Reds could bring up top prospect Nick Senzel this week
NEW YORK (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds could bring up top prospect Nick Senzel before Friday’s homestand opener against San Francisco, putting the 23-year-old outfielder in position to make his major league debut against the Giants.
Reds manager David Bell says the decision has not been made yet and he has not determined whether Senzel will start Friday.
“He has what I would call like an edge to his game that would allow him to compete at this level,” Bell said Tuesday. “He’s talented. He’s always hit and when he does play, reach the major leagues, there’s going to be adjustments, just like there is for any player, but because of his makeup we believe it will happen for him quick.”
Senzel was the second overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft from Tennessee and signed for a $6.2 million bonus.
He sprained his right ankle during a minor league spring training on March 25 and did not make his season debut at Triple-A Louisville until April 23. He entered Tuesday hitting .296 with one double, one homer and two RBIs in six games and 27 at-bats, including three hits, including a two-run homer, on Tuesday night against Toledo.
Senzel played third, shortstop and second before transitioning to the outfield this year.
“He’s been an infielder his whole life, and to make the adjustment to being someone we consider that could play a major league outfield in that short a period of time, it just says a lot about his athleticism and his determination,” Bell said. “He believes in himself and he’s got a seriousness about him. He expects a lot of out of himself and he enjoys the competition. From what I saw, just in a brief period of time, the better the competition, the better response from him.”
Senzel hit .310 with six homers and 25 RBIs in 44 games at Louisville last season before season-ending surgery on June 28 to repair a broken right index finger. He returned to play in the instructional league, then had surgery Oct. 16 for bone spurs in his left, non-throwing, elbow.
Notes: 2B Josh VanMeter had three homers and eight RBIs for Louisville in the 15-4 rout of the Mud Hens, a three-run homer in the second off Nick Ramirez, a grand slam in the fifth off Matt Hall and a solo homer in the ninth against Hall.