On Friday, former Vol baseball star Nick Senzel made his MLB debut after being called up from the minor leagues with the Cincinnati Reds. He collected his first major league at-bat, first major league hit, and first major league run scored in that game.
On Saturday, Senzel smashed his first MLB home run.
Before he did that, though, he had a home run robbed from him.
Senzel was up to bat in the bottom of the third inning with two outs with the Reds leading the San Francisco Giants 5-1. He slapped a hard-hit ball to center field, and the Giants’ Kevin Pillar ran back to the wall. He then scaled the wall and stole Senzel’s first career MLB home run away from him.
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 5, 2019
But just two innings later, Senzel would get his revenge.
With the Reds leading 7-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Senzel took an 0-1 pitch opposite field for his first home run as a Major Leaguer, smacking it to about the fifth or sixth row of the stands in right-center.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 5, 2019
That home run was Senzel’s second hit of his major league career, and it took him less than 10 at-bats to get his first home run of his MLB career. That home run also gave him his first career RBI and his second run scored in the major leagues.
“The kid that caught it, it was his birthday,” Senzel said after the Reds’ 9-2 win on Saturday. “He got a happy birthday ball [from me]. It was really neat to do that. I wanted to make sure to get that one.”
Senzel became the first Reds player since Drew Stubbs in 2009 to hit his first career home run within his first two games in the MLB. He became the youngest Reds player to do that since Joey Votto did it in 2007.
Through two games so far this season with the Reds, Senzel is 2-for-8 at the plate with a home run, two runs scored, and an RBI. He also has a .455 on-base percentage and an OPS of 1.080 in his first two games.
Senzel is a pretty good fielder, too. He proved that during his time at Tennessee, and he made an impressive catch in his debut game on Friday night as well:
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 4, 2019
Senzel spent two-plus years in the minors before being called up this season. An injury set him back from his original goal of making it into the MLB in his first two years under contract, but he’s now in the majors. In 241 career games in the minors, Senzel batted .311 and hit 29 home runs and 77 doubles while driving in 133 RBI and scoring 154 runs. He stole 40 bases and had an on-base percentage of .388 with an OPS of .897.
The Reds drafted Senzel with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. He received a $6.2 million signing bonus with that selection.
During his time with the Vols, Senzel was voted an All-American in 2016 and was a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist. The former Farragut High School standout was a star for the Vols as well, playing three seasons with Tennessee from 2014-16.
In his three years with the Vols, Senzel had a .332 batting average while hitting 13 home runs, 49 doubles, and driving in 126 RBI and scoring 127 runs. He also stole 46 bases and only struck out 21 times in 210 at-bats in 2016. He had a career on-base percentage of .426 at Tennessee.