When Spring Training begins in February, all eyes will be on top prospect Nick Senzel. It’s clear that the Reds believe he can contribute to the Major League team next season, but there are other questions:
Can he play in the outfield? Is he a candidate to start in center field? Can he pick up where he left off last season? Does he need more time in Triple-A?
Senzel, the No. 2 pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, represents the next wave of Reds prospects who could reach the Majors throughout the next couple of seasons. He’s the No. 6-ranked prospect by MLB.com, one of four Reds prospects in the Top 51.
He felt he was close to earning the call to the Majors last season, but the Reds wanted him to receive regular at-bats at Triple-A Louisville. Finding him a place to play each day will be a priority next year – even if that means he’s a full-time utility player.
“You’ve got to have a spot where he’s getting everyday at-bats,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said on WLW’s “Hot Stove League” earlier this month. “If it’s in a utility role getting everyday at-bats, like Martin Prado, that’s great. If it’s at a certain position, that’s great as well. You just need to have a place where he can go and continue to develop and get better.”
Versatility is becoming more important than ever in today’s game. It’s a reason platoons are more popular and why some of the top teams don’t worry about having too many solid players at one position.