The Cincinnati Reds have been fortunate to have so many talented rookies on their team this season. While it’s hard to choose, one stands out over the rest. Jonathan India is making a strong case for the NL Rookie of The Year and has been Cincinnati’s best rookie performer this season.
The Reds’ second baseman has shined time and time again this season for the organization. India has solidified himself as the leadoff hitter for Cincinnati this season and into the future. India is hitting .272/.384/.459 with 17 home runs and 59 RBIs.
India leads all National League rookies in four different batting categories and took home NL Rookie of the Month honors in July. His July performance saw India hit .319/.470/.527 with 4 homers and 12 RBIs. He is the only Reds rookie to bring home this honor so far this season.
India has also shown toughness throughout the season as well. In the recent series versus the Milwaukee Brewers, it appeared that India landed on his wrist while making a diving catch to end the inning. That fall didn’t slow India down as he was back on the field during the next half-inning. India also is second in the majors this season with 19 hit by pitches.
Jonathan India has been the best of a stellar Reds’ rookie class.
The team is now in the middle of a heated race for the final NL Wild Card spot as the season quickly creeps into September. Not many teams can count on first-year players to bring them to the finish line and a spot in the MLB playoffs. The Reds find themselves in the exact opposite situation. They need their rookies to show up night in and night out.
It’s hard not to show respect to another Reds rookie, Tyler Stephenson, who has been a gem behind the plate. Sharing time with Gold Glove Award winner Tucker Barnhart has made it harder for Stephenson to find playing time every day, however, when his number is called, Stephenson is always ready.
We’d be remiss if we left Vladimir Gutierrez out of the conversation as well. In 16 starts, Gutierrez actually owns a higher WAR (2.9) than Jonathan India. The 25-year-old is 9-4 on the season with 3.68 ERA and 743 punch outs.
The Cincinnati Reds are in desperate need of finding a solid middle infield they can count on, not just this season, but for the future of the organization. If India stays healthy, he can be the exact player this team can build on for the future. Along with Stephenson, Gutierrez, and even the recently promoted Jose Barrero, the Reds have really cashed in on the rookie experience this season.