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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