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Senzel named No. 2 third-base prospect

Highly-touted player set to experiment with SS/2B, outfield in Spring Training
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- Nick Senzel was an elite and highly anticipated prospect the moment the Reds selected him with the second overall pick in 2016. That latest accolade was revealed on Tuesday when Senzel was ranked as the No. 2 third baseman in the Minor Leagues by MLB Pipeline.

Senzel, 22, placed one spot behind the No. 1 third baseman, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Blue Jays.

CINCINNATI -- Nick Senzel was an elite and highly anticipated prospect the moment the Reds selected him with the second overall pick in 2016. That latest accolade was revealed on Tuesday when Senzel was ranked as the No. 2 third baseman in the Minor Leagues by MLB Pipeline.

Senzel, 22, placed one spot behind the No. 1 third baseman, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Blue Jays.

Ranked No. 1 in the organization by MLB Pipeline, and No. 9 in all of MLB, Senzel batted .321/.391/.514 with 14 home runs and 65 RBIs in 119 games combined last season at Class A Advanced Daytona and Double-A Pensacola. He missed a few games in the final week while being treated for vertigo, but has overcome the issue through therapy.

Video: Senzel discusses his development, looks ahead to '18

One of the bigger questions facing Senzel and the Reds this season is whether he will actually get to play third base. Cincinnati is happy with Eugenio Suarez there and plans to have Senzel show off some versatility in Spring Training.

:: Top 10 Prospects by Position ::

At his first big league camp, Senzel will get opportunities to play shortstop and second base -- positions he previously played as an amateur -- and will get his first exposure to the outfield. The club believes his time in the big leagues can begin similarly to former Reds star Todd Frazier, who played multiple infield and outfield positions before finding a home at third base.

"I want him to help our ballclub, but I also want him to do it at a position where he's comfortable doing what he does," Reds manager Bryan Price said in December. "I think I need to build up a stronger familiarity with him to create my own opinions of where he's best suited or if he is a multi-positional asset to our club."

Senzel has only played third base since turning professional following his college career at the Univ. of Tennessee.

"When opportunities and challenges present themselves, especially on the baseball field, they're exciting," Senzel said in December. "It's some different positions I've never played before, especially left and right field. It could create some opportunity for me. I'm just going to go out there and try to get some guidance from people who know what they're talking about and play [the position] to the best of my ability."

Video: Senzel named the Reds' Pipeline hitter of the year

Senzel is expected to begin the 2018 season at Triple-A Louisville -- likely in part with an eye towards service time for free agency. But his bat -- and versatility -- could always force the issue to promote him and leave the Reds with no choice but to find a spot for him in their lineup.

MLB Pipeline compiles its lists with input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. Lists are based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams.

Senzel is the third Reds prospect to land in the Top 10 lists by position. Hunter Greene was named last week as the eighth-best right-handed pitcher. Shed Long was ranked No. 6 for second basemen on Monday.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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