The Reds are “contemplating” a call-up for top prospect Nick Senzel, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link). The much-hyped 23-year-old could make it onto the roster as soon as this Friday, per the report.
Senzel might already have forced his way onto the MLB roster, but he had to overcome an injury incurred shortly after being optioned down late in camp. The Cincinnati organization had decided not to carry him on its Opening Day roster owing to some combination of a desire to give Senzel more time to adapt to playing in the outfield and service-time considerations.
The second overall pick of the 2016 draft, Senzel has thrived at the plate ever since joining the profession ranks. He carries a smooth .900 career OPS through just over a thousand trips to the plate at all levels. Expectations are that he’ll be a quality all-around performer right from the jump in the majors.
While the Reds understandably wanted to give Senzel a chance to get comfortable on the grass, where he’s moving after appearing almost exclusively as an infielder, the club needs to do everything possible to keep pace in a brutal NL Central division. It remains to be seen how the roster will be sorted once Senzel is up, but odds are he’ll receive the lion’s share of time in center after appearing there exclusively thus far this season at Triple-A.
Having waited to this point, the Reds are not at risk of allowing Senzel to accrue a full year of MLB service this season. That means the earliest he could qualify for free agency would be after the 2025 season. Should Friday prove to be the day for Senzel’s arrival, he could reach up to 150 service days this year, which would put him on track for eventual Super Two qualification.