Cincinnati Reds #1 Prospect: Nick Senzel Doug Gray November 5, 2018 14 Comments This may seem like a repeated post because Nick Senzel has been the Reds top prospect for three years in a row now. But, I can promise you that this isn’t a repeat. The former #2 overall draft pick has hit the cover off of the ball at just about every stop of the way up the ladder. And he’s also performed well with the glove at multiple positions on the infield. When the 2018 season began for Nick Senzel there was a new challenge in front of him. Assigned to Triple-A for the first time he was ready to hit. He also was ready to make a move to second base on the defensive side of the ball, too. In the first two games of the year he went 4-9, racking up two hits in each game. But he would go 0-4 in each of the next four games. That first week was tough, but Nick Senzel finished the month on a strong note. Following that first week he hit .320/.424/.600 the rest of the month with eight walks and 12 strikeouts for the Bats. During the third game of May, Nick Senzel was replaced after his first at-bat. He would spend the next four weeks on the disabled list as he went through another bout of effects of vertigo. He returned on May 29th and played in the final three games of the month. June got out to a nice start for Nick Senzel. Healthy again and on the field, he racked up a hit in each of the first six games of the month. His hitting streak would end on the 8th, but he’d walk twice in that game. Perhaps bothered by the fact that his hit streak came to an end, the Reds top prospect went on an absolute year over the next 12 days and 11 games. He would hit .440 with five doubles and three home runs – including two on June 21st. The following day would wind up being the final day of the season for Senzel. On a relay throw home, he would injure his finger. The initial diagnosis was that he would need surgery to repair a tendon and a fracture in his finger. But the tendon wound up not needing repair. After a few months to allow the finger to heal, Nick Senzel participated in instructional league as an outfielder. He saw action in both left field and in center field, but it also brought forth the fact that the pain in his elbow was too much. That led to him having surgery to remove bone spurs and having to miss out on playing in the Arizona Fall League. For all 2018 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason). Nick Senzel Spray Chart Nick Senzel Scouting Report Hitting | Nick Senzel can and does use the entire field. And not only does he use the whole field, he can do damage to all parts of the field. Add in that he’s got speed to beat out some infield hits and it’s an above-average hit tool that might even play up to a plus hit tool at his peak. Power | When Nick Senzel was drafted the current power was well below the raw power. Since that point though, his raw power has started showing up in games more often. He’s got above-average power that should show up in both the doubles and home run columns. Speed | Nick Senzel is an above-average runner who at times can show fringe-plus speed. He’s capable of using it well on the bases. Defense | On the infield he’s an above-average fielder at both third base and second base. Arm | He’s got an above-average arm. Nick Senzel is the entire package. There’s no real weakness in his game. He’s a 5-tool player where all of his tools are above-average or better. His power continues to play better in games. And he seems to step up to every challenge put in front of him by the organization. The big question with Senzel, health aside, is where will he play in Cincinnati? As mentioned above, he spend instructional league learning to play the outfield. The reports were good. Those that I spoke with who saw it in person felt that there was a good chance that he could handle center field with continued work. If Nick Senzel could handle center field, at least in the short term, would provide value not only to his own prospect stock, but it’s also a boost to the Cincinnati Reds. While the organization has prospects who can play center, they are still at least a year away. Nick Senzel is ready to play in the Major Leagues on opening day. How the team finds a way to get him in the lineup in 2019 will be interesting, but with his ability to play multiple spots, they can get creative if they need to. Longest Home Run of 2018 410 feet on April 27th. Interesting Stat on Nick Senzel In nine of his final ten games of the year he had at least two hits in the game. 14 Responses Simon Cowell November 5, 2018 Vertigo bone fracture bone spurs. Unlucky or other? Certainly appears that he is developing an early case of brittle bones. I hope I am wrong but I am questioning his ability to ever play more than 120 games in a season. Kap November 5, 2018 Same. I just don’t have a good feeling about his outlook based on that Doug Gray November 5, 2018 One season does not make a career. Cole Hamels couldn’t stay on the mound to save his life in the minor leagues. Maybe the most dominant pitcher you’ve ever seen in the minors, but he threw a handful of innings each year. He got to the Majors and was basically never hurt for a decade plus. Nick Senzel has never really been hurt prior to 2018. A whole lot happened in 2018, but there’s not really a history there that suggests he’s got some problem staying healthy. AllTheHype November 5, 2018 Senzel does have a weakness, fair or unfair, that should be mentioned: staying healthy. Norwood Nate November 5, 2018 If Senzel can play CF for a season it helps solve a lot of questions for the next two seasons. The Reds can move on from Hamilton and upgrade the offense, while saving some money. Senzel can either then replace Gennett after 2019, with Siri/Trammell in CF or stick there with Long/Blandino taking over 2B. Greenfield Red November 5, 2018 Hey Nate. I mostly agree as usual, but I have to say I have little faith in Siri making noise in the majors with his strike out rate. I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t see it. Norwood Nate November 5, 2018 I agree Siri certainly has improvements to make in that area, but he has improved his plate discipline lately. I think between his power, speed, and defense he’ll likely contribute value even with minimal improvements. With real strides in this area he could approach AS levels. Regardless, between Senzel, Siri, Trammell, Ervin, and Friedl we should be able to find a competent CF option. It’s good to have options. Bryant November 5, 2018 Has he ever had health issues before in his career? As an amateur? Mk November 5, 2018 Chronic Vertigo might be something to be concerned about. It can recur a lot. But it is treatable and there are exercises he can do to alleviate the symptoms. LeBron seems to be able to play at a high level with it. The broken finger and tendon issue is something baseball players have put up with forever. Heck I have a crooked pinky finger, with a torn tendon in it from a knuckling line drive. It Just happens and has nothing to do with brittle bones. Stock November 5, 2018 I agree with MK. These injuries are not the typical baseball worrisome injuries. The Vertigo does scare me a bit. 10 years ago you are talking about the potential #1 prospect in the game. I have no doubt someone hitting .400 would have been called up a year ago. Same with Jimenez. Tucker and Robles would not still be prospects. 10 years ago the #1 prospect going into 2019 would have been Senzel, Tatis or Whitley. kevinz November 5, 2018 I wish Senzel luck, just not sure a Injury prone player can be a top Prospect. Look at Winker a good player but at some point will get Hurt. They both are similar in that way. Doug Gray November 5, 2018 Everyone is healthy until they aren’t. And everyone is hurt until they aren’t. Nick Senzel has had one season since he went to college six years ago where he missed more than two weeks. It was last season. Calling him injury prone is a bit much. Simon Cowell November 6, 2018 He was injury prone for 2018 there is no denying that. Time will tell if the problems faced in 2018 revisit him in the following years. You have to expect people to be concerned over it. Jesse Winker is in a similar situation. It seems that his excuses are based on injuries after the fact. I like Jesse and I think he should be starting opening day but like Senzel I have concerns that either can stay healthy. kevinz November 6, 2018 Good Point Doug. I believe his sickness started in 2017. That is when the warning signs started. That was the time after he came back to flip him for a steal deal.