The Reds are expected to call up their top prospect, Nick Senzel, for Friday’s game against the Giants. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo reported the news Tuesday, which MLB Network’s Jon Heyman mused about on Twitter earlier in the day:
Reds are contemplating promoting top prospect Nick Senzel to the majors and are expected to do so soon, possibly even when the team returns home Friday. Has adjusted nicely to CF. Big-time hitting talent who was No. 2 overall pick in 2016 draft.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 30, 2019
The 23-year-old Senzel, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, is ranked as the fifth-best prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline. Senzel, who began his minor-league career as a third baseman, has struggled to settle in at a position, as Eugenio Suarez unexpectedly developed into a superstar and blocked third base for Senzel, then Scooter Gennett did the same at second. The Reds have been working Senzel in center field since instructional league last fall, and after suffering a injury that cut his spring training short and delayed the start of his regular season, he’s played all six of his Triple-A games this in center since returning from the injured list.
Senzel has posted a pedestrian .296/.345/.444 slash line with one homer over those six Triple-A contests this season, but he’s been very good over the duration of his roughly two-and-a-half-season minor-league career, hitting .314/.389/.511 with 28 homers in 1,019 plate appearances.
Senzel’s impending promotion is likely bad news for incumbent center fielder Scott Schebler, who has a miserable .135/.273/.243 slash line in 88 plate appearances this season. Schebler has a minor-league option remaining, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him trade spots with Senzel while he tries to rediscover his swing. Either way, his playing time figures to be substantially reduced upon Senzel’s arrival.