Reds make Senzel first pick; add Trammell, Okey

Published 2:18 am Friday, June 10, 2016

CINCINNATI — The Royal Canadian Mounted Police aren’t the only ones who always get their man.

The Cincinnati Reds went into Thursday’s Major League Baseball first-year player draft with the overall No. 2 pick and landed the player they coveted.

Reds’ senior director of amateur scouting Chris Buckley announced the selection of USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalist infielder Nick Senzel (6-1, 205) from the University of Tennessee as the team’s top pick.

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“We’re really excited. This is the guy we wanted. He’s a very polished player, one of the better hitters, if not the best hitter, in the draft,” Buckley said.

“We think his power will improve the more he plays. He’s a complete player, runs, throws and plays his position well.”

Shortstop Kurt Stillwell, selected with the second overall pick in 1983, is the only other player to be drafted that high by the Reds.

Senzel, 21, this season ranked among the Southeastern Conference leaders in doubles (25, 1st), RBI (59, 2nd), stolen bases (25, T3rd), runs scored (57, 4th), walks (40, T4th), total bases (125, 6th) and hitting (.352, 9th).

He was the SEC Player of the Week for May 17-21 after he went 6-for-11 to help his team clinch a spot in the SEC tournament.

Following this season, Senzel (pronounced sen Zel) was named second-team All-America by Baseball America and third-team All-America by Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

In his three seasons for the Volunteers, he hit .332 with 196 hits and 126 RBI in 160 career appearances. His 49 career doubles rank seventh on the school’s all-time list.

Last summer, Senzel became the first player since 1995 to win both the Most Valuable Player and the Outstanding Pro Prospect awards in the Cape Cod League, the nation’s top amateur wooden bat league.

The Reds also selected their second and third players with overall picks 35 (in competitive balance lottery round A) and 43 (2nd round).

With their second pick, the Reds selected outfielder Taylor Trammell of Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw, Ga.

The 35th pick was Clemson catcher Chris Okey.

The 6-2, 200-pound Trammell — who bats and throws left-handed — has an offer to play for Georgia Tech. He was also the Class A football offensive player of the year after rushing for 2,479 yards and scoring 36 touchdowns.

The 5-11, 195-pound Okey was drafted by San Diego out of high school. He played for five U.S. national teams.

The right-handed hitting Okey batted .399 with 74 runs batted in and 81 hits — both career highs.

He was named to the Louisville Slugger and Baseball American All-America second teams. He was a first team All-ACC selection.

The draft will have 40 rounds. Rounds 3-10 will begin at 1 p.m. Friday and rounds 11-40 will begin at noon Saturday.