Cincinnati Reds: Jonathan India unimpressive thus far in spring camp

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 19: Jonathan India #85 poses during Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 19: Jonathan India #85 poses during Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

It’s early, but the results from former first-round pick Jonathan India during the Cincinnati Reds spring camp have been unimpressive.

Jonathan India was the first-round pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 2018. The former Florida Gator was highly-touted coming out of college as an advanced hitter. In two-plus seasons in the minor leagues, India has yet to showcase that potential and a slow start in Cactus League play hasn’t helped either.

Yesterday, India came in as a defensive substitution in the bottom of the sixth inning for second baseman Alfredo Rodriguez. India went 0-for-1, flying out to center field in his first at-bat and drawing a five-pitch during his second plate appearance. India is now 0-for-7 in five games this spring.

Not only has India’s bat failed him thus far, but his glove hasn’t been as reliable either. India’s committed two errors during spring training, both of which occurred in the ninth inning of the Cincinnati Reds spring opener against the Chicago White Sox.

I don’t want to sound the alarm bell in regards to India’s defense, as that was the very first game Cincinnati had played this spring. However, Jonathan India’s career-fielding percentage as a third baseman in the minor leagues is just .937.

Again, we’re not even a week into Cactus League play, so there’s no need to overreact. Furthermore, the prospect of India breaking camp with the Reds is slim-to-none. Cincinnati has more than enough talented infielders ready for the 2020 season, and India has yet to play above Double-A during his time in the minors.

The remainder of spring training will be an opportunity for Jonathan India to showcase his potential. Currently ranked No. 3 in the Reds farm system by MLB Pipeline, India has been outplayed this spring by other highly-rated minor leaguers. Jose Garcia has impressed fans and scouts alike, and Tyler Stephenson went 2-for-2 with a home run and four RBIs yesterday.

The Reds have high hopes for India, but much like Nick Senzel during his minor league career, the former-first round pick is currently blocked at the big league level. All-Stars Eugenio Suárez and Mike Moustakas, both of whom forecast to be part of the Cincinnati organization for the foreseeable future, currently occupy the positions that India is most comfortable playing.

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There’s still a lot of baseball yet to be played this spring, and India will surely get an extended look with Suárez still recovering from shoulder surgery. Look for David Bell to continue to run India onto the field, hoping to tap into the potential that we’ve seen the 23-year-old flash during his minor league career.