Reds second baseman Jonathan India seems destined to change positions

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds enter the 2022-23 offseason with more questions than answers. One such question is the future of Jonathan India at second base.

India broke into the big leagues with an impressive spring training in 2021. India supplanted Mike Moustakas at second base prior to Opening Day that season and had spent his entire college career on the infield dirt.

But with the elimination of the defensive shift next season, one has wonder how long India's defensive deficiencies can be masked. Is a move to the outfield inevitable?

Reds second baseman Jonathan India seems destined to change positions.

The Cincinnati Reds don't have a great track record of transforming infielders into outfielders, but the team has so many infield prospects coming up through the pipeline that the club will have to make some changes.

If his play in the Arizona Fall League is any hint, it appears as though shortstop prospect Noelvi Marte will focus more on third base heading into next season. Matt McLain is another shortstop prospect who could find a new home as well.

But it may make sense for the Cincinnati Reds to move India to left field sooner rather than later. The Reds have little more than a platoon of Jake Fraley and Stuart Fairchild occupying that role currently, and none of the team's top outfield prospects are anywhere near major league ready.

India was not good in the field this past season. According to Fielding Bible, India's -14 defensive runs saved were the worst on the team in 2022. India was worth -9 outs above average according to Baseball Savant. One has to imagine that those numbers will get even worse next year without the benefit of the defensive shift.

Jonathan India's bat is indispensable, but his glove leaves a lot to the imagination. It's hard to see the Cincinnati Reds continuing to trot India out to the keystone routinely in 2023 with so many talented infielders in the farm system.

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