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Reds send impressive Senzel to Minors camp

Team's top prospect will play second base at Triple-A
MLB.com @m_sheldon

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Nick Senzel wasn't expected to debut for the Reds on Opening Day, but the club's top prospect demonstrated that he's not far away from being in the Majors. Senzel became the latest cut from the spring roster when he was reassigned to the Minor League camp on Monday.

Ranked No. 1 in the organization and No. 7 overall by MLBPipeline, Senzel is a natural third baseman. But with Eugenio Suarez locked in there, Senzel played the majority of his spring games and workouts at shortstop.

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Nick Senzel wasn't expected to debut for the Reds on Opening Day, but the club's top prospect demonstrated that he's not far away from being in the Majors. Senzel became the latest cut from the spring roster when he was reassigned to the Minor League camp on Monday.

Ranked No. 1 in the organization and No. 7 overall by MLBPipeline, Senzel is a natural third baseman. But with Eugenio Suarez locked in there, Senzel played the majority of his spring games and workouts at shortstop.

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"He showed the ability to move around the diamond," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Talking with [infield coach] Freddie Benavides, he was really excited about the developments he made at short. I think we already think very highly of him as a third baseman."

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Senzel, 22, liked that he was able to spend most of Spring Training in big league camp and considered it to be a great experience overall. He was not surprised by Monday's assignment.

"I knew it was coming. It was just a matter of when it was coming," Senzel said. "It was a great first big league camp. I got to learn a lot. I got to learn some new positions, and I'm excited to finally start to get into a normal routine with playing nine innings and getting geared up to start the season."

When the season begins, Senzel will be at Triple-A Louisville, and he's expected to play second base, a position he did not play at all in spring games.

"We're a good club. There are spots [already filled] that people have proven they can play at a high level," Senzel said. "My job is to fill whatever they need and where they feel they need me to play.

"I just wanted to know where I would play every day in Louisville. I didn't want to be bouncing around, and they didn't want me bouncing around, either. I'll be at second base, and that's what it is."

Senzel did not believe it would be difficult for him to play second base, a position he played as an amateur player but never professionally. During offseason workouts, he got some work at second base.

Video: 30 Clubs in 30 Days: Reds look to challenge Senzel

In Spring Training, however, the Reds decided to simplify things and have him focus primarily at shortstop and third base.

"It'll be another transition, but I don't think it'll be as dramatic as the one from third to short," Senzel said. "It'll be a pretty smooth transition."

The Reds currently have Scooter Gennett at second base and Jose Peraza at shortstop. Senzel hasn't been ruled out as a third baseman despite Suarez signing a seven-year, $66 million contract on Friday. General manager Dick Williams felt that both Suarez and Senzel could be multi-position players in the future.

"He's got to be ready to play anyplace but first base if we have an injury or setback," Price said of Senzel.

Senzel batted .286 (8-for-28) in 15 Cactus League games.

"As far as strike-zone discipline, his feel for the game, his instincts on the bases, everything to me was really, really good," Price said. "It was an outstanding effort in everything he does, from his early work to his game prep to his game intensity to how he runs the bases. Nobody here is disappointed at all in any part of his game. Now it's a matter of getting the reps in that he's not going to be able to get here."

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.

Cincinnati Reds, Nick Senzel