Reds pick Tennessee 3B Senzel 2nd overall

Polished player led SEC with 25 doubles, was MVP of Cape Cod League in 2015

Reds pick Tennessee 3B Senzel 2nd overall

CINCINNATI -- For just a few moments, University of Tennessee third baseman Nick Senzel kept it a secret that he was the No. 2 overall selection by the Reds in the 2016 MLB Draft on Thursday.

Watching with his parents at home in Knoxville, Tenn., Senzel didn't have to wait long to learn where he'd be selected. Moments after the Phillies picked outfielder Mickey Moniak at No. 1 overall, Senzel received advance word from his advisors that he would be second.

"I got a little emotional," Senzel said. "There were a lot of emotions that ran through my mind."

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Then Senzel waited and avoided telling his father, Jeff.

"I wanted him to be surprised," Senzel said. "When they called my name, it was tears of joy and getting to hug him. Since I was little, this is what I dreamed of happening. For it to actually be in reality, it's -- I'm honored, it's unbelievable."

The Draft continues on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

Senzel, who turns 21 on June 29, hit .352/.456/.595 with eight home runs and 59 RBIs in 57 games this season for the Volunteers. He led the SEC with 25 doubles.

This was the second time in franchise history that the Reds picked as high as No. 2 in the Draft. In 1983, they used the second overall selection on shortstop Kurt Stillwell.

"We're really excited, this is the guy we wanted. He's a very polished player, one of the better hitters, if not the best hitter, in the Draft," Reds senior director of amateur scouting Chris Buckley said. "We think his power will improve the more he plays. He's a complete player -- runs, throws and plays his position well."

Buckley on picking Senzel

Senzel went undrafted after he graduated from Farragut High School in Knoxville and stayed home to play for Tennessee. He said maturing physically and mentally helped put him on the baseball map and in position to be an elite pick.

"I think my knowledge of the game really increased in college," Senzel said. "I think that helped me out tremendously moving forward year to year in college."

In 2015, Senzel was named the Most Valuable Player of the Cape Cod League, the nation's most prestigious summer wooden-bat league for college players. That helped elevate him to the top of the Reds' Draft board, according to Buckley.

The Reds believe that Senzel won't take long to move through the system toward the Major Leagues.

"Players determine that. They move themselves," Buckley said. "When they go to [Class] A ball and dominate, they get moved up to Double-A. You would think he could do it very quickly. He's a very polished guy."

Day discusses Senzel

Left in the process now is for the Reds to formally sign Senzel, who is represented by Scott Boras. He said he had no personal contact with the Reds ahead of time and had no expectation he would wind up with Cincinnati.

"They'll let me know when the business side is taken care of," Senzel said. "When it's taken care of, I will be ready to go."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.