Cincinnati Reds

Reds not holding down top prospect Nick Senzel

Now that he is healthy, the Cincinnati Reds are not going to keep top prospect Nick Senzel down much longer.

For most of the spring, Nick Senzel seemed sure to start the season with the Cincinnati Reds. But he was sent to minor league camp late in the spring, an ankle injury further delayed his season debut and he only recently returned to action in Triple-A. But according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Reds are expected to call up their top prospect this week.

According to Heyman and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, Senzel is expected to be added to the Reds’ roster in time for Friday night’s home game against the San Francisco Giants.

Senzel, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft and the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball entering this season (via MLB.com), had been transitioning to center field and is in line to take over there for the Reds. He had a strong spring (12-for-39), and in seven games for Triple-A Louisville he has a .290/.333/.419 slash-line.

Senzel was sidelined by vertigo in 2017 and 2018, and a broken finger cost him the end of last season. But he has hit when healthy, with a .905 OPS in 2017 and an .887 OPS in 2018.

The Reds added Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to their outfield via an offseason trade with the Dodgers, but neither guy is hitting right now and Kemp is on the injured list. More directly related to Senzel, Scott Schebler is hitting just .135 with 26 strikeouts so far and Jesse Winker’s eight home runs make it easier to overlook his .228 batting average. When Schebler was not in Tuesday night’s lineup against the New York Mets, Phillip Ervin took his place in center field.

The buzz attached to the Reds as a potential playoff contender has faded to a 12-17 record and the cellar of the NL Central heading into May. Initial concerns over service time manipulation were set aside by an injury, and now that Senzel is healthy Reds’ fans can look forward to his arrival.

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