There’s some new guys on the Greeneville Reds since I was here less than two weeks ago. You may have heard of them, Jonathan India and Mike Siani. They signed their professional contracts for a combined $7M+ as the Cincinnati Reds 1st and 4th round draft picks. Last night was the first chance that I had to see each play in person and they both showed off some different, but impressive things.
Let’s start off by talking a bit about Jonathan India. He’s currently playing third base in Greeneville, though there was talk at the time of the draft by the Reds that he could potentially slide to second or shortstop. For now, neither of those things has happened. With that said, at least last night, India had a few good defensive plays that showed off his athleticism.
At the plate he had a pretty big night, going 3-5 with a triple, scored two runs, and he drove in four. Here’s video of his triple:
Here’s Jonathan India’s triple. He hit that baseball hard. pic.twitter.com/kg3bMgrXiG
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) July 15, 2018
After the series, and when I get back home to Cincinnati, I’ll have more video to post. But, you’re just going to have to take my word for it right now that Jonathan India hit the baseball hard multiple times last night. He also showed pretty good strikezone judgment, granted in a very small sample size of five trips to the plate. I have heard absolutely nothing from the Reds people on this, and it’s just me speculating, but if you are in the Appalachian League area, you might want to get out and see Jonathan India play with Greeneville sooner rather than later, because I’m not sure he’ll stick around very long.
Mike Siani didn’t quite have the game that India did, but he went 1-4 with a double, walk, and an RBI. His double was laced down the opposite field line and after a brief fumble of the ball off of the wall he took full advantage and took third base on the play. His speed was very apparent both on the bases and in the field. There were several plays in center that he got to far easier than I would have thought off of the bat.
It’s the defense for Mike Siani that looks like it could be special. That’s what the scouting reports coming out of the draft said, so this isn’t exactly surprising news. But it’s different when you get a chance to see it in person rather than seeing it in scouting reports. The range jumps out at you. And while no one tested his arm on the bases, he did have one chance to throw the ball from deep center back to the infield with a runner on, and showed off pretty good arm strength on the play. Hoping to get another look at this aspect of the game over the next two games.
Miguel Hernandez just continues to impress. In 2017 he began the year in the Dominican Summer League, but was promoted during the season to join the Arizona League Reds. Between the two levels he hit .299/.338/.402 in 312 plate appearances. For an 18-year-old, much less one that can play shortstop, that was a pretty good season. This year he’s been in Greeneville since the rookie league season began.
The now 19-year-old got out to a bit of a slow start to the year. Over the first six games of the season he went 4-22 (.182) without a walk and with eight strikeouts. In the 15 games since, spanning 59 plate appearances he’s gone 19-53 (.358) with five walks and eight strikeouts. He’s also racked up six extra-base hits. Through three-and-a-half weeks of play on the season he’s now hitting .307/.346/.480. The offensive line is enough to give you that warm and fuzzy feeling.
But that’s not what has people talking, though if he keeps it going it might be. It’s the defense that he’s shown off. He’s been described to me in the past as a potential gold glove kind of defender. He’s got a chance to be a difference maker with the glove. Last night saw him show off the kind of range you don’t see too often. While he didn’t complete the out, he ranged to his right and made a diving play and got up and fired the ball to first, but the runner beat the ball to the bag. The range shown wasn’t something I’ve seen too often over the years from minor leaguers.