Jonathan India's patient approach is reminding Reds' fans of this former superstar

Joey, is that you?
Cincinnati Reds infielder Jonathan India
Cincinnati Reds infielder Jonathan India / Ben Jackson/GettyImages

Jonathan India did something on Friday night against the Chicago White Sox that no Cincinnati Reds player has accomplished since June 10, 2018. The Reds second baseman drew four walks. The last Reds player to achieve that feat was none other than Joey Votto. In fact, Votto did it twice during the 2018 season.

The future Reds Hall of Famer walked five times during what should have been his second MVP season in 2017. On August 27th of that year, Votto drew five free passes in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. That gives India something to shoot for as the 2024 season moves along.

India now has 12 walks on the season to just seven strikeouts. While India's batting average is sitting at just .233, the 27-year-old currently owns a .421 on-base percentage while batting leadoff for the Redlegs. This new version of India could help this Reds offense thrive in 2024.

Jonathan India's patient approach is reminding Reds' fans of Joey Votto

The biggest knock against Votto during his time with the Reds was that he took too many pitches, preferring to draw a walk rather than swing the bat. It's difficult to actually ridicule Votto for that, though some have tried. The constant complaint among some within the fanbase is that Votto was getting paid a lot of money to swing the bat, not draw walks.

There's a kernel of truth in that statement, but it certainly doesn't hold true for India whose chief job as the Reds leadoff hitter is to get on base. India is walking 21.1% of the time and his 12.3% strikeout rate is among the best in the game. According to Baseball Savant, both India's chase rate and whiff rate are among the 96th percentile or higher. This is exactly what you want from your leadoff hitter.

Only Mookie Betts (16) and Aaron Judge (14) have drawn more walks this season than India. The Reds second baseman is currently 17th among all major league players in on-base percentage and the only other player ahead of India on that list with a batting average below .300 is Tyler O'Neill of the Boston Red Sox.

For years, Reds fans clamored for Votto to take the bat off his shoulder and swing. But with India batting atop David Bell's lineup, the best advice might be to "take your base". With players like Spencer Steer, Will Benson, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand hitting behind him, India could easily lead the Reds in runs scored by the end of the season if he continues getting on base at such a high clip.

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