Two questions continue to follow Nick Senzel this offseason.
One is obvious: When will the Cincinnati Reds’ top prospect make his major-league debut?
The second might need to be answered first: Where?
Senzel, who recently was named the winner of the Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award as the team’s minor league player of the year, has played all but two of his 182 professional games at third base.
That remains an possibility for the big-league club, but the Reds are looking at all options with Eugenio Suarez coming off a strong season at the hot corner.
Second base or a corner outfield spot have been discussed, but what about shortstop?
With Zack Cozart a free agent, that would seem to be the biggest need at the top of the organization, and manager Bryan Price told MLB.com that Senzel has an impressive endorsement.
“(Barry Larkin) said if need be, he could play shortstop at the big league level,” Price said, recalling a conversation from last spring.
Larkin is not just a Reds special assistant but also a Hall of Fame shortstop.
If the 22-year-old Senzel could make it there, it would leave the Reds with boppers in right field (Scott Schebler) and left field (Adam Duvall) as well as third base and second (Scooter Gennett) with speedy Jose Peraza an option as a utility man if he can’t win a regular spot somewhere.
Oh, and about that first question: All indications are Senzel will get a chance to impress Price and the rest of the big-league staff next spring.
If he knocks the cover off the ball, he might make the team, but a better bet is that he will not be in Cincinnati until June or so to save a year of service time and push back when he become eligible for arbitration.