The Reds have reached an agreement with No. 2 overall draft pick Nick Senzel and will sign the Tennessee third baseman for a $6.2MM bonus later today, reports MLB.com’s Jim Callis (on Twitter). The second pick came with a value of $7,762,900 this season, meaning that Cincinnati will save $1,562,900 on the pick. That money can be reallocated to other picks further down the team’s draft board.
Callis refers to Senzel as the best college hitter in this year’s draft class, and he’s not alone in that thought. as ESPN’s Keith Law called him the “most advanced college hitter in the draft” while ranking him eighth among draft prospects. Callis and his colleague Jonathan Mayo ranked Senzel seventh in the draft, while Baseball America had him ranked sixth on their Top 500 list. All of the scouting reports agree that Senzel quieted defensive concerns in 2016 and turned himself into a solid enough defender at the hot corner that scouts now believe he can stick their as a professional. Callis and Mayo rate his hit tool, power, speed, arm and glove all average or better, though both Law and BA note that his power, to this point, is more apparent in batting practice than in game settings. Senzel’s penchant for hard contact and his improved work at third base seemingly give him something of a high floor, even if his power never comes around to allow him to turn into a star.
Cincinnati entered the 2016 draft with the largest pool of any Major League team due to the size of that No. 2 overall slot and because they won the top pick in Competitive Balance Round A (No. 35 overall) in last summer’s lottery. That slot came with a $1,837,200 value and was used on outfielder Taylor Trammell — a two-sport star (football) in high school that some had projected to go in the first round and as such may require an over-slot deal to break his commitment to Georgia Tech. Overall, Cincinnati carried a pool of $13,923,700, meaning they now have $7,723,700 remaining to spend on Trammell and their picks in rounds two through 10. (Players selected after the 10th round do not count against a team’s pool unless the bonus exceeds $100K, in which case only the overage is subtracted from the pool.)