By Matthew McAdow
Hot Bat Senzel
The past couple weeks for Nick Senzel have been thrilling, as he is finally seeing the results from all the hard work he has put in over the years. He recently was awarded the National League Player of the Week and he has continued to be the “hot bat” in the lineup. He is batting .500 over his last 30 plate appearances and has even showcased his power by adding in 3 homeruns during that stretch. His walk-off homerun the other night gave many people in Cincinnati a Brandon Phillips walk-off type of feel, as he rounded the bases in excitement. It has been great to see Nick remain healthy over the last month and I really hope to see him stay on the field for the rest of the Summer in good health. Nick is now 27 years old and has been playing up with Cincinnati since 2019. He was selected by the Reds with the second overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Senzel has been on the unfortunate side of many injuries over the years including a torn labrum, knee problems, undisclosed issues, and other unfortunate nagging problems that have kept him off the field. Now that he is finally truly healthy, it has been a joy to watch his talent on a consistent basis.
National League Central Standings
Now that we have made it to May, we can take a step back and really look at where Cincinnati stands in comparison to the rest of the teams in our division. Our Redlegs are currently 4th in the division and hold a 12-17 record. They are 8 games back of the first place Pirates (yes, you read that correctly). Who would have thought that the Pirates would be 20-9 to begin the year and are leading the division? In last place, the Cardinals are 10-19 and I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel good to see the “SL” logo at the bottom of the list every time I open my ESPN application. The biggest issue the Reds have when looking at the statistics is runs allowed. They have allowed the most runs in the division and the 7th most in baseball with 147. If they can cut down the poor starts and some of the bad pitches with runners on base, they could find a way back to .500 baseball in the near future. Coming up, they will continue their series with the Padres, along with upcoming series’ against the White Sox, Mets, and Marlins. They really need to take advantage of the White Sox series, as the Mets and Marlins are playing good baseball.
Bengals Draft Analysis
This past week was one of my favorite weeks of the year, as Cincinnati looked to have yet another dominant year in the NFL Draft. My mock draft that I completed two weeks ago was about as “off” as someone could be, as my predictions for Cincinnati were completely incorrect. Cincinnati took the following players in the draft:
- Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson – I never would have guessed that Murphy would still be available this late in the draft. He will get immediate snaps and he will provide some much needed pass rush for Cincinnati. It will be “scary hours” for all teams lining up against Murphy, Hendrickson, Hubbard, Ossai, and others this upcoming season.
- DJ Turner, CB, Michigan – This secondary needed some speed and depth and that is exactly what Cincinnati got with this pick.
- Jordan Battle, S, Alabama – This is probably my favorite pick of the draft, as Battle will make an immediate impact on this roster. He will have big shoes to fill with Bell and Bates departures.
- Charlie Jones, WR, Purdue – The Bengals believe Jones can quickly develop some chemistry with Burrow as the fourth wide receiver in this offense.
- Chase Brown, RB, Illinois – Chase Brown is exactly what Cincinnati was looking for late in this draft, as they definitely needed depth at this position with Perine leaving the roster. Brown will compete with Mixon, Williams, and Evans for carries.
- Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton – It will be interesting to see how this late round Ivy League pick will play out, as Andrei certainly has the speed and length to have a chance of making an impact on this roster.
- Brad Robbins, P, Michigan – Robbins will immediately compete with Chrisman for the starting punter role, as the Bengals were obviously not impressed with their punters last season. This was probably my least favorite pick in the draft, as his numbers are very comparable to Drue’s.
- DJ Ivey, CB, Miami – Ivey looks to compete for a role on this loaded defense with his high ability of finding the ball and his highly graded tackling.