3. Jonathan India, Reds infielder
Is it just me, or have fans completely forgotten about former first-round pick Jonathan India? The University of Florida alum was the fifth-overall choice during the 2018 MLB Draft. Some have bemoaned India’s progress during his time in the minors, but his numbers have improved slightly at every level he’s played. After spending all last season at the alternate site, perhaps it’s his time to shine.
I think Nick Senzel’s lack of success at the big leagues have caused some fans throughout Reds Country to question India’s potential. Given the commonalities between the two, it’s easy to see how some would make that comparison.
Both Nick Senzel and Jonathan India were high draft picks who played in the SEC. Both primary played third base in college and were drafted as advanced bats, thought to be instant contributors. Senzel tore up the minor leagues, posting an .895 OPS through three-plus seasons. However, India’s numbers are a bit more pedestrian, slashing .254/.369/.410 in two seasons.
That said, one of the biggest criticisms I’ve heard recently from Reds fans is the team’s lack of players who can get on base. Jonathan India can certainly do that. The 24-year-old shows an advanced approach at the plate, and his .414 OBP and 15.2% walk-rate while playing at Double-A Chattanooga speak to India’s patience at the dish.
The Cincinnati Reds are in need of starting shortstop. Throughout his minor league career, India’s played just nine games at shortstop, but he certainly has the ability to field the position. Furthermore, if David Bell decided to roll with Kyle Farmer at short, India can play all over the infield, subbing in for Mike Moustakas and Eugenio Suárez as needed.
With Reds spring training upon us, fans are eager to see what this year’s team will look like. While it’s always an uphill battle for prospects to make the team out of camp, these three players certainly possess the ability to do so.