It's Senzel time in Cincinnati

Reds to call up top prospect for Major League debut on Friday

Nick Senzel batted .308 with three RBIs, four stolen bases and eight runs scored at Spring Training. (Louisville Bats)

By Chris Bumbaca / MiLB.com | April 30, 2019 6:55 PM

The Reds stashed Nick Senzel in the Minor Leagues to start the season with the expectation he wouldn't spend much time there. 

An injury pushed back the initial timeline, but the plan has come to fruition, with the top Reds prospect expected to make his Major League debut on Friday against the Giants in Cincinnati, MLB Pipeline's Jonathan Mayo reported

(Update: The Reds officially promoted Senzel from Triple-A Louisville on Friday. Right-hander Matt Bowman was optioned to make room him for him on the Major League roster, and seocnd baseman Scooter Gennett was moved to the 60-day injured list to open up a spot on the 40-man roster.)

Tweet from @Reds: It's time. #BornToBaseball pic.twitter.com/gTEAOC465E

Injuries sidetracked MLB.com's No. 5 overall prospect last year, as a bout with vertigo and a fractured right index finger limited him to play 44 games. After earning a second straight invitation to Spring Training, where he made a strong case to crack the Opening Day roster, Senzel injured his ankle on March 25 by sliding awkwardly into second base.  

Video: Louisville's Senzel hits first long ball

The 23-year-old recovered at extended spring training and joined Louisville last week to start his season. Through six contests, he's 8-for-27 (.296) with a homer, two RBIs and two walks. 

Expectations will be high for the Atlanta native. The Reds selected Senzel with the second overall pick in the 2016 Draft out of the University of Tennessee. And he rewarded the organization by boasting commendable numbers at each level of the Minors -- he's a career .314/.389/.511 hitter. 

For all of his strengths in the batter's box, Senzel is a complete player with five-tool potential. Perhaps the best example is his recent transition from infielder -- he mostly played third and second base -- to center field. The position change was a key factor behind his advancement to the big leagues, as the Reds have no long-term center fielder.

2019 MiLB include

"It's just getting it to a point where he can confidently play that position in a way that, you know, his teammates can trust him out there on the biggest stage," Reds director of player development Eric Lee told MiLB.com in March.

The 23-year-old has spent all six games with the Bats in center this season. On Tuesday, he led off for Louisville and played center at Toledo.

Senzel's pending promotion means four of MLB.com's top five prospects -- Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1), San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr. (2) and Eloy Jimenez (3) of the White Sox -- will be in the Majors.

Chris Bumbaca is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @BOOMbaca. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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