The Cincinnati Reds’ fifth overall pick, Jonathan India, is impressive

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 26: Third basemen Jonathan India #6 of the Florida Gators hits a two run double against the LSU Tigers in the third inning during game one of the College World Series Championship Series on June 26, 2017 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 26: Third basemen Jonathan India #6 of the Florida Gators hits a two run double against the LSU Tigers in the third inning during game one of the College World Series Championship Series on June 26, 2017 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds’ 2018 first-round draftee Jonathan India is going to make a big difference. Now that the Florida Gators are no longer in the College World Series, India is expected to sign with the Reds soon.

Jonathan India was one of the best talents in the draft and the Cincinnati Reds made a good choice selecting him fifth overall. The 21-year-old infielder earned the honors of SEC player of the year, and with good reason.

As a junior at Florida, India had a ridiculous 1.214 OPS and conference-leading 21 home runs. The SEC was the toughest Division I conference this year. India’s accomplishments are more impressive, as he was up against the best college baseball talent in the nation.

He is also quite the speedster. In 2018, he stole 15 bases over 68 games (Florida played 70 total games). In 2017, he led the team with 13 stolen bags, despite missing a few games due to injury.

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India showed a bit on his inner Joey Votto this past season, getting on base in 64 of 68 games played. He also had 60 walks compared to only 56 strikeouts. India has the perfect combination of patience and power that makes an excellent player.

The Cincinnati Reds have a lot of options with India.

The obvious one is keeping him. Although he spent most of his time at third base, he played a few games at shortstop while he was at Florida. Currently, Eugenio Suarez is locked at third and Nick Senzel is the likely second baseman of the future.

Shortstop is the perfect place for India to play. Jeter Downs and Jose Garcia are the Reds’ top shortstop prospects but are currently at Single-A Dayton. Neither is expected to be ready for the Majors any time soon. If India progresses quickly, he could have that spot as early as next season.

The Reds are in year four of a rebuild and hopefully are able to contend soon. India has had playoff success and knows what it’s like playing to win, even if it’s not at the major league level. He helped the Gators win their first College World Series in 2017.

Even though Flroida was eliminated this season, he came up with some big hits in the 2018 College World Series. Having someone with a playoff mindset is helpful to any contending team, the Reds being no different.

There’s also the option of trading him

The Reds are not known for developing great pitching. India could be an excellent trade chip to get a decent starter. A fifth overall pick would have a huge return. That could help impact a team that wants to compete as soon as possible.

If India is traded, shortstop would be open for a few years while the prospects mentioned earlier make their way through the minors. In the interim, Jose Peraza or Alex Blandino could take over at short, or Nick Senzel could be moved to shortstop.

Just for fun, here is Jonathan India hitting an absolute bomb off of the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Casey Mize. Enjoy.

The Gators lost their final game of the season to the Arkansas Razorbacks in the College World Series. Now that Florida is no longer in the College World Series, India is expected to sign with the Reds soon.

Next: Cincinnati Reds: News and notes (6/27/18)

A lot of fans reacted negatively when the Reds chose Jonathan India due to the loaded crop of infielders that Cincinnati has in the minor leagues. But in the MLB Draft teams need to take the best player available and India was just that for the Reds.