Senzel off to hot start in pro career

Senzel off to hot start in pro career

CINCINNATI -- This has indeed been a crazy summer for 2016 Reds first-round Draft pick Nick Senzel.

The overall No. 2 selection from the University of Tennessee, Senzel went from finishing college baseball, to the intensity of the Draft process, playing short season Minor League ball at Billings for 10 games before arriving at his current spot at Class A Dayton.

"It's been pretty fast paced. There hasn't been a lot of time to catch my breath," Senzel said recently on the MLBPipeline.com podcast. "The journey has been exciting so far. Since you're playing every day, it's pretty easy to focus on the baseball aspect of things. You wake up and you go to the field. Once you're on the field, your mind takes over on the baseball aspect of things."

Senzel, 21, is the Reds' No. 1 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com and is off to a good start to his pro career. He entered Monday batting .309/.400/.545 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs in 46 games with Dayton.

Top Prospects: Senzel, CIN

The promotion came after a lackluster performance at Billings, where he batted .152. Senzel hadn't played in any games for nearly a month before turning pro because of the end of the college season and Draft process.

"I wasn't getting down at all. I knew I was still getting used to getting into the rhythm of things," Senzel said. "They sent me to Dayton and I was surprised and shocked, but that's what they wanted me to do. I felt like the transition was nice. "I thought hitting-wise at this level, pitchers have a better plan of what they're trying to do and throw more strikes and stuff like that. When the pitchers throw more strikes and know what they're going to do, you've got a better idea of what you want to do at the plate."

With his hitting skills, Senzel could be on the fast track to the Majors. He watched with interest as three 2015 first-round picks were recently promoted to the Majors in their first full pro seasons. That included overall No. 1 pick Dansby Swanson by the Braves, No. 2 pick Alex Bregman by the Astros and seventh pick Andrew Benintendi by the Red Sox.

"You're always hopeful. You look at those guys ... get there their first full year, as a player and a college hitter that makes you hungry to get up there," Senzel said. "I feel like different organizations have different plans. Whatever their plan is, you have to trust the process. At the same time, you want to do well at every level you're in and move up as fast as you can."

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.