Wednesday, we began our Almost Mock Draft Revisited series, taking a look at how 1-1 Mickey Moniak has fared thus far with his Philadelphia Phillies (spoiler: the answer is very well!). Today we continue the series, taking a look at the second overall pick this past June.
Almost Mock: No. 2 — Cincinnati Reds | Actual MLB Draft: No. 2 — Cincinnati Reds
There was no bigger no-brainer in the 2016 MLB Draft than Senzel to the Reds. There was little depth on the pipeline at the hot corner, and with the Reds ready to turn the team over to a new generation of players, Senzel was arguably the most major league ready in the top end of the draft.
Senzel played both his high school and collegiate ball in Tennessee, having a stellar career for the Volunteers. He entered his collegiate career as a second baseman and left as a third baseman becoming the top infield prospect heading into the 2016 MLB Draft.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound righty really captured the nation’s attention the summer before his junior year. Playing in the Cape Cod Summer League, Senzel swept through the postseason honors, taking home both the CCSL MVP and Most Outstanding Pro Prospect Awards. He was the league’s best hitter, leading the league in eight total categories behind a CCSL best .976 OPS.
Senzel didn’t have a let down his final year in college, finding his gap power and home run swing. He finished his collegiate career with a fine season, slashing .352/.456/.595 with a career best eight home runs and 25 doubles.
The momentum he has ridden since that summer on the Cape has carried over, as he is amid a sensational pro debut.
Senzel signed with the Reds for $6.2 million, a bargain for Cincinnati as the projected slot value was approximately $1.5 million higher. He looked like an instant success, going 2-for-3 in his first game on June 17.
His next eight games in the Pioneer League, however, would be rather forgettable. After going 2-for-4 on June 29 — Senzel’s 21st birthday — the Reds gave him a present. Despite batting .154 with only one extra base hit in his first ten games of his career, they promoted him to the Midwest League in full season A-ball.
Senzel has been lights out ever since.
Since arriving at Dayton 36 games ago, Senzel is slashing .310/.414/.556. He has nine doubles and six home runs all while posting a .970 OPS. He has also shown off an aspect of his game that is a bonus to the typical offensive profile of a third baseman, going 12-for-17 in stolen bases. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, as he had become known in college as a highly efficient base runner, successfully swiping 83 percent of his attempts with the Volunteers.
Something Senzel had also become known for in college was his advanced plate discipline, combining patience and the ability to use all fields when he hits. He has shown that as well with his promotion. Thus far, Senzel has posted a 26-to-22 strikeout-to-walk rate in 152 plate appearances, walking 14.2 percent of the time, a remarkable rate for a rookie.
Senzel recently turned in a three-day span that most rookies hope to attain in their entire debut season. From August 5 to August 7, Senzel went 7-for-12 with five RBI, blasting a home run on each of those three days.
For more on Senzel, and how he his thriving at an advanced level so quickly, head on over to Today’s Knuckleball for my full profile by clicking on the link below: