The minor league season is now complete as we await for the Arizona Fall League to begin play on October 9th.
The Reds had three farm teams compete in post season competition.
The AA Pensacola team qualified for the playoffs by clinching a 2nd half wild card spot. They lost the first round best of five game series 3 – 1 to the Biloxi Shuckers.
The A+ Daytona team is participatied in the post season playoffs thanks to being the 1st half division winners. They defeated the Clearwater Threshers 2 – 1 in the first round three game playoff series. The Tortugas then lost 3 – 1 to the Fort Meyers Miracle in the FSL Championship best of five series.
The R Billings team clinched a playoff birth by being the second half division winners. Billings lost the first round best of three game playoff series against Great Falls 2 – 0.
The Senzel Plan
Is there really one?
As you have most likely already heard by now, the Reds have Nick Senzel in Instructional League learning to play the outfield. Dick Williams, the Reds’ President of Baseball Operations, stated the following:
“We think and know he can help us in the infield. That’s very much in our plans for the future. But we’ve got an elite infield at the Major League level right now and everybody sees that. The more ways he can find to help the Major League team, the more value he’s going to have to us and the more likely he is to crack the Major League roster.”
I’d agree that we have an elite (very good at least) Major League infield offensively. Defensively is another story as the Reds are sub par at three of the four positions (SS, 2B, and 1B), and even Eugenio Suarez regressed in the field at 3B this season.
The Reds have been in major rebuild mode the last several years and their current top prospect, Senzel, played only 3B up until this season. Then, just as his bat rises him to the top level of the minors, they give him the full blown utility player treatment positionally. Now Senzel has been exposed shortly to SS, 2B, and now OF, with the given reasoning, that the top prospect on team losing 90 games every year, should be flexible so he can crack the lineup. In a rebuild, shouldn’t the top prospect, and a very successful one, be having the path cleared for him to become one the building blocks of the organization?
If the Reds truly believe as Williams states, “…we believe that Nick is an elite infielder and has a long-term future as an elite infielder.” Shouldn’t an elite bat and IF have a pretty easy time cracking the lineup of a 90 loss team with defensive issues in the IF?
Please, someone give me a hint of what this “…plans for the future.” that Dick Williams speaks of is, and just when the future might get here. Nick Senzel is ready to improve our IF now and he should have been developed to slide right into place as a major building block of this team going forward. Instead the Reds come across to the waning fan base as an indecisive organization with no clear plan to bring this endless rebuild to conclusion.