Vols 3B Nick Senzel / Credit: UT Athletics
Vols 3B Nick Senzel / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — University of Tennessee infielder Nick Senzel was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round (second overall pick) of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

With his selection, Senzel becomes the first UT player drafted in the first round since former teammateChristin Stewart was selected as the 34th overall pick by the Detroit Tigers in 2015. Senzel also becomes the sixth, first-round draft pick for the Volunteers since 2007 and the 17th overall first-rounder in Tennessee Baseball program history.

Picked second overall, Senzel now stands as the highest-drafted player directly out of the University of Tennessee in school history. (Former Volunteer pitcher Luke Hochevar was selected first overall in the 2006 MLB Draft after playing one year of independent league baseball.) Senzel also becomes the first Tennessee player selected by Cincinnati since righthander Sean Watson was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft.

Named a 2016 All-American by Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Baseball America, Senzel took home postseason nods for the first time since receiving Freshman All-America honors from Louisville Slugger in 2014, when he was also named to the SEC’s All-Freshman team as UT’s designated hitter. He is the first Volunteer to receive postseason All-America honors since Cody Hawn received Second Team and Third Team mentions in 2009.

In May, Senzel was named an All-SEC Second Team and SEC All-Defensive selection after posting a career year on Rocky Top in 2016, hitting .352 with 74 hits, an SEC-leading 25 doubles, eight homers and 59 RBI while leading his Vols to their third-consecutive SEC Tournament appearance.

The Knoxville native completed his junior year ranking among SEC top-10 leaders in multiple offensive categories with a .352 average (9th), 57 runs scored (4th), 59 RBI (2nd), 25 doubles (1st), 125 total bases (6th), 40 walks (T-4th) and 25 stolen bases (T-3rd).

Recently named a semifinalist for USA Baseball’s 2016 Golden Spikes Award, Senzel was recognized as a Preseason All-American by four major outlets entering his junior season in 2016. After a stellar summer campaign with the Cape Cod League’s Brewster Whitecaps, Senzel also took home 2015 Cape Cod League MVP and Summer Collegiate Player of the Year honors.

Over three seasons with the Volunteers from 2014-16, Senzel owns a .332 average with 196 hits and 126 RBI through 160 career games for the Orange and White. His 25 doubles in 2016 mark the most by a UT third baseman since Chase Headley in 2005, while Senzel also ranks seventh all-time on the Vols’ career doubles list with 49.

-UT Athletics


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