After being drafted with the #5 overall pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft, the Cincinnati Reds had Jonathan India play at three different levels in his debut. Between Greeneville, Billings, and Dayton, he hit .240/.380/.433 in 44 games played.

When 2019 began the Reds sent Jonathan India to join the Advanced-A affiliate, the Daytona Tortugas. Things got out to a bit of a slow start for the third baseman as he went 1-17 in the first four games with seven strikeouts. He caught fire, briefly, going 6-11 in a 3-game stretch that followed. But he went back into a slump, going 1-18 in the next five. Everything picked up after that. In the final two weeks of April he went 14-43 (.326) with four extra-base hits. The up-and-down month saw him post a .247/.323/.416 line with seven walks and 25 strikeouts in 99 plate appearances.

May began with a bit of a slump in the first week. But things really picked up in the second week of the month for Jonathan India. The infielder went 11-24 (.458) with four extra-base hits and more walks than strikeouts in the next seven games. That didn’t carry forward in the second half of the month, though, as he hit just .220 with two extra-base hits in the remaining 14 games. That second week, though, helped carry the month to a .274/.391/.453 line with 16 walks and 30 strikeouts in 115 plate appearances.

June picked up the slump that May ended on. Over the first five games of the month, Jonathan India went 3-21 with a walk and two strikeouts. The next two weeks went well, though. India went 12-35 (.343) with four extra-base hits. Things went south for the final nine games of the month for the infielder, who went 6-29 (.207) the rest of the way. In 96 plate appearances during the month he would hit .247/.323/.412 with seven walks and 15 strikeouts.

Much like the month before, the slump that ended the previous month carried into the following one. Over the first five games of July, Jonathan India had just two hits (.125). But he went out and hit .313 over the next two weeks – earning him a promotion to Double-A Chattanooga on July 22nd. Over the first five games with the Lookouts he went 6-20 (.300) with a walk. But the month ended with him going 0-11, though he did walk seven times and was hit by two pitches in those final five games – posting a .429 on-base percentage despite no hits in that span. Over the course of 24 games in July he would hit .228/.360/.266 – giving him a season worst .626 OPS on the month. He did draw 15 walks and strike out 23 times over the 100 plate appearances in July.

August got out to a nice start for Jonathan India. In the first 10 games of the month he went 12-31 (.387) with nine walks and three extra-base hits. After a short 3-game hitless slump he got back into the groove, going 10-35 (.286) with two home runs in the final 10 games of the season. August would go down as the month with the highest OPS of the season after posting a .289/.418/.434 line in 98 plate appearances. That also came with nearly as many walks, 14, as strikeouts, 16.

For all 2019 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Jonathan India Spray Chart

Jonathan India Scouting Report

Position: 3B/2B | B/T: R/R

Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 200 lb | Drafted: 1st Round, 2018

Born: December 15, 1996

Hitting | His raw hit tool is average, but it hasn’t played up to that yet.

Power | He’s got above-average raw power.

Running | He’s got average speed.

Defense | He’s an above-average defender at third base.

Arm | He’s got an above-average arm.

From a pure tools perspective, Jonathan India shows a little bit of everything. The power and defense can stand out on a given day. At the plate, his power hasn’t translated into games yet on a consistent basis, but you can see it in batting practice. In the field the defense and the arm will show up frequently.

Since signing in 2018, Jonathan India has made his way up to Double-A. He’s played in 165 games and had 696 plate appearances. Outside of a two week stretch in Greeneville after the draft, he’s never posted an OPS of .800 at any other level he’s played at. His career line is .254/.369/.410. The walks and on-base percentage are strong – and that walk rate that showed up in the second half in Double-A was very strong. But he’s also carrying a .254 average and a modest .410 slugging percentage.

And that’s where the big question is with Jonathan India. He’ll be 23-years-old next season, so he’s still young, but he’s not that young, either. And he’s a hitter who grasps the strikezone and doesn’t often chase bad pitches and make contact on non-strikes. So it begs the question of why isn’t he doing more damage on pitches inside the strikezone? A part of that could simply be that he’s dealt with some nagging injuries throughout his time in professional baseball. Nothing that was too serious, or even serious enough to keep him off of the field, but he’s dealt with his share of things over the last year.

Still, there is some concern about the lack of damage done with the bat. From a pure scouting perspective, you can see the tools that can could lead to better production both in terms of his average and his power. But it’s not being translated into games yet.

Defensively things are a lot better today. At third base he stands out for his range, athleticism, and his arm. He can make all of the plays. He also began to see some action at second base during the 2019 season. Cincinnati sent him to the Arizona Fall League with the idea to try and get him more action at second, but he only played a few games at the position. He does appear to have the ability to play the position, but will need more reps to continue to work on a few of the finer points of the position.

Longest Home Run of the Year

426 Feet on June 7th.

Interesting Stat on Jonathan India

He had as many doubles hit to second base, one, as he did to each center and right fields during the 2019 season.

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16 Responses

  1. SultanofSwaff

    I have a nagging feeling he’ll never play a major league game with the Reds. Seems to me like Moose and Geno make him trade bait.

    • Colorado Red

      I think that is why he was drafted.
      However, I doubt his trade value is very high right now.
      While, still early, he may have bust city written all over him.

      • citizen54

        Tough crowd. India had a 138 wRC+ in AA. India has been above average at every stop except for Billings when he had 10 at bats.

      • Mike MMM

        I was concerned when we drafted him… he did not seem worthy of the #5 overall pick to me! A one year wonder at Florida, and given that year was spectacular, he did not do much the first two years. That always scares me. Secondly, the power he showed at Florida, which is why we took him #5 has never shown up and that is deeply concerning. When we drafted him I text my friend and said the Reds are going to move this guy. Geno was breaking out, I do not like him at SS, and we had Scooter at that time, but obviously that has changed, still, he is looking like prime trade bait. I would move him for a middle RP, someone young, controllable with big stuff in a heartbeat. You know that guy will make the bigs, I am not sure if India ever does or not…

    • Oldtimer

      Not a bust yet. I think he will show what he can (or can’t) do in 2020.

      In early 1960s Reds had veteran MLB INF Eddie Kasko at SS and Don Blasingame at 2B. Young stars Leo Cardenas (SS) and Elio Chacon (2B) or Cookie Rojas (2B) were ready to take over. In MiLB the Reds had Pete Rose (2B), Tommy Helms (SS), and Cesar Tovar (2B) almost ready.

      Cardenas remained a Red most of the 1960s. Helms into the 1970s. Rose into the 1980s. The others had MLB careers also. No such thing as too much depth.

      • MK

        Oldtimer, Tommy Harper actually was in camp as a second baseman, wearing #14 in 1962, as well.

      • Oldtimer

        Indeed. He played 3B when Gene Freeze got hurt in March 1962. But OF from 1964 on.

  2. Bill

    Nice prospect report (as usual). One suggestion: include results/insights from the AFL as league play is complete and it gives further insight into a player’s prospect status.

  3. Wes

    If he would have hit 280 w 20 homers last year India would have finished the season in cincy and not AA. It takes time for these guys to develop. His plate discipline seems pretty close to elite and that alone give him a very high floor. This should be his breakout season.

  4. RedsKoolAidDrinker

    Anyone know what his nagging injuries were? Were they something he could have sat out and got back to 100% and then played again?

    • Krozley

      In a November mailbox on the reds site, Mark Sheldon said “he developed a nagging wrist injury and played through it”.

  5. Dawson

    The power numbers haven’t showed up much yet, but look at the OBP. I think expectations have been set a bit high, even for a first round draft pick. He has moved through the system at a good rate. I think he will be just fine. He can still develop into a very good MLB player. Good chance he will never be a Red though. Probably going to take injuries or something dramatic.

  6. MK

    If NL goes to DL and his bat improves, India could be a nice first baseman or Moose could with India at 2b.