Nick Senzel’s a strong defender, other Reds notes Doug Gray September 20, 2018 42 Comments As you’ve probably already seen, Nick Senzel is working on learning left field in instructional league right now. If you haven’t seen that, I’d suggest clicking that link and starting with that article first. Before he was injured in the summer, Nick Senzel spent the 2018 season with the Louisville Bats. He only made one start at shortstop. Most of his time came at second base, where he made 28 starts. He also made 14 starts at third base. We already knew that Senzel was a strong defensive player at third base. This past offseason he was named as the best defensive third baseman in all of minor league baseball. Even with a small number of games played at second base with Louisville this season, he was named the best defensive second baseman in the International League, too. Baseball Info Solutions does a whole lot of everything when it comes to compiling stats. They handle stuff for both the Major and Minor Leagues. On Tuesday they released their defensive runs saved for the minors over at actasports.com. Nick Senzel didn’t rank among the overall leaders, but it seems that was only due to a lack of games played. He was mentioned in the “other notable performances” section, thought. Of the top five prospects according to MLB Pipeline (Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Eloy Jimenez, Nick Senzel, and Victor Robles), Nick Senzel of the Reds easily stands out as the best of the bunch defensively, saving four runs in only 42 games between second and third base. Some quick math suggests that over the course of a full minor league season, that would extrapolate into about 13 runs saved. That would have been among the best overall between the Double-A and Triple-A levels. Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs addressed some Nick Senzel defensive questions yesterday, too. Ethan: Do you think Nick Senzel could play cf? Or would they be better off with Peraza in cf and Senzel at SS? Kiley McDaniel: Senzel’s best position is 3B, but he can play passable versions of almost any position. Peraza is probably best at 2B, but can also play passably almost anywhere That wasn’t the only Reds related question he addressed, so go check that out. League Prospect Rankings are coming Baseball America began their Top 20 League rankings today. Unfortunately it was the Pacific Coast League that kicked off the rankings and the Cincinati Reds do not play in that league. But, assuming there’s nothing keeping the author of the list from hosting the chat tomorrow, the International League should hit the digital pages tomorrow. Only when there’s a conflict for whoever will be hosting the chat each day that goes along with the league that they wrote up do things not necessarily go in order. Things will go level-by-level, in descending order. That means at some point next week you will see the Double-A levels, and possibly see the Florida State League, too. Over the next few weeks they will unveil a new list each week day. With the Reds entering the Appalachian League this year, we’ll get one extra list than we used to covering Reds prospects. As I always note in these lists, though – these rankings are based on what coaches and managers in the league saw. They are not from what scouts saw. There’s not always a difference, but sometimes there certainly can be. The coaches and managers may lean more on current performance over future performance. Dayton continues to outdraw nearly everyone Minor League Baseball released their official attendance data for the 2018 season yesterday. Among the top 10 teams in attendance, nine of the teams were Triple-A teams. The Dayton Dragons were the lone non-Triple-A team, coming in at 8th overall on the list. They had 550,725 people come through the gates this past season. When it comes to non-Triple-A teams they ranked 1st, by far. The Frisco RoughRiders finished second on that list and were 1000 fans short, per game, of Dayton. They were also the only team within 140,000 fans of the Dragons. Here’s a look at how the affiliates for the Reds performed when it comes to attendance: With the exception of the Louisville Bats, all of the other affiliates ranked in the top half of their leagues in attendance. 42 Responses James K September 20, 2018 Interesting that Billings in a rookie league outdraws Daytona in advanced-A. Doug Gray September 20, 2018 It’s not really. The Florida State League simply doesn’t draw. Charlie Waffles September 20, 2018 Yes, too dang hot and humid with the added pleasure of all those flying pests attracted by the bright lights at night games. MK September 20, 2018 You can go to the beach in Daytona not in Billings. What else you going to do unless you want to embrace nature. Simon Cowell September 21, 2018 isn’t the beach nature? Scott C September 20, 2018 With Senzel the issue is that the Reds would rather move him from a position where he would bring the most value to a lesser valued defensive position. Hate to sound bitter, but I sort of am, but far be it from the Reds to move an “established” player who might be better off in a lesser defensive valued spot. Bo Cook September 20, 2018 Where ever they decide to put him. Put him there and say this is yours for the next 7-8 years. Please don’t alternate him between positions. I think the Cubs have been have been very fortunate to have the success that has come with their daily position rotation. RedsinWashst September 21, 2018 Good team have players who are good athletes who can move from position to position without it bothering them. Sounds to me that Senzel is that guy for now. If an injury occurs plug him in and your hitting won’t take a hit and your defense will be just as good or better in some cases. Kap September 20, 2018 The Reds have had interest in Zach Wheeler for some time now. Is it possible for the team to trade for him then sign him to an extension nearly immediately for a few more seasons or would he balk at that? Doug Gray September 20, 2018 Of course it’s possible. But it’s also probably unlikely for a team like Cincinnati right now. Why would anyone brand new to the team with no attachment sign an extension here before the team shows they can ever be good again? There’s no connection at all to the organization or the city. So unless the team is willing to really overpay, it just seems unlikely. Charlie Waffles September 20, 2018 Could Dayton handle a AA franchise with their facilities? I’ve never been there in person, but pictures and video of the field suggest they could. Attendance-wise they absolutely could. I guess they could be the northern-most Southern League team. Or the western-most Eastern League team. The Eastern League currently has a franchise in Akron, so it wouldn’t be that far out. Other teams could hit Erie, PA, then Akron, OH, and then Dayton, OH on road trips. Only 3 Eastern League teams have stadium capacities larger than what Dayton averages in attendance. Has the time come for Dayton to upgrade Leagues and levels? Doug Gray September 20, 2018 They could, but I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. Proximity is a problem. MK September 20, 2018 Eastern League might work, but they would need to add two teams. Not sure there are enough seats in the Dayton Stadium to meet AA minimums without additional construction. One problem in Dayton will soon be parking. More and more parking spots are being used by and for residential construction. AirborneJayJay September 21, 2018 The Mets bought a minor league franchise. The Reds already own one of their rookie teams in Greeneville. I would suggest the Reds buy in to a AA Eastern League franchise and move it to Dayton. One has to come up for sale first. Then move their low A team to the Sally League to keep it close to Cincinnati and within the fan base footprint. Doug Gray September 21, 2018 In order to do that, you’d have to also convince the owners of the Dayton Dragons to move somewhere else, too. The odds of that are very slim because Dayton is incredibly valuable. AirborneJayJay September 21, 2018 Goo insights. But I think Dayton’s seating capacity is already more than a majority of AA Eastern League stadiums as is. Dayton = 7,230. East: West: Binghamton = 6,012 Akron = 7,630 Hartford = 6,121 Altoona = 7,210 New Hampshire = 6,500 Bowie = 10,000 Portland = 7,368 Erie = 6,000 Reading = 9,000 Harrisburg = 6,187 Trenton = 6,341 Richmond = 9,560 AirborneJayJay September 21, 2018 Sorry. Tried to save space. That didn’t come out in format as typed. SultanofSwaff September 20, 2018 The Senzel take reaffirms my eye test that he can make all the plays at SS. It would be a huge waste of talent to slide him to the OF. We know he’s a better athlete than Peraza, so it stands to reason he’d be a better SS…..and the fielding metrics weren’t kind to Jose this year. Let’s also not forget that sudden head movements (crashing into walls/other outfielders) can bring on his vertigo. To me, SS is the safest place on the diamond to avoid those sorts of movements, especially now with the no takeout rule at 2B. But yeah, it totally be like the Reds to bow to veteran privilege and move him away from the IF. Cguy September 20, 2018 Peraza is 14th in the NL in hitting & tied for 48th place in xbh. His bat plays very well as a ss. There’s no reason to assume Senzel would field the ss position a lot better while also trying to learn it. Jose should stay right where he is in 2019, if his defense doesn’t improve next year then it will be time to make a change. Doug Gray September 20, 2018 Let’s be far more specific here: Peraza is 14th in the NL in AVERAGE. If we want to look at where he ranks offensively, we need to look far beyond his batting average. If we are looking at qualified hitters, he’s ranked 44th of 65 players according to Fangraphs “offensive value” stat. If we move it to players with 400 plate appearances he’s 59th out of 96. At shortstop he’s middle of the pack. The distribution is crazy in the NL with shortstops. 15 are qualified for the batting title. The top 6 are all in the positive offense column, with Peraza ranking 6th at 2.2 (Baez leads the way at 28.7). Guys ranked 7th through 15th are all below-average with the bottom three guys all being -16 to -19. Peraza’s a solid bat at shortstop on the year. But, he’s been significantly better than that over the last 100 games, where what he’s done in that time frame would probably put him 3rd in the NL. It would be a distant 3rd, but still. Cguy September 20, 2018 He’s also the guy that 3 months ago you replied (to my comment) had not earned playing time as the Reds starting ss for this season. Well he had, & he has for next season as well. It would be ludicrous to replace Peraza at ss with a prospect who has yet to prove himself at the ML level. And guess what, the Reds won’t do it. Perhaps if Peraza’s bat regresses seriously next season & Senzel plays ss for 30- 40 games @ AAA then maybe. Doug Gray September 20, 2018 And he hadn’t earned it. He was literally the only option. And he still is. Fortunately he’s played very well since. Cguy September 20, 2018 Peraza is also 3rd among NL ss with 48 xbh. Story has 78 and A. Cabrera has 53, Baez has 79, but only 28 as a ss. Jim t September 21, 2018 Peraza is also only 24 and may just be scratching the surface on what he can become. The power is starting to show up. No way does he move off SS without seeing if he can continue his growth offensively and defensively at the position next year. His development is huge for this team. Trying to replace him is not a option. He is having a very nice season and i would bet anyone he continues to get better. I do not mess with players who have shown his kind of talent at his age in the big leagues. Senzel should be in CF with Winker and Schebler in the corners. terry m September 20, 2018 Doug Do you subscribe to D1 Baseball ?? Your thoughts on the site.. Thanks Doug Gray September 20, 2018 I do not. It’s far too expensive for my tastes and needs. DJ Day September 20, 2018 What have we learned about the Red’s starting rotation this year?? Hoyce September 20, 2018 That they aren’t next years rotation MK September 20, 2018 Noticed a Gutierrez in the Reds dugout tonight, there is no transaction listing at Reds.com Norwood Nate September 20, 2018 I noticed that as well. Doug Gray September 20, 2018 Initial thought was: Ricky Gutierrez, Daytona’s manager this past season. But he’s also listed among the coaches that are supposed to be in instructional league. Though it’s possible that he’s not going to be there until a little later. Simon Cowell September 21, 2018 I don’t know for me it is obvious. SS Peraza. LF Winker RF Scheb CF Senzel. Pitching 1. FA 2. FA 3. Disco 4. Lorenzen 5. Mahle/Romero Michael Smith September 21, 2018 No Castillo Simon? Doc September 22, 2018 I can only assume you are joking! The likelihood the Reds can outbid everyone for two top of the rotation pitchers is a pipe dream, and the likelihood that two lower level FA pitchers would produce as a No 1 and No 2 over the life of an inflated contract is chancy, at best. Perhaps you could clear a little of the fog by actually naming 2-4 FA pitchers that you think the Reds could acquire and the rest of the posters could actuslly look at records and projections. Disco essentially hasn’t gotten a hitter out past the third inning in a month; maybe tonight will be different. Mahle couldn’t get a hitter out past the second inning in weeks and now has shoulder fatigue. Romano has an ERA north of five for the year. Now all three of those may be great next year, and Mahle and Romano both get some slack as they are young and have but a season under their belts, but they have not pitched well enough to have locked up spots. Common criticism about each is that they are two pitch pitchers; common comments in posts are that two pitches are not enough for a starter. Castillo has had his ups and downs, but his ups are far better than the ups of any of the three you have locked in, and for longer stretches. He has the most quality starts on the staff and the lowest ERA of those who have pitched most of the season, yet doesn’t make your list? Reed’s track record isn’t totally clean, but his trajectory is certainly rising and he is inserting himself into the conversation. When has Barnhart been as effusive about a pitcher’s stuff as he has about Reed’s? And BobSteve isn’t mentioned. He is probably going to benefit from a change of scenery, but does his full year in AAA mean anything when compared to three starts in the bigs before the DL? Mahle and Romano didn’t match BobSteve at AAA, and they only had to do it for short stints; he did it for the full season. I am more interested in watching pitchers develop who still have the incentive of the big contract ahead of them rather than the security of a big contract locked up. It is often said that a player is “in his contract year” as though performance can be jacked up for that year. If one believes this mantra, then I’ll take five guys who are in their contract year every year for the next 4-6 years! Just my opinion, and Big Bob hasn’t yet consulted me. Schottzie September 21, 2018 Would Suarez net 2 to 3 years of a frontline starter? If so I’d say the reds solution is screaming them in the face. rgslone September 21, 2018 I think Suarez or Senzel provide the best possibility of that. In my opinion, Senzel’s highest value is – by far – as a 3B. That’s where I think his talents and skills on both defense and offense really play up. I feel like a lot of what Senzel can bring on defense at 3B is kind of wasted at 2B (e.g., his arm). More importantly, the Reds already have a number of what looks to be viable options for 2B; and I think the added value Senzel might bring over one of those options (e.g., Scooter, Herrera, Long, India, etc.) would not improve the team as much as a TOR starter. The dilemma, of course, is that the Reds already have a young, controllable, very well thought of player at 3B – Suarez. Further, Suarez and Senzel appear to be the Reds’ best two trade chips, and maybe the only trade chips that can bring back a TOR type starter as the headliner of a deal. If the Reds didn’t have Suarez, then heck no I wouldn’t want to trade Senzel. But in the real world, you don’t get controllable TOR starters without giving up something that hurts (a lot). It takes high upside to get high quality. Now, if you believe that there are other players that can headline a deal that will bring back a high-quality starter and have less impact on the overall product, then I would say great to that too. I’m just not confident that happens with any other player/prospect, regardless of the number of additional “spare parts” the Reds add to the deal. Obviously, I could certainly be wrong on this; and it’s just my opinion. But I think the most realistic way to make a trade for a TOR-ish starter is to pick your 3B of the future (Suarez or Senzel) and trade the other. RedsinWashst September 21, 2018 Because of Senzel’s vertigo problem and whether it is controlled or not would cause some teams to back away. Because of that I think Suarez or Tucker might bring more. Reds are not deep enough at catcher so probably not tucker. Whatever it is the Reds need to make 1 big FA signing and 1 big trade for 2 pitchers, get it done. icehole3 September 21, 2018 I’ve been to 4 Dayton games, it’s the way baseball was meant to be showcased. AirborneJayJay September 21, 2018 The Mets were very enamored with Jonathan India in this past draft. The Mets would be the first to be called about any trades for starting pitching and the Reds trade package starting with India. India, Greene or Santillan, Siri, Long, V. Gutierrez for The Hammer, Noah Syndergaard. Go big or go home. Time to get serious about playing “winning baseball” in Cincinnati. The stench of mediocrity in Cincinnati has to flushed out. Jasonp September 21, 2018 Noah Syndergaard would be a big upgrade but unless you think the Reds are going to go from current 66 wins to 90 next year you might only get 1 or 2 years where you are going to compete in the division with Syndergaard. (We are currently 24 games back in our division) That’s trading away any players that could help extend a window of winning to try and win for 1-2 years. Then we are going to be terrible again for years as we try and get good players again though the draft. I am all for the Reds getting better but I don’t think you can trade away the future for a chance to win for a few years. Now if we were already an 85-88 win team and Sydergaard boosted us into world series contenders for 3 years then I would do that trade but again I would not do that trade to get us to an 75-80+ winning team. I think we are still a year away from making a big trade. We need to find another starter in that #3 range (from our own young pitchers) and have Castillo come back to be at least a #2. Michael B. Green September 21, 2018 C Barnhart 1B Votto 2B Gennett/Senzel/Long SS Peraza 3B Suarez LF Winker/Ervin (Platoon) CF Senzel/Siri/Ervin/Other RF Schebler We’ll see how Long looks in the AZFL. I’m hopeful that they add Senzel there too. Guessing that Siri plays in the Winter League again and will start at AAA. Don’t see his plate discipline earning that starting gig yet but his defensive skills are excellent. Senzel is starting to fit that Pete Rose model in which case he could bounce around to different positions to help the team win. Rose’ willingness to move to 3B (and Perez’ shift to 1B) to accommodate the Joe Morgan (2B) acquisition paved the way for the Big Red Machine. Of course, Peraza or Suarez could shift too. We are one key SP away from chasing a Wild Card spot in 2019. It’s coming together. Get that piece and bring in Larkin’s spark, and we’re on our way. Those that complain leading up to the next great team should get banned from the bandwagon but we don’t roll that way. We welcome everyone to Reds Nation! Now if we could just lose that horrible mustache logo. Doug Gray September 21, 2018 I think they are TWO big starting pitching acquisitions away from competing for a wild card. I don’t think one guy, even an ACE, would be enough.