Nick Senzel is the Cincinnati Reds top prospect. He’s played third base every single day he’s been on the field since the Reds drafted him. That’s been 182 games at third base as he’s blown through the Minor Leagues. He’s hit a combined .315/.393/.514 in 797 plate appearances over the previous two seasons, reaching Double-A.

Eugenio Suarez is the Reds third baseman, and they’ve seemingly made that clear. He’s under contract for the next three seasons. In 2017 he had a breakout season on both sides of the ball. In the field he provided outstanding defense. At the plate he hit 25 doubles and 26 home runs while posting a .367 on-base percentage.

C. Trent Rosecrans wrote an article at The Athletic on Thursday afternoon about Nick Senzel and where he could play, since third base doesn’t seem to be open. While we’ve known for a while that Senzel was going to work on shortstop, among several positions, there hasn’t been much talk that suggested the Reds were going to really give it a look. Dick Williams, however, said this on Thursday about the Reds top prospect and the position:

“He’s expressed a desire to do it and it makes sense for us — we’ve always said you let people play themselves off the premium spots,” Williams said on Thursday. “There’s no reason to think he shouldn’t get some time there and show us what he can do.”

Now, there’s a lot of stuff in the article that’s worth checking out, so go read it all. But, let’s focus on Nick Senzel and shortstop. First, we need to address the position as it currently sits. Jose Peraza has the job right now. In 2016 just about everything went right for the then 22-year-old. He hit .324 and stole 21 bases in 72 games played. Last season just about everything went wrong for the then 23-year-old. He hit .259 with a .297 on-base percentage, and his power dropped off, too. He also only stole two more bases despite playing in twice as many games.

If Jose Peraza is going to be the 2016 version of Jose Peraza, and provide solid defense at shortstop over a full season, then the Reds may not have a shortstop problem in the long run. But, if Jose Peraza is going to be the 2017 version, then the Reds will have a problem. As I covered earlier this week in the State of the Farm: Shortstop article, the organization isn’t exactly thriving with shortstops that are close to the Major Leagues right now.

With all of that said, let’s start exploring what Nick Senzel and the shortstop position mean. First, we need to look backwards. In college Senzel played second base in his freshman and sophomore seasons. In his junior season he slid over to third base – but late in the year he did spend a handful of games at shortstop. On April 19th he began the game at third base, but regular shortstop Max Bartlett went down with an injury and Senzel slid over to shortstop. He would remain there for the next ten games before Bartlett returned.

At the time of the move, Nick Senzel was arguably the top prospect in the draft. Scouts were at every game, watching him play, evaluating his talent. Very few scouts thought, at the time, that he could handle shortstop at the Major League level. His manager at Tennessee, Dave Serrano, echoed similar thoughts to C. Trent Rosecrans earlier this week. With that said, while it’s the minority opinion, some thought that there was a chance it could work as long as he hit as expected. The trade off for some defense would be worth the boost in offense.

And that is likely what it is going to come down to. Nick Senzel is a very good athlete, so it’s not inconceivable that he could be a shortstop. When you look at his size, he’s not “too big” for shortstop. He’s listed at 6′ 1″ and 205 lbs. Jose Peraza, for example, is listed at 6′ 0″ and 196 lbs. Carlos Correa is 6′ 4″ and 215 lbs. Corey Seager is 6′ 4″ and 220 lbs. You get the point. But, he’s spent 10 games at shortstop since he left high school, and usually when that happens, there’s a reason for it.

Maybe, hopefully, everyone just missed the boat. If you think about the kind of hitter that Nick Senzel projects to be, a guy who could hit for a high average, get on base, show plenty of pop – at shortstop, that’s an All-Star every single year. Being able to add that kind of bat to the lineup would do wonders. And, of course, the Reds are going to add his bat to the lineup regardless, but being able to add it there, while keeping second base open for another quality hitter – be it Scooter Gennett, Shed Long, Alex Blandino, Dilson Herrera – would be huge.

But, it’s going to come down to the defense more so than the offense. Shortstop is arguably the most valuable position on the field outside of catcher. Defense matters there more than offense. There are limits on how much you can sacrifice on both sides at the position, but teams historically have been willing to give up a lot more offense at the position than defense at the position.

When we look at the crop of Major League shortstops in 2017, for the most part, it’s a well-rounded bunch. Most guys provided good value on the bases, and of course, as shortstops, overall provided strong defense. Some of them could really hit, too. But let’s focus on the defense. While they are all good fielders when compared to everyone, when we look at comparing them to just the rest of the shortstops, there’s going to be some good and some bad.

Heading to the Fangraphs leaderboards and looking at the most valuable shortstops in 2017 it’s a mixed bag in terms of how the best guys provided their value. As a group they mostly provided good value on the bases, and some of them could really hit. Only three of the 29 shortstops provided negative defensive value – but, that includes the positional adjustment, which is rather large for shortstops.

When we look at the group and compare them only to the other shortstops in Major League Baseball, that’s where we see just how the good, solid, and bad defenders stack up in terms of overall value. Inside of the Top 10 there were only three guys who were below-average defenders according to UZR/150 among shortstops. Carlos Correa, Elvis Andrus, and Xander Bogaerts. Correa was the worst among that group at -3.7, ranking 22nd overall. Bogaerts and Andrus ranked 18th and 21st.

Carlos Correa, at least compared to other shortstops, wasn’t exactly a strong defender. He was below-average, though not by a large amount. But he was still ranked as the third most valuable shortstop in baseball because he can absolutely rake. Elvis Andrus hit quite well in 2017 and like Correa, was able provide plenty of value – he was a 4.1 WAR player, which is roughly the value of an All-Star in most seasons. Bogaerts didn’t hit quite as well as the other two, but was still the 9th most valuable shortstop and provided 3.2 WAR despite being a slightly below-average defender at shortstop.

So, how much value can a shortstop give up on defense and still be a quality player if they hit well? Quite a bit. You probably can’t be the worst defender among the group, but you can be below-average. Take Jean Segura for example, he ranked as the 26th worst defender at shortstop in 2017 at -5.5 UZR/150. Despite that he was worth 2.9 WAR (2.0 is considered to be league average for a starter). That’s a fairly valuable player and would have been the 4th most valuable position player for the Reds last season – falling between Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett. Segura was valuable, though, because he can hit a little bit. He posted a .300/.349/.427 line.

Nick Senzel projects to be a better hitter than Jean Segura was in 2017. He also projects to provide more baserunning value, at least compared to what Segura provided last season. If there’s a chance that Senzel could be the level of defender that Segura was at shortstop, according to UZR/150 – which was among the worst in the league, but not the worst, then this whole Nick Senzel to shortstop thing could possibly work.

The one concern, though, is that even if that is the level of defense that he plays, is it something that the Cincinnati Reds would be willing to “live with” given their young pitching staff? Those extra outs made by a stronger defender could be of value beyond just the specific value to your shortstop. It would mean fewer pitches, and fewer stressful pitches made by your pitching staff.

There’s a whole lot that goes into this kind of decision. It’s not just about Nick Senzel. It’s about him, and it’s about Jose Peraza. And it’s about Scooter Gennett, and Shed Long, and Dilson Herrera, and Alex Blandino. It’s also about Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani, Luis Castillo, Brandon Finnegan, Sal Romano, Robert Stephenson, Amir Garrett, Tyler Mahle, and the guys that could pitch out of the bullpen. As I noted the other day, I think that how the Reds use Nick Senzel this spring is the biggest story involving one player in Goodyear.

If by some stroke of genius and circumstance it works out that he’s capable of playing shortstop, it could be a franchise altering kind of move. It may be a long shot kind of hope, but at least we are going to get to see it in action. That beats some past plans that the organization talked about trying but never put into action on the field.

DALTON AND GREEN IN 2018 T SHIRT

67 Responses

  1. Jim t

    I agree Doug if he can make the transition it could be team altering at least offensively. What worries me the most is defensively. If your not going to use Hamilton everyday in CF your already weakened your up the middle defense at 1 position. I really don’t think many people give enough credit to the amount of impact Billy’s glove has on the game in CF.

    With that said I really see little down size in trying him at SS. If it works it is a huge advantage as you pointed out. It also frees up Peraza to back up SS and CF. it certainly makes the club better offensively. Last time I can remember a position change having this kind of impact was Rose moving to 3rd base so Foster could play LF. If we are even close to the success that move created I will be a happy man. I am very skeptical though. Many runs are saved defensively at SS and CF. SS is not a place you want to play offense over defense.

    • Daytonian

      I’d be more than happy if the move to SS works out.

      Just don’t play Peraza in CF. I’ve seen it. It’s not very pretty.

    • Scott C

      There is no harm in trying it, at least in ST and early season in Louisville. But the defense certain needs to be as good or better than Peraza can provide, otherwise you put a tremendous amount of pressure on pitchers, their pitch counts go up, they have to hold more runners on base. Second base is already weak if Scooter plays there, centerfield will be weak if Schebler plays there. If you add a below average SS that is a lot of holes on defense.

  2. Jake Y.

    I’ll be very surprised if he ever plays SS regularly, but I agree the impact could be incredible if he can do it. I’m trying to remember any prospect that moved from a lesser position to SS sucessfully.

    • Billy

      Cal Ripken, Jr. came up as a 3B. Earl Weaver saw an opportunity and moved him to SS. He went on to become not just one of the best shortstops of all time, but one of the best defensive shortstops of all time. Now that’s obviously a wildly best-case scenario, but it isn’t unprecedented.

      • MK

        He won 2 Gold Gloves and was a good shortstop but I definitely not list Cal with the best defensive shortstops of all time. He would not even be in Top 4 Reds.

  3. Cguy

    Defensively, I’m not so sure that Senzel would be a larger liability at ss than Winker may be in right or left field.

    • Bill

      True, but what’s the cumulative effect of having below average defense at multiple positions? And as Duke points out, what’s the difference between Senzel and Peraza?

    • AirborneJayJay

      Jesse Winker is a better defender than Scott Schebler ever will be in RF. Winker may be better suited for LF, but he is not Yonder Alonso in the OF. Winker won’t be Jayson Heyward on defense, but he will be adequate and better than Schebler.

      • AirborneJayJay

        Winker is more suited for LF, as is Schebler, but I would take Winker every time in RF of the two. When I watch Schebler play OF defense he looks like the reincarnation of Jose Canseco. To go along with that Schebler carries a below average bat.
        Winker is better on defense than what many want to give him credit for. Schebler commits more errors than Winker has career-wise. But Schebler’s bat is what gets him benched or traded. Schebler had a wRC+ of 101 in 2016 and 100 in 2017. Average. Winker had a 135. I am going with Winker on the run creation part.
        Say what you will about Schebler’s power, but he hit only ONE double in GABP in 2017. One. 24 on the road. Schebler hit .198 in 2017 at home in GABP. He hit .215 vs. RH pitching and 72% of his AB’s were against RH pitching. That is inexcusable. Winker can hit him some RH pitching.

      • Clammy

        The offensive comparisons are another issue. I responded to your claim that Winker is a better defender than Schebler. There are a couple catches in this highlight reel that Winker simply wouldn’t have the range to get there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIZOK9uXDBM&t=317s

        1:50 look at how much ground he covers. Likewise at the 5:55 mark. That’s three examples if you include the first catch I posted that show that his range and his athleticism. I do remember Winker making a great diving catch on the warning track on one of his first starts. Certainly neither would claim that D is not his calling card. Looking at Winker’s latest scouting report on mlb: 40 run 45 arm 45 field http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2017?list=cin

        I’m all for Winker getting 500 AB’s this year; probably at the expense of Duvall who has worn down in the 2nd half the last two years

  4. AndyBado

    After the title question, I thought this article was just going to read: “No.”

    I get it. It would be great if Senzel was passable at SS. But you know what? It would be amazing if Joey Votto was a passable catcher, too, but we’re not trying it. I like the Reds working on Senzel’s defensive versatility. This just seems like a wishful stretch though. And they already have a guy who can hit who has a lot more experience at shortstop in the minors – Suarez. Is it possible that dozens of evaluators and scouts missed that Suarez wouldn’t be able to stick at short AND that Senzel has the tools to play there?

    I’m confused by all of this.

      • AndyBado

        The article is great, but I don’t think it clears anything up. It gives some quotes from a few biased people about Senzel’s ability to play short (which, don’t get me wrong, I find fascinating). On this site, an often stated position is that if Senzel or Suarez could play short in the majors, they’d be playing short. So I guess this is the Reds signalling they think Senzel can play short.
        I just don’t really believe he’s a better option defensively than Suarez, who has logged thousands of innings there in the minors and majors and as recently as 2015 was seen as a passable if not spectacular SS prospect (and no one was really doubting that he could stick there).
        Senzel seems to be more athletic than many thought when he was drafted, but that doesn’t mean he’s athletic enough to handle short. He’s logged dozens (to Suarez’s thousands) of innings at SS since high school, and it’s only when there’s a need at the position that the Reds say, “maybe he could cut it there.”
        That seems like a situational decision rather than an optimal one. It was also a situational decision to move Suarez off of SS when Cozart became healthy. If Peraza can’t cut it at short, the optimal decision now seems to be: play both players at the positions where they are most experienced and where scouts and evaluators have long viewed them.

      • The Duke

        Suarez is about 10-15 lbs heavier than when he was playing SS

    • Alex

      Senzel is more athletic than Suarez. Athleticism is more Important for range at SS than 3rd. So one would think that senzel at this point in time has a better chance to stick at SS than Suarez does.

      • AndyBado

        Do we know that for sure? Senzel seems to be athletic in the David Wright mold, but Suarez is in that mold too. Senzel’s athleticism was undervalued when he was drafted but now it seems to be swinging the other way. He’s athletic for a third-baseman; that doesn’t make him a shortstop.
        FWIW, Senzel and Suarez have posted similar speed scores and weighted stolen base runs in the minors.

      • The Duke

        Last year Suarez posted slower baserunning times than Jesse Winker. Doug had it in one of his articles over the winter. Senzel has above average speed, maybe bordering on plus.

    • AndyBado

      I really don’t mean to be throwing shade at Senzel or how awesome it would be if he could play short. Senzel is awesome, and I think he will be an awesome Red for a long time. If that’s as a shortstop, all the better!

      I just have serious doubts about this all of the sudden being the best path forward when there is lots of evidence (scouting reports, prospect lists and analysis, positional experience) that signals otherwise.

  5. The Duke

    For the Reds case though, at least in 2017, it doesn’t really matter how Nick Senzel would stack up against the rest of baseball, what matters is how he stacks up against Jose Peraza. If Jose Peraza is a average/fringe average defender, and Senzel is only a small downgrade to fringe average/below average then the tradeoff may be worth it for the offensive improvement. With his athleticism, under rated speed, good arm, and good footwork at 3B that we have seen, I won’t be shocked if Senzel could play an average defensive SS through his mid 20’s. He likely slides back over to 3B or over to 2B at some point, but in his peak athletic years, it’s worth a shot.

    • Shawn

      You mentioned getting 50% off for the National.do you know the code?

    • Billy

      I’m with Duke on this. It would be one thing if we were talking about a change from a top-notch defensive shortstop like Cozart to Senzel. The drop off would be considerable. However, we’re likely already getting the bulk of that! We don’t have any reason to believe that Peraza is going to be an average defensive shortstop, let alone a good one. Some scouts still question whether he’s really only a second baseman. A below average defensive shortstop better hit a lot. Senzel most likely will. Peraza could, but we aren’t really sure. This is a good move to explore, regardless how it eventually plays out.

      • Doug Gray

        With the Reds, at shortstop, Jose Peraza according to UZR/150 has been ever-so-slightly below average, at -0.5 between his two seasons. Granted, the sample size is just over half of a season of total data. Still, what data we do have says that, well, there is a reason to believe he’s about an average defensive shortstop.

      • Billy

        You’re right, Doug. There’s some reason to believe that Peraza may be about average. That doesn’t really change my point though that the drop from excellent to average is going to be a bigger one than the drop from average to below average.

    • Kap

      I like your assessment. It would be a huge win if he can play a decent shortstop then eventually move over to 2nd or 3rd. That allows the Reds to groom a true shortstop within the next so many years whether it is Jeter Down, Jose Garcia, Miguel Hernandez, or possibly Brice Turang or Nander De Sedas if the Reds draft them 5th in June.

      I just have no faith in Peraza. I know he’s still young and learn some plate discipline, but still. It will go a long way to see how Peraza plays the first few months of the season. In the mean time, play Senzel at short during spring training and in Triple A for a month or two and see how he does. Very little to lose by at least trying

      • The Duke

        Another name to watch, Jeremy Eierman, a college SS from Missouri State who hit .313/.431/.657 last year with 23 HR. I asked Aaron Fitt on Twitter if he thinks Eierman sticks at SS, and he’s a believer. Thinks he could be average to maybe a little above average defensively. Eierman K’s a bit much for my liking, but maybe that’s something he can improve on this year.

      • Kap

        I’ve heard of him. I’m starting to pay attention to the draft a little more now. In a perfect world (not is non-existent), the Reds are convinced Nick Madrigal can handle short, which he normally doesn’t play at Oregon State. He would be in the majors maybe quicker if not as quickly as Senzel would.

  6. Colorado Red

    Another question is now can he do at 2nd base?
    The Reds are better at 2nd the SS, but between ST and early at AAA we can find out.
    As Duke stated Jose is not a world class SS.
    Good issue to have.

  7. Matt Bruggeman

    No one is talking about how much defensive shifts come into play. It seems to have become a regular thing, but even minor position shifts have happened for as long as I can remember. Can good scouting, positioning and pitching approach mitigate some lack of range?

    • Doug Gray

      Shifts can help…. but they can also hurt. Some teams that used to shift a lot have started to shift less and less because they’ve realized that it’s not working as well as they thought that it would.

      Obviously, there’s a line between shifting too much and not shifting enough.

  8. Brad

    With Votto, Suarez and Senzel on the infield. That potentially gives them 3 all-star level players any given year. Yes, I fully realize 3B is near impossible in the national league with Nolan Arenado. But all star level talents.

    Will be huge how the Reds control Senzel + SP (Romano, Stephenson, Mahle, Garrett, Reed, Lopez, etc) service time. Not going for it in 2018, be smart about team control.

    • Jordan Barhorst

      I think if everyone leaves Spring Training healthy, you go for it with this team. They have the offensive and defensive players of a playoff contender, and the pitching, again if everyone is healthy, is borderline. Could be a year like Milwaukee’s or the Twins last year.

  9. Cinvenfan

    I stil feel Senzel should play Rf and winker LF. Try to deal Duvall/Schebler for a SS/CF and sign Suarez long term. If Suarez doesn’t sign, trade him and bring Senzel back to 3b ala Kris Bryant.

    • Colorado Red

      My guess is they have been trying to deal Duvall/Schebler but value is not as high as they want.

    • Doug Gray

      I’d just hate to see the value wasted by placing Senzel in a corner outfield spot when he can actually play on the dirt. That would be the last spot I’d try him.

  10. Jordan Barhorst

    It kind of seems like Senzel was never really given a shot at SS. Seems like at the collegiate level he was blocked by a better defender (and MLB draftee) at short, so he moved to third. At that point, he was just deemed a third baseman.

    Reviews of his time taking over at shortstop for a spell in college have been favorable. While I know it’s far from the same position, I can’t help but feel the guy named MiLB’s best defensive third baseman would be absolutely atrocious at shortstop, and as you mentioned Doug, even defensive metrics among the league’s worst would make Senzel an extremely valuable asset, should he hit like we think he will.

    Regardless of what happens, I applaud Nick’s selflessness and drive to help the team. To be honest, after listening to some of his interviews and watching him on his Instagram story throughout the offseason, I may have unfairly painted Senzel in a negative light. He just didn’t seem to have the unflappable mentality that I think a cant-miss prospect should have.

    Have to remind myself that he’s a kid, and it’s his offseason, so he can do whatever he wants. All that matters is what he says when it counts, and fighting for a shot to be The Guy at a premium position says a lot.

    • AirborneJayJay

      You may have read Senzel wrong.
      Senzel is a quite type of guy. Kind of shy. He might not seem “unflappable” on the outside. But I firmly believe he is “unflappable” on the inside.
      He doesn’t have the boisterous personality of Brandon Phillips. But a quite confidence of a Joey Votto. I’ll take that every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    • Colorado Red

      From what I have heard (podcast on redlegnation.com) he was been in AZ for a month, working on short or 2B.
      Nice to hear he wants to do it.

  11. asinghoff

    It will be interesting to see which Jose Peraza we get. His overall numbers were bad last year, but he did have a .333 OBP in the 2nd half of the season. He actually tripled his walk total between halves with 5 in the first half, and 15 in the second half, in 150 less plate appearances. If we can get something close to the August Peraza, I think the Reds could live with that line of 284/368/328. Add a couple more extra base hits in there, and a 700 OPS doesn’t sound so bad.

  12. AirborneJayJay

    This is good news for the Reds. If it is a successful tryout, then it will be bad news for one of either Jose Peraza or Dilson Herrera. More likely Herrera as Peraza would be the backup SS/2B.
    Senzel’s defense at SS I don’t think will be as bad as some fear. He is a great fielder, has a strong arm, has quick feet and good baseball instincts. A healthy Senzel is not going to be any worse defensively than a Zack Cozart with a mending quad. And Cozart was pretty good defensively even with that bad quad. Cozart wasn’t his usual great at defense, but he still wielded a good glove.
    As with Cozart and his quad, the range the SS covered seemed to decrease some. And that will be the concern about Senzel and his defense. What amount of range will he have at SS? Most questions will be answered by Senzel in a positive way. The range question at SS for Senzel will be the big issue to watch in spring training. Peraza is pretty good getting to the ball in the 5 1/2 hole between 3B and SS. And Peraza is pretty good around the 2B bag on DP’s and SB attempts. We’ll have to see how Senzel handles those items.

  13. sultanofswaff

    Given the tidal wave of data about where to position defenders, it’s less imperative that Senzel be rangy, he just needs to make the plays hit at him and in front of him. That was Cozart’s stock and trade. Now that said, it seems the safer play would be to shift the guy who already was a major league SS—Suarez. I fear this is where the interests of the team take a back seat to veteran privilege once again. I get that Senzel hasn’t proven anything at the major league level and a position shouldn’t just be handed to him, but we’re talking a can’t miss prospect here, which Peraza is anything but.

    At the very least Price should declare SS an open competition while giving time allocated to all 3 guys. After all, defensive versatility is a key component of today’s game.

    • Doug Gray

      You can’t call shortstop an open competition because that means if Senzel plays well and Peraza doesn’t, you can’t really make any argument to send Senzel down to start the year when you absolutely, 100% have to do that so you get him from 2018-2024 instead of 2018-2023.

  14. KyWilson1

    This would be amazing, but i just dont see how a college coach, pro scouts, and then pro coaches have almost universally said he couldn’t play SS, then on the cusp of him reaching the majors he can suddenly do it.

    That said, a line up with Votto- Stenzel- Suarez- Winker would be pretty impressive. Get rid of one of the 2 black holes on offense(Pereza-Hamilton) and you have something that can win.

    • Alex

      Has anyone said he can’t play SS? Or is it more that he is a better fit for 2nd or 3rd??

      • KyWilson1

        If they thought he could play SS full time he wouldve been doing that already . You dont waste 5 years of development(college and pro), pushing him to another position and losing reps. Just my thoughts, but who knows

      • Doug Gray

        Yes. A lot of people have said he can’t play shortstop as a Major Leaguer.

  15. Gaffer

    I sure hope they give Senzel a couple months to play SS in AAA before they bring him up. No need to get his clock started or even risk super 2 for this horrible team.

    If they bring him up early and sit him on the bench then they all should be fired.

    • Colorado Red

      Agree 100%.
      Give him some time to get used to the position, and also see AAA pitching.
      I am thinking of calling him up about 1 Jun.
      Not that my opinion matters

    • Doug Gray

      If he comes up and sits on the bench, I will go on one of my epic tirades that are usually only reserved for my Pete Rose takes.

  16. Michael B. Green

    Call me crazy but what if CIN is quietly going about a new approach with infielders that addresses shifts? Shortstops are at 2nd or close to 3rd half the time while 2B are either playing SS or short-RF from time-to-time too. 3B are either staying home at the hot corner or shifting to SS or 2B – depending on the shift make-up.

    Suarez, Senzel and Peraza, under that approach are interchangeable parts.

    Hmm…

  17. MK

    It is so difficult for a rookie to be successful offensively at the mlb level I would hate to jeopardize offensive development while he is trying to learn a new defensive position at the big league level. I would hope that if a position change is made it is made in the minor leagues first.

  18. Michael B. Green

    Perhaps this is not the right article for this posting but does anyone see a CF for AA? I assume that Guerrero is heading up to AAA and while Sweet is likely moving up to AA, he’s more of a LF.

    The candidates are Friedl and – and this is my topic – a level jump by Siri? Does anyone think CIN will push Siri and jump him a level? BAL did it last year with Mullins and he played extremely well before he hurt his hammy.

    Thoughts?

    • MK

      The 2016 Dragons, the class of whom should be 2018 Blue Wahoos, by May of that year had the worst winning percentage in minor league baseball. Siri started the year in right field but was so awful was sent back to Billings for a second season. Mitch Piatnick, who I believe has been released spent the most time in center along with Shane Mardarosian, who might have been released as well. After his winter season in the Dominican I think I would try Siri in Pensacola, but Doug said a while back he did not think that would happen. Long term I think Friedl plays as a left fielder but he does cover the ground well enough to give it a try. But after the bad Dragons of 2016 and Tortugas of 2017 you should probably look fondly on your Championship trophy from last year because 2018 could be bleak.

    • Krozley

      Brian O’Grady is still around and Jared Mitchell could slide down to AA if needed. Maybe Crook moves up. Not very exciting. There looks to be a lot of CF options that will be at Daytona and Dayton.

  19. Simon Cowell

    Realistically he should be playing every day at either shortstop or centerfield. No reason to plug him in at second with so many candidates there. Aside from Peraza no competition at short and aside from Bham no competition for center either.

    • Doug Gray

      Well, if he shows he can’t play short, or center, then there’s absolutely a reason to plug him in at second. Because he’d be the best option there.

  20. CP

    Good to see the Reds willing to give Senzel a shot at SS. I’ve been on pretty public about my day dream of seeing him at SS or CF, but never thought it was more than a pipedream. It does seem rare for a guy to move from a lesser defensive position to a more difficult one. But man if he could somehow pull it off, wow what a development that would be. Doug hit the nail on the head. Franchise changing kind of development. This would immediately change the dynamic of the Reds lineup to only having 1 weak spot, and if Hamilton is a dynamic weak spot to have at least.

    The potential lineups that could be if Senzel can handle short are salivating.

    Winker
    Senzel
    Votto
    Suarez
    Schebler
    Scooter
    Barnhart
    P
    Hamilton

    Just one shot in the dark, but man that’s not too shabby….

  21. Michael B. Green

    Has Senzel played even one game at SS in the minors? Knowing that they needed shortstops, CIN traded for Peraza and spent international money.

    I’m all for Senzel anyway but it is very unusual to switch a player off a position when he has only played 3B as a professional and is considered the very best in the minor league world there

  22. Michael Smith

    Would Pete Rose moving from 2nd to 3rd count for moving to a more difficult position?

  23. Jon Ryker

    I would be pretty certain that having Senzel and Gennett playing the middle infield at the same time would result in a lot of losses.

  24. kevin z

    As much as I like this move I think can do it with the shifts being played at such a high Rate.
    What do we do with Peraza? I liked the improvement I saw in Patience at the plate in 2nd half of season. Plus gives Reds some speed which other than him Hamilton has.
    Gennett got a nice raise hard see benching him I guess see how all plays out Until Senzel gets the call.

    Players I like early in MLB draft are:
    SS Nander De Sedas- Think could go 1 like SS last year or top 3 so miss out on him.
    2nd base- SS- Nick MadriGal: Small will nice tools has extra base Power.
    SS- Jeremy Eierman-: Grinder type player with nice skills more BB than K’s
    OF- Greyson Jenista : Could be a reach at 5 but a Winker Type hitter Works Counts Grinds out ABs