Reds: Jim Bowden’s Rookie of the Year rankings are embarrassing

CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 03: Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds walks through the dugout. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 03: Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds walks through the dugout. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Athletics’ Jim Bowden ranked Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India as the third-best rookie in the National League. This is just another example of the national media failing to recognize the impact that India has had on his team. Furthermore, Bowden doesn’t even rank Tyler Stephenson among the Top 10 rookies in the NL.

Bowden’s MLB Rookie rankings (subscription required), place Miami Marlins’ pitcher Trevor Rogers at No. 1. I’m not going to cry, and scream, and whine over this despite the fact I believe India has had a better season. I also don’t subscribe to the fact that a pitcher, who’s played in 20 games, deserves Rookie of the Year honors over a player like India who’s suited up for 98 games.

Regardless, I completely understand if any pundit, so-called expert, or fan wants to argue that Rogers deserves to be the NL Rookie of the Year. But for Bowden to rank Atlanta’s Ian Anderson ahead of India is pure lunacy. Leaving Stephenson out of the conversation all together suggests the Reds’ former GM hasn’t watched Cincinnati play at all this season.

Reds rookie Jonathan India deserves more credit than he’s received.

Despite the fact that Jonathan India just won Rookie of the Month for July, it still feels as though the Cincinnati Reds second baseman is playing second-fiddle to several other first-year players. Can we also recognize the fact that India is a rookie in the truest sense, as the 24-year-old did not set foot onto a major league field until Opening Day this season.

Rogers, Anderson, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Dylan Carlson, Ryan Weathers, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Patrick Wisdom, and Tyrone Taylor, all of whom rank in the Top 10 according to Bowden, had experience in the majors leagues prior to the 2021 season. Even Tyler Stephenson, played a few games with the Reds last season.

India is one of two players that Bowden placed in his Top 10 who had no major league experience outside of the 2021 season. The other is fellow Reds rookie Vladimir Gutierrez who comes in at No. 7 according to Bowden. Gutierrez has pitched well, but his inclusion on this list ahead of his battery-mate Stephenson is ridiculous.

Why is Reds’ catcher Tyler Stephenson not among Jim Bowden’s Top 10 rookies?

Perhaps more egregious that Jim Bowden ranking Jonathan India at No. 3 is his omission of Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson. Stephenson has been clutch for the Reds this season and plays the most difficult position on the field.

Only Carslon, India, and Pavin Smith have appeared in more games than Stephenson this season. The Cincinnati backstop ranks third in walks, fourth in doubles, fifth in hits, sixth in RBIs, ninth in home runs, all while posting a .283 batting average and 790 OPS.

Barring a complete collapse, both Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson should finish among the Top 5 in the race for National League Rookie of the Year once the season has concluded. I continue to maintain that a starting pitcher shouldn’t get consideration for the award, but I don’t get a vote.

Next. Predicting the Reds lineup changes

The Cincinnati Reds season shifted once India was inserted atop the batting order. India has been the team’s leadoff hitter for 53 games now and is hitting .305/.433/.500 during that span. Jim Bowden needs to get his eyes checked, because Jonathan India should be leading the NL Rookie of the Year conversation.