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Senzel makes debut with Reds infield regulars

Club's top prospect starts at 3B alongside SS Peraza, 2B Gennett, 1B Votto
MLB.com @m_sheldon

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- First, Reds top prospect Nick Senzel saw he was starting in his first spring game for a split squad vs. the Indians on Sunday. Then, Senzel noticed who he was playing with.

In a game that ended in a 2-2 tie, Senzel played third base and shared the infield with first baseman Joey Votto, second baseman Scooter Gennett and shortstop Jose Peraza.

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- First, Reds top prospect Nick Senzel saw he was starting in his first spring game for a split squad vs. the Indians on Sunday. Then, Senzel noticed who he was playing with.

In a game that ended in a 2-2 tie, Senzel played third base and shared the infield with first baseman Joey Votto, second baseman Scooter Gennett and shortstop Jose Peraza.

View Full Game Coverage

"When I saw the lineup I was definitely excited, Joey hitting behind me," said Senzel, who batted second. "It was definitely nice to get out here with the regulars and play some good ball."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

While going 1-for-3, Senzel grounded out to third base on a first pitch in the first inning and grounded out to shortstop in the fourth inning. During his final at-bat in the sixth with one out, he attacked a first pitch for a single to right field and later scored a run.

Senzel, 22, was pleased with his performance overall, and showed he was willing to be aggressive at the plate.

"It was just nice to get out here and see some live pitching and actually playing a game. A little nerves [were there], but it was nice to get out here with these guys," Senzel said. "I'm pretty confident 0-0, and definitely in Spring Training the pitchers are going to attack with a fastball, so I'm definitely not going to let those go by. If it's not a strike, it's nice to extend an at-bat to see some other pitches other than a fastball just to kind of get some timing and rhythm down. If it's there first pitch, I'm definitely going to be hacking."

Video: CLE@CIN: Senzel goes other way for first spring hit

Reds manager Bryan Price waited until the third game of spring to play Senzel. Normally a third baseman, he has been spending most of his time in camp learning at shortstop.

"I thought third was best to begin with," Price said before the game. "But I do have him penciled in down the line at short as well."

Senzel only got two chances in the field -- fielding a groundout in the third inning and catching a pop fly in the sixth.

Price was managing the Reds' other game vs. the White Sox and didn't see Senzel against Cleveland.

Video: CLE@CIN: Nick Senzel on his big league spring debut

So far, the reviews about Senzel in his first big league camp have been positive. The second overall pick in the 2016 Draft, MLB Pipeline ranks him as the seventh-best prospect overall and No. 1 in the organization. Although he's expected to begin the season at Triple-A Louisville, Senzel is hoping to play his way onto the 25-man roster.

"Well, he's a professional kid," Price said. "I don't think any of this is overwhelming. If it is, he does a great job of not showing it. He comes across as very confident in his ability with a good understanding of what makes him successful. I am looking forward to seeing him in games."

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