Daily Reds Obsession

DRO: Who should play 2B for the Reds in 2018?


This week’s respondents are Chad Dotson, Wes Jenkins, Jason Linden and Steve Mancuso. Plus, making a return to the pages of Redleg Nation is our guest, Nick Doran, who wrote a terrific weekly column during the 2015 season.


Our Daily Reds Obsession: Who should play second base for the Reds in 2018? 

Nick: Scooter Gennett. He was one of the five best offensive second basemen in the game this year. His 124 wRC+ this year was beaten only by Jose Altuve of the Astros, Jose Ramirez of the Indians and Daniel Murphy of the Nationals. For a frame of reference, Brandon Phillips’ best wRC+ was 122 in 2007 — and that was the only time he ever produced better than a 104 wRC+ in his career. Jose Peraza had a lowly 62 wRC+ this year — only four major league players were worse (at any position).

Chad: Nicholas Peter Senzel. We already know he can hit: .315/.393/.514 since being drafted 2nd overall in 2016. And while he has only played third base in his professional career, Senzel played both second and short during his college career at the University of Tennessee. No one seems to question whether he can handle second base athletically, and since the Reds already have one of the better third basemen in all of baseball (you may have heard of Eugenio Suarez), it seems likely that Senzel will play a lot of 2B in the spring. (Permit Scooter Gennett to keep Senzel’s seat warm until he’s ready to take over full-time.)

The kid is one of the top ten prospects in all of baseball, and he’s almost ready for the big leagues. If I were making the decisions, I’d move Suarez over to shortstop and leave Senzel at third, but I couldn’t argue with leaving Suarez at the hot corner. Senzel’s bat has to be in the lineup. It’ll be at second base.

Wes: Nick Senzel should play second; Eugenio Suarez should play third; and Zack Cozart should be at short. Yes I know — Senzel is young and unproven and the Reds don’t have the money to keep Zack. Regardless, the Reds aren’t going anywhere too terribly fast in 2018, so why not let Senzel get his sea legs from day one? I don’t want to hear your “but what if it shatters his confidence” malarky. Senzel has proven (in my mind) an ability to hit at a Major League level and by leaving him in the minors, the Reds are only hurting themselves in the long run.

Jason: Nick Senzel. No question. Senzel has destroyed the minors. It’s time. Gennett has been excellent, but he’s going to regress. Peraza, if he plays, will play at shortstop. Senzel is clearly the answer. I know the Reds will keep him down for a couple of weeks for service time considerations, but in mid-April, it’s time to go.

Steve: I’m trading Scooter Gennett before the clock strikes twelve. If his shoulder permits, Dilson Herrera has to start the season at 2B. He’s out of options, so the Reds lose him unless he makes the Opening Day roster. If he’s on the team, Herrera should play. The Reds should see what Herrera can do and then try to trade him. If Herrera busts in spring training — or remains injured — then slide Jose Peraza into the Opening Day 2B role. They should call up Nick Senzel for at least half of 2018 and install him at 2B. Senzel was a nationally ranked second baseman in high school and played second, short and third at Tennessee. If he has the arm strength and range to play shortstop, he can play second base.

79 thoughts on “DRO: Who should play 2B for the Reds in 2018?

  1. Senzel. Peraza has no business in an everyday lineup and I’m happy to see him packaged in trade to any team that perceives value there. Gennett was a wonderful surprise in 2017 but his trade value will never be higher, and I’ll be stunned if he doesn’t regress after his offensive sneak attack last year. I don’t know what to think about, or do with, Dilson Herrera. If the Reds are out of options then perhaps he needs to be shipped out as part of a package deal for prospects, but there’s no way he should man second all year just because he’s out of options. Whenever his vertigo and service time issues are clear, Senzel (and Winker) should play every day.

    The only way my answer might change is if the Reds move Duvall and Hamilton this offseason and don’t acquire Yelich or another top line center fielder (please not Jackie Bradley Jr.). In that case Senzel could play left, but he’s got to play.

  2. I would like Herrera to begin the season at second; Senzel at third; Peraza at short,(or Suarez, if no trade takers).

    In the outfield: I would like to begin the season with Winker, Ervin, and either Sheb or Duvall, whichever is not traded.

    Trade offers for Hamilton, Suarez, Gennett, Iglesias, Duvall or Schebler.

    With those players for trade, the Reds should pick up a couple of quality starters.

    • Pick up something for one of those, but I wouldn’t expect a quality starter. They are in short supply, and the very rich teams will be shopping for them (Cubs, Yankees, etc) . So the asking prices will be high.

      I would NOT trade Suarez, unless the Reds absolutely got something great for him. Suarez has shown so much growth as a player, and I think he is a very well liked player in the clubhouse. Clubhouse chemistry is an intangible, but it is real

      The Reds have several options at 2nd base. Gennett, Peraza, Senzel, Herrera

      I am not anxious about trading Gennett, but again, what would we get in a trade? He’s not a gazelle at fielding his position, but he did have a fine offensive year. What if he did the same, or something close to it, in 2018?
      Yes, he probably had a career year in 2017, but what ML team also wouldn’t figure that one out? The Brewers GAVE him away last Spring, and now we think we can get a good starting pitcher for him?
      Senzel can play 3rd or 2nd. I would like him to play at 2nd next Spring, and see what happens. Options, Service time, Super 2, blah-blah-blah, he comes back up in June from AAA.

      The trade for Dilson Herrera was probably the WORST trade (worser than Aroldis Chapman trade) the Reds have made in recent years. I guess we have to try to resurrect this kid, and I hope it works. But I wouldn’ t hang my hat or bet the future on him until we actually see him play again. A very big unknown.

      • Worse trade? It is not over until it is. Herrera has all the tools. He was broke when we got him, but now he is healthy. Let’s see!

        • Honestly, how do you know he is healthy? He had surgery, but he may or may not be the player he was expected to be.

  3. 2B is the one position with a real surplus of starting candidates: Gennett, Suarez, Senzel, Herrera, Peraza and Blandino. Until one or more of those candidates are traded, I’m working off the scenario that all are under consideration. Herrera must be on the 25-man roster. Suarez should stay at 3B. Senzel needs a little more seasoning, but probably not much, before he makes the 25-man roster. Peraza has issues with his power and plate discipline until he proves otherwise. Blandino has options remaining and probably has no chance to make the 25-man roster unless Herrera is physically removed from consideration. By default, that leaves Gennett and Herrera for consideration as the starting 2B and they both should start … in a platoon arrangement. Neither is a gifted defensive 2B (I’m being very kind here), but both should rake.

    Gennett drives the platoon arrangement more than Herrera with a serious platoon split. Herrera simply covers the poor platoon split for Gennett. If Herrera is physically eliminated from consideration, then Peraza moves into the 2B platoon by default.

    • This is how I see it too. If no off-season trades are made, Scooter has to be the starter vs. RHP’s. I need Herrara to show me he can hit MLB before he gets the other half of the platoon, if not it’s Peraza.

  4. Herrera should begin the season at second base if he is healthy. If he hits like he has in the minor’s he is an everyday second baseman in the big leagues. Senzel should be ready soon to take over at 2B, but there isn’t a reason to rush him in 18′. I hope there is a trade market for second baseman because we have a load of them that are valuable (Gennett, Herrera, Blandino, Peraza).

    • No reason to rush Senzel? Also no reason to watch him tear up more minor league pitching when he could be learning the ropes w/the Reds?

      Andrew Benintendi age 22 at AA = .872 ops. Skipped AAA and was with the Red Sox this year
      Senzel age 22 at AA = .973 ops?? He’s ready, but instead the Reds will screw around with Peraza til July because they’re the Reds.

      • Senzel will not be on the opening day roster.
        Except the Reds to call him up, shortly after the estimated Super 2 deadline.

        • Senzel can use some time to refine his 2B or outfield defensive skills and face some AAA pitching. Also the FO must factor in the depth at 2B and the value of the players we have for trading. This is a business, so trade Scooter now that he has some value and let Herrera show that he is a starting 2b and trade him with the value he develops. Senzel, I hope will be our 2b for a while and 2018 is likely not a playoff caliber team.

        • Exactly, C Red. Senzel, if he has a great spring, will be sent back to AAA until May 1 or thereabouts, just like the Cubs did with Kris Bryant. It allows for an extra year of control.

          Trade Scooter, had a career year, he will get a huge increase in Arbitration.. Start Herrera if healthy, if not, Peraza until Senzel is brought up. With the chips that the Reds have to trade, Hamilton, Scooter, Iggy, Duval/Schebler, they should be able to acquire a decent SS to replace Zack.

      • If the Reds leave him in the minors for a few weeks, they get an extra year of control over him. Plus if he stays in the minors until mid-June (I think), the Reds avoid Super 2 status, meaning he only gets 3 arbitration years instead of 4. Would you rather have him as a Red in April-May at 23 years old, or as a Red at 28-29 years old during his prime with an extra year of control at a lower cost?

  5. Scooter? No question whatsoever unless he’s traded or they keep Cozart. Platoon him with Blandino or Peraza. I don’t get the love for Herrera? He’s always hurt and the only time he’s looked like a real prospect was in the PCL. Everyone hits in the PCL. Does 4 TD passes per game in the Arena League = starting NFL QB?

    I would move Suarez to SS for Senzel. Otherwise Scooter won’t find enough atbats under Price and that’s a mistake imo….atleast vs righties! Let him prove that last year was a fluke. 2018 is just more experimentation, mixing, and matching anyway.

    • I don’t know that anyone is too high on Herrera. When he is healthy, he hits. He just hasn’t been healthy for the past couple years. The biggest problem is that he has to be on the ML roster this year, and you need to see what you have before you cut bait. Personally, I agree with what’s been shared above…that a platoon with Scooter is the way to maximize value and build his confidence (MiLB career .362 v. LHP).

  6. As far as sleepers go….give me Alex Blandino (25 in November). He’s obviously not a fast riser but look at a guy like the Royals Whit Merrifield. He only had a career .736 ops (Blandino .777) in the PCL and didn’t make it to KC until he was 27. They’re totally different type of players (Blandino obp vs WMs speed/power), but I think that’s a similar path that Blandino could follow? Suarez never tore up minor league pitching either.

  7. A March 2016 article on Fangraphs gave evidence why Senzel would not be a good 2B candidate. I can’t find the article now, but I have cited it on this board in other discussions.

    • March 2016 to March 2018 is decades in baseball terms. Look at Suarez’s growth at 3rd base over the course of a year. Look at Votto’s improvement at 1st after an offseason of dedicated work. It takes time and effort to learn a position and improve. Not all can do it at every position (Schebler will never become an amazing center fielder, for instance) but Senzel might become a solid if not above-average 2nd baseman defensively if he puts in the work and given the time and opportunity. An article written two years ago saying he can’t do it doesn’t automatically make it so.

      • Good response, Brock. Plus, and as much as I enjoy articles on Fangraphs, it’s not like those guys are making a living at judging who will or won’t be a good 2B. Some critical thinking has to be applied here.

        • I would think the writers at Fangraphs use greater “critical thinking” than any of us.

          • You’ll have to speak for yourself. But of course, that wasn’t the point of my first response.

            There are some smart and talented people at FG but just because they write thoughtful analysis and articles about baseball does not make them qualified to be a scout.

            To answer your other rhetorical question, it would stand to reason that the Reds thought Senzel would benefit more from playing his usual position in 2017 and work on his hitting without also trying to adjust to another position in his first full pro season.

            If he has the skill to play 3B, and nobody appears to be saying he doesn’t, then he is capable of making the transition to 2B.

        • If the Reds thought Senzel had a future at 2B, why did they not play him there in 2017?

          • Senzel was drafted #2 overall for his bat, not his glove. His bat will get him to the show (and probably make him a wealthy man). When Senzel was drafted, he was most comfortable playing 3B. Keeping him comfortable defensively while he adapted to professional pitching was a sound decision. Note how everything seemed to come together offensively for Suarez once he became comfortable defensively at 3B. I expect Senzel to make his last minor league stop in AAA this season. His bat is solid. Now would be the time (this off season) to begin woring on a defensive position for major league playing time. I would hope that as soon as the off season trades are finalized, clarifying where the defensive need and opportunity exists at the major league level, Senzel will be in Arizona working on the opportunity facing him in 2018.

          • Brock’s logic says all a player has to do is work hard and with time and opportunity a 6′-6″, 350 pounder can become a fleet-footed centerfielder. OK, I’m stretching it a bit; however, do you see my point?

            I wish I could find the article. Before reading it, I thought Senzel could play 2B in the pros, knowing he had played some SS/2B at Tennessee.

          • Here’s the article you referenced: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/tennessees-nick-senzel-among-2016-drafts-top-bats/

            You’ll note that the author laces his grades and comments re: Senzel’s fielding ability with significant disclaimers. For example, he only observed him in one game, playing 3rd base only. He only gave future grades for his hitting ability, not his fielding. I don’t see anywhere in the article where the author concludes that Senzel couldn’t handle 2B. Just that he had concerns about his fielding tools.

            If you want to base your conclusions on an article about a then 21 yr old amateur player from 19 MONTHS AGO, be my guest. But you have to admit that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to draw definitive conclusions about a player that young who hadn’t played pro ball yet. Do you not think he could improve his fielding ability?

          • It might have been convincing speculation, but it was still speculation. If analysts were always right, it wouldn’t be necessary toplay the games. Think of the savings!!

      • The article didn’t say he can’t do it, it said he doesn’t have the “tools” for 2B.

  8. Peraza is our 2b of the future. especially if we depart with Billy Hamilton. we have to have at least some speed in the lineup.

    I would also like to see the reds develop Hunter Greene as a shortstop. we have to get more athletic if we are going to compete with the big boys.

    • Peraza is a Non Tender of the future.
      He cannot hit his way out of a wet paper bag.
      Stupid Trade.

      • Peraza hit .259 in 143 games this year, his first full year in the bigs. He’s hit .277 in 222 games in the bigs total. What batting average must a young player attain in order to hit his way out of a wet paper bag?

        The kid deserves a chance.

        • He is not liked by those who frequent this site because he doesn’t walk enough. He is our future at SS or 2B, mark it down. He will get develop discipline at the plate. if Puig can do it, anyone can !!!

    • I think every indication is that the Reds and Greene are now planning on him being a full time pitcher.

  9. Scooter. Assuming he is still on the roster, how can you not? Yeah, hes number 2 on my trade list (Cozart is #1), but Im not giving him up for a bag of beans, and Im not sure there will be much of a trade market for him. He is the perfect place holder until Herrera proves health wise and Senzel seasons some. Will he regress? Probably. But even if he does, he is a fantastic utility piece needed on a good team. His contract is friendly and he is a great guy in the club house. I think he would handle a diminishing role well if he doesnt perform and there are young guys behind him. And there is also the possibility he continues where he left off.

    • Cozart is a questionable QO player.
      (Doug of redsminorleague.com (sp), does not like the idea).
      How is he #1 trade?

      • I guess he would be the number one trade if someone was willing to give us something in exchange for his services through the next week

  10. Scooter has more than earned it, and I’m not sure he’ll regress. He just might be a late bloomer and not old. But the wise move would be to trade him with the glut of candidates behind him. Herrara has to make the team and Cozart will no longer be with the team. Peraza will start at short. Senzel at AAA till mid-season.

    • He may be a late bloomer but are we betting on him being the exception to the rule?

      • Probably not. I feel a major trade or two this offseason including Gennett, Duvall, Hamilton, and at least one of our starting pitcher prospects.

  11. 2B options are plentiful—it’s a rare position of strength in the organization. Scooter, Herrera, Blandino, Long. Unless you’re trading those assets to fill other needs, adding Senzel to that mix would create multiple redundancies. Instead, I’d work Senzel out in LF. He and Winker in the corners gives you 4 high OBP, low strikeout guys that would terrorize opposing pitchers. Duvall K’d at a Drew Stubbs-like rate. Senzel would strike out at least 70 times less. Package Billy, Adam, and a prospect in the 5-15 range to acquire a 3-4 win controllable CF and that gives you a 5th above average bat in the lineup. Schebler becomes your 4th OF covering all 3 spots.

    • smart.

      I would also be trading Scooter for all the names you mention. He is not a great infielder, and not good against LH’s

      You know the Rockies have 2 free agents in Blackmon (CF) and DJ Leimeiux (2nd base and sorry about the spelling)

      a package of Billy and Scooter would fit well in Coors, and you may see both players become all world with the extra field available (LF, CF, RF and Coors Field, that extra 20 feet in all outfields)

  12. Peraza or Herrera. Peraza had a .333 OBP post All Star Break this season, which is pretty good for a 24 year old player. Granted, he still has about as much power as a car whose headlights were left on and forgotten for a week, but he’s still relatively young and I could see him developing at least some gap power. The “eye test” told me he was starting to drive balls with his legs toward the second half of the season, and just as it seemed like things were starting to click for him, Price decided to bench him. Hopefully 2B this season is neck and neck race between Herrera and Peraza to lay claim to 2B for the future.

    I agree with Steve, sell high on Scooter if you can.

    • yeah . I Like Peraza as well. has good speed. if we trade Hamilton he will be our only player that can score from second base on a single on the entire roster! lol.
      I agree he was starting to get back in to 2016 form In the second half of the season.

  13. Trade Scooter while you can. Exact same situation while Straily last year. I can see a trade to the Angels, Rays, Blue Jays, or maybe even the Indians if they want to move on from Kipnis.

  14. What is it about Herrera that has people throwing him in at 2B. Not only has he been hurt for the last 2 years, he managed just .264/.312/.397 last year at AAA. Strikeout rate 23% and walk rate of 5.7%. He is out of options, so he has to be here. He will be next year’s Stuart Turner.
    DFA him. If he clears waivers, park in in AA and see if the can stay healthy and productive. if someone claims him, so be it……and move on from the Jay Bruce trade debacle.

      • Herrera is 23, His AAA ops is .805, in 15′ he was ranked #46 minor league prospect in the minors, before getting mlb service time and becoming ineligible for minor league prospect status and he had an ops of .967 in AA at the age of 20.. His range stats in the minors are good and his mlb defensive stats are decent.

        Let’s hope he is healthy in 2018 and we’ll see what he has.

  15. Trade Scooter. Dilson to start with Peraza as back-up. Senzel to start in AAA. Wait for Herrera and Peraza not to work out, and then call up Nick. That way you could save a year of team control too.

  16. I don’t think Senzel can handle 2B, defensively. If he doesn’t what do the Reds do, bounce him around the field like they did Peraza?

  17. I dangle Suarez, Iglesias, Winker and a young pitcher or two as primaries in a couple of deals to bring a SS, CF and possibly a starting pitcher on the club.

    Steve Mancuso and a few others have come close to illustrating what needs to be done.

  18. I don’t know.

    We are quickly approaching the off-season- that time when the “market” decides for itself what player A or player B is worth.

    The biggest question is the market. How valued are Reds players? Hamilton, Schebler, Duvall, Gennett, Iglesias. I love Suarez, but MLB trade-rumors had a Yankees segment on third base and Suarez was mentioned, and aptly noted was the steep cost. I would never trade Suarez, unless a 22 year old Barry Larkin and Jose Rijo are coming back in return.

  19. Must trade Scooter. He will not duplicate this season. Must see what Herrera can do if he is out of options. Not a fan of Peraza but keep him for the bench. Senzel will not be in the opening day lineup but hopefully we will see him sometime in 2018. Key is to trade for a good SS & CF. They will not re-sign Cozart. Love Billy’s speed & defense but his OBP has always stunk.

  20. I think Scooter should be traded and let see what Herrera has to offer.

  21. If Gennett is traded and he should be after the offensive year he had this past season it will be Herrera or Peraza. Will Herrera be 100% injury free? If not then I give the nod to Peraza who I think has a lot to offer and has not been given a real shot as a starting infielder during the rebuild period. There’s been a lot of negativity toward Peraza but I think he just might surprise us. The second half of the season saw him working the count and getting some walks which is a step in the right direction.

  22. Unless the Reds trade for a SS or bring back Cozart, Peraza will be at short. That leaves Gennett, Herrera and Senzel in the mix for 2B.
    I think Scooter will be dealt. That means Herrera or Blandino will probably hold down the position until Senzel is allowed to come up.
    While Senzel may not be a gold glover at 2B, I think his defensive will be good enough.
    I can see Senzel hitting between Winker and Votto at the top of the order.

  23. Steve mentioned Herrera and how the reds could lose him if he isn’t kept on the big league roster. From my point of view I don’t think that’d be such a huge loss. I don’t believe in Herrera either…probably less than I do Peraza. I think the reds already have the solution to their infield conundrum and it doesn’t include either of Peraza and Herrera.

  24. I think Scooter is trade bait. He’s the Dan Straily of 2017 hot stove and I hope DW can pull off a decent deal.

    I think Senzel is the future at 2B (after avoiding the super 2 service time) and Suarez stays at 3rd.

    Adding Senzel and Winker to this offense in 2018 has to be a priority – I know neither of them will likely start the season but by mid-2018, they need regular at-bats at the mlb level. Scooter was good this year but I can’t imagine he’s better than winker and Senzel in the lineup regularly.

  25. I’m with Steve. Trade Scooter if possible and start Herrera. Senzel is the backup if Herrera bombs. Suarez stays at third for the foreseeable future.

  26. Jurickson Profar??? For what position? Certainly not for SS. Certainly not to join a well overcrowded 2B spot.
    Why trade for a AAAA player that has never hit at the ML level?? Never. That would be worse than having BHam in the lineup. Profar hit .234/.308/.336 before he got hurt. Since coming back he has hit .239/.321/.338 and .172/.294/.207.
    Why trade for this crap?

    • SS.

      “Rangers infielder/outfielder Jurickson Profar could draw offseason trade interest from the Reds, Padres and other teams, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News observes. The Reds scouted Profar “at length” when he was at Triple-A this season, per Grant, who notes that Padres general manager and ex-Rangers executive A.J. Preller is already familiar with the former top prospect. The switch-hitting Profar, 24, spent most of 2017 in the minors, where he hit .287/.383/.428 in 383 plate appearances.”

  27. If anyone has some influence tell the bosses to trade both Scooter and Hamilton.Seattle needs a center so Hamilton and a couple of minor pitchers we go after some of their top ten prospects maybe three or more. Scooter for again top ten prospects.

    • We can get free an agent center fielder like Jarrod Dyson or Curtis Granderson to platoon with Erwin both are left handed for one or two years and if they do good trade later.

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