Cincinnati Reds: 3 dark horse candidates to start at shortstop in 2021

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 22: Alex Blandino #0 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a runner out after fielding the ball in the seventh inning. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 22: Alex Blandino #0 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a runner out after fielding the ball in the seventh inning. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Reds non-roster invitee infielder Jonathan India (85) gets set to defend during a Cactus League spring training baseball.
Reds non-roster invitee infielder Jonathan India (85) gets set to defend during a Cactus League spring training baseball. /

3. Jonathan India, Reds infielder

While Jonathan India has never played shortstop outside of nine games in 2018, the former first-round pick could be a terrific candidate to land the position during spring training. India has spent the majority of his professional career playing third base, but he’s seen some time at second base and shortstop as well.

The Cincinnati Reds selected India with the fifth-overall selection in the 2018 MLB Draft, and it’s starting to look as though he’ll either replace Eugenio Suárez should the Reds deal their All-Star third baseman, or be part of trade himself. There’s little else the Reds will accomplish by sending India back to the minors.

Jonathan India has improved at each stop the young infielder has made throughout his minor league journey. India’s on-base percentage in his two minor league seasons is sitting at .369 and at Double-A Chattanooga in 2019, India’s OBP was .414; the highest of any of his minor league stops outside of his .452 on-base percentage while playing Rookie-Ball at Greenville in 2018.

Next. 3 Reds prospects who could make the team

India may not yet be major league-ready, but a strong showing in Goodyear could push him into the conversation. The 24-year-old does not possess the same defensive tools as José García, Alfredo Rodriguez, or even Alex Blandino, but his bat is much improved over all three of those infielders.