4. Nick Senzel
Don’t look now, but the Cincinnati Reds are building one of the most dynamic offenses in the league. They have the speed of Billy Hamilton, the professional hitting of Joey Votto and the rising young stars in Jose Peraza and Jesser Winker. Next to join the MLB roster should be infielder and hitting machine Nick Senzel.
Senzel, a top-10 prospect league-wide and the second-overall pick in the 2016 draft, has blazed his way through the minor leagues and does not need much more seasoning down on the farm before he makes his debut. In his first full professional season, the third baseman hit .321/.391/.514 with 40 doubles, 14 home runs and 65 RBI in 119 games. Senzel also showed good athleticism and stole 14 bases while being caught only six times. He also drew 49 walks and showed a good approach at the plate. Senzel is willing to use the whole field, take his walks and avoids striking out at an alarming rate.
All of those factors point to Senzel being a threat to hit .300 and contend for batting titles when he reaches the big leagues. The only question is which position he will play for the Reds. Senzel plays a solid third base and has a strong arm. The presence of Eugenio Suarez, who has 47 home runs over the past two years and is a very solid defender still under team control could force a move to the outfield for Senzel.
Cincinnati is still rebuilding, and will be doing so until their pitching prospects show signs of growth, so it doesn’t make sense to rush Senzel up to play a new position right away. Defense aside (wow — how great would it be if the National League had the DH…thinking face emoji, thinking face emoji), Senzel is ready for the big leagues right now, and the Reds won’t be able to keep him down long.