With the second overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft on Thursday, the Reds selected third baseman Nick Senzel out of the Univ. of Tennessee.
Senzel, who turns 21 on June 29, batted .352/.456/.595 with eight home runs and 59 RBIs in 57 games this season for the Volunteers. He led the SEC conference with 25 doubles.
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.
“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.”
In the last 21 series, the Reds went 4-17 vs the Cardinals
Over the last 10 series at Great American Ball Park, the Reds are 3-7 vs STL
This will be Mike Leake’s 86th career start at Great American Ballpark, which will tie him with Homer Bailey for fourth-most all time (Bronson Arroyo, Aaron Harang, Johnny Cueto).
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is second in the Majors in walks with 48 and leads the league 13 intentional walks. Pitchers are respecting his power and trying to not get beat by working around him.
Will the Reds do that this week?
“It’d be a great idea if he didn’t have a guy hitting. 400 behind him who hits homers too and doubles and is wreaking havoc on the National League,” Reds manager Bryan Price said on Friday.
Price of course was referring to Daniel Murphy, who is hitting fourth behind Harper.
“I think you can only go so far,” Price continued. “We have to do our best to manage him as well as these other guys in the lineup having nice years.
“I think you have to kind of pick your poison but working your way around Harper and ending up with Murphy doesn’t always seem like the best idea either. I think we have to be aggressive and pitch to him. It’s like Barry Bonds, if you’re going to go after him, you go after him. If you’re going to pitch around him, you sure better have a real good plan for the guy hitting behind him. Right now, Murphy is pretty dangerous too.”
Brandon Phillips tested his sore left ankle during agility drills a little while ago in the outfield. He has been cleared to play.
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was out of the lineup again on Wednesday with a sore left ankle. Phillips was a late scratch Tuesday and left Monday’s game after six innings. It all stems from Sunday at Milwaukee, when he slid into the wall making a catch in foul territory and jammed his ankle under the padding.
“Not better enough,” Reds manager Bryan Price said of Phillips’ status on Wednesday. “If I run him out there for nine more innings (Wednesday), it’s not going to be better (Thursday), I can tell you that. I feel pretty confident about that. We’ll see. He’ll receive treatment again today and hopefully quite a bit better tomorrow. I think if it was up to him, he’d play. It’s going to be a lingering issue if we don’t give him time to rest and rehab.”