Cincinnati Reds: Jonathan India needs to be on Opening Day roster

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 23: Jonathan India #85 of the Cincinnati Reds bats aagainst the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 23: Jonathan India #85 of the Cincinnati Reds bats aagainst the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

It’s time for Reds prospect Jonathan India to make his presence felt.

Cincinnati Reds prospect Jonathan India has spent the last three seasons in the Reds minor league system, including a spot at the alternate site during last year’s pandemic-shortened season. India was drafted to potentially be the future at third base for Cincinnati, so now is the time to put that investment to work.

While India appeared to struggle in during his first stint as a professional, it seems he may have finally started to hit his stride while playing at Double-A Chattanooga in 2019. The Reds fifth overall selection was able to slash .270/.414/.378 according to in 34 games with the Lookouts.

With Kyle Farmer, Mike Moustakas, and Nick Senzel all having proven to be able to play multiple positions all across the diamond, the possibilities are endless. With Jonathan India on the roster, if Cincinnati encounters injuries or a cold bat, he could be plugged in right away or give third baseman Eugenio Suárez an occasional day off.

What India brings to the table is a solid glove, and plate discipline that is much more mature than a player of his age. India’s plate discipline may very well help adjust to major league pitching, something young players often struggle with. India also brings versatility to the table. Cincinnati has experimented with giving him playing time at second base and shortstop in the minors.

The scouting report on the 24-year-old third basemen is an impressive one. According to MLB Pipeline, India comes equipped with above average range and arm strength. Some scouts think very highly about the ability that India would be a very serviceable shortstop. There is a large consensus among scouts that India is very comparable to Nick Senzel.

With pitchers and catchers reporting in a little over a month, the roster needs to be finalized soon. So if Jonathan India’s in the Cincinnati Reds’ plans for the 2021 season, regardless of position, Nick Krall and the front office need to put their No. 5-ranked prospect in position to succeed.

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Whether or not the Reds decide to actually call up India in 2021, Cincinnati seems to be taking the future at third base seriously. The team had no problem drafting India just months after signing fellow Eugenio Suárez to a seven-year extension. The fact that India hasn’t been traded signifies that front office see India as a fit in a Reds uniform, even if it’s not at third base.