that over lots of winning but nobody that great on the horizon.

  7. Krozley

    Suarez was slightly above average defensively at short his first year with Tigers. He was not very good in his stint with the Reds there in 2015, but I seem to remember him being much better the 2nd half of his year after a brutal beginning. He’s come a long way, so I think he could be average at shortstop defensively. It will be hard to keep his bat out of the lineup.

    For those wanting to ink Scooter’s name in everyday at second base, he still has an OPS against lefties of .658 this year and .537 for his career. Those numbers are .943 and .805 against righties. Herrera’s OPS in his AA/AAA 300+ plate appearances against lefties is .972. That could be quite a productive platoon at least offensively next year.

    • CP

      It’s all about competition. Let the OF and infield depth/log jam compete, and the cream will rise to the top. The others can serve in the bench or go to AAA for depth, if they have options.

      Being able to fill your bench with close to everyday player talent, at a young/cheap price is a great luxury.

      The excess with value could always be opportunistically flipped to fill other needs as they arise.

  8. Shawn

    I would also platoon Billy and Ervin. Ervn is a much better hitter against Right handed pitchers. Then you would have Billy available to pinch run or defensive replacement on the days he don’t start

    • Shawn

      Looks like I was wrong about this. Neither can hit a lefty. Schebler could take some of the ABs against leftys. Billy hitting 219, Ervin 214. Schebler 280

      • Doug Gray

        Don’t put much stock in 1-year splits. Last season Schebler hit righties significantly better than lefties. Same for 2016. And 2015.

  9. Shawn

    I wouldn’t trade Schebler. I would rotate Schebler, Winker and Duval depending on matchups. All 3 could remain fresh and more productive over the season

    • Bill

      One could also give Votto the occasional day off and join the lineup for the days we need a DH.

      • Alex

        I find it odd that schebler is batting so much better against lefties. Maybe he is just more focus when batting against a lefty? Makes me think should be very capable of improving against rightys

  10. Shawn

    Peraza hitting 284 against lefties. Maybe him and Billy should platoon in CF