Evaluating the Reds second base options for the 2022 season

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) fields a ground ball.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) fields a ground ball. / Kareem Elgazzar / USA TODAY NETWORK

As we continue our evaluation of the Cincinnati Reds offseason roster during the MLB lockout, we come to the keystone. Heading into last season, it was assumed that Mike Moustakas would be the Reds second baseman, but what Jonathan India was able to do in spring training changed the course of the team.

India did everything right during his time with at the alternate site during the 2020 season and carried that momentum into last spring in Goodyear. India's consistent approach at the plate and solid glove work in the field forced David Bell to rethink his infield.

Jonathan India is the unquestioned starter at 2B for the Reds.

Last spring, Jonathan India showed why the Cincinnati Reds took the University of Florida product with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. David Bell shifted Mike Moustakas from second base to third base, Eugenio Suárez became the Reds starting shortstop, and India took over at the keystone.

While the Geno at shortstop experiment was a colossal failure, it allowed India to become an everyday player. So while many throughout Reds Country will bemoan Bell's decision to shift Suárez to short, don't forget that was the catalyst to India's stellar 2021 season.

What more can you say about last year's NL Rookie of the Year? Once Bell made the decision to insert The Red Sparrow atop the Cincinnati lineup, the entire dynamic of the team changed. India became the table-setter, and nearly everyone on the roster benefited.

With Nick Castellanos and Joey Votto hitting behind him, opposing pitchers were forced to pitch to Jonathan India. The rookie posted a .376 on-base percentage, but once he ascended to the leadoff spot, India slashed .275/.383/.482 with 17 of his 20 round trippers coming at the No. 1 spot in the order. India also produced five home runs as the first batter of the game.

While I could go on and on about India all day, we do have to look at a few other options the Cincinnati Reds have at second base. Among them are last year's starting shortstop Kyle Farmer, Max Schrock, Alejo Lopez, and Jose Barrero.

Farmer is likely to be involved in a tight battle with Barrero next spring. Both infielders will be duking it out with their eyes fixed on the starting shortstop gig. Farmer has the experience, but Barrero's potential might be too good to pass up. While both may see some time at second base next season, I expect it to be minimal.

Schrock, however, may be a solid substitute for India when last year's rookie needs a day off. Perhaps some matchups better favor the left-handed hitting Schrock, but in no way will Bell platoon the two infielders at second base.

Lopez will be an interesting name to follow this spring. After dominating pitching at Triple-A last season, Lopez received a call-up to the big leagues and hit .261 in 23 at-bats. Lopez, much like Schrock, is a contact hitter.

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The starting second baseman for the 2022 Cincinnati Reds will be Jonathan India. Barring injury, outside of a few spot starts from the likes of Max Schrock and Kyle Farmer, no one else is likely to see time at the position.