Nick Senzel was on-pace for a 20/20 season back in his debut year of 2019, a year in which he finally was shut down with a shoulder injury after battling through, I dunno, about a half-dozen other injuries and ailments. He hit a ball off his face once, which is a feat damn near impossible to pull off, while also battling ankle issues and a bout of vertigo.
That feels like eons ago, frankly. While his defense in CF - a position he’d never played before as a professional prior to the Reds rolling him out there at the big league level - has matured into a plus tool for him, his bat since that point has been about as punchless as one can be. That’s not just in reference to the Reds roster, either - that’s in comparison to the entirety of the rest of baseball.
Since the start of the 2021 Major League Baseball season, 357 players have managed to log at least 250 plate appearances at the big league level. If you look at those 357 players and rank them by their ISO (Isolated Power, or a measure of raw power by showing how many extra-base hits a player averages per at-bat), you’ll begin to see players that stand out with their ability to sock the crud out of balls for base hits. The top of the leaderboard holds no surprises, either - Byron Buxton (.341) leads the way followed by superstars Mike Trout, Fernando Tatis, Jr., Bryce Harper, and Shohei Ohtani.
There’s a reason why those folks have had all the money in the baseball world shoved their way.
It’s when you flip that leaderboard upside down where things relating to the topic of this particular Spontaneous Random Cincinnati Reds Stat of the Day begin to come into focus, unfortunately.
Ranking last, 357th, on that list of players is Andrelton Simmons(.044), currently employed by the Chicago Cubs. Next to last is Luis Guillorme (.053), a utility infielder for the New York Mets who is hitting an impressive .328 so far this season (even if they’re mostly all singles). Third to last out of those 357, however, is Nick Senzel (.054), a fact that seems outlandish given that he swatted 33 XBH in just 58 games in his first season in the minors after being drafted and backed it up by smacking 40 doubles in just 119 games the following season.
I don’t know if it was the shoulder injury that sapped his power. I don’t know if the spontaneous mid-season swing-change he was pushed to pursue during the shortened 2020 season has rendered him unable to tap back into former power. What I do know, though, is that he’s become one of the most punchless hitters in the majors today - he ranks 352nd in slugging percentage at just .279 among that group, too.
With that kind of disastrous offensive production paired with Tommy Pham and Tyler Naquin set to reach free agency, it’s not at all an outlandish statement to say that as things currently sit, Albert Almora, Jr. is the best outfielder on the Reds roster (and perhaps in their entire system) who projects to be a part of the big league outfield in 2022. You know, the guy they found on the scrap heap just a couple of months ago.
I’d like to thank FanGraphs for providing this kind of day-ruining information.