Cincinnati Reds hitting coach Alan Zinter is getting a chance these days, at least at times, to do something in July that he normally doesnt – work with prospects. Usually that’s something that’s limited to February and March, when there are still guys in big league camp for spring training before they head back to the minors. With all that’s happened in 2020, we’re still sort of in a “spring training” mode despite the fact that it’s July 16th. Not everyone on the team’s 60-man player pool roster is at Great American Ballpark, though – but guys are coming over each day so the big league staff can get a look at them. Zinter was asked about some of the younger guys he’s been working with this week.
“It’s really fun to see the young prospects that the Reds have. They’ve got some really good players – India, Garcia – to see those guys come up here and put quality AB’s against some really good pitching is pretty cool,” said Zinter. “Just to see the way that they go about their business, and to have them around the big league guys, the veterans – they get to see how they go about their business, and it just rubs off in a good way. The youth rubs off on us, and the professionalism of the veterans rubs off on them and hopefully we have a common goal when they get up here.”
In the past few days it’s been Jonathan India that’s made a splash or two. He homered in two straight games while playing for the Reds in their intrasquad scrimmages. The first one came off of Lucas Sims. The next day he took Amir Garrett deep for another homer, putting one about eight rows deep into left-center.
— Ray ?? (@RedsfanRay) July 12, 2020
The 2019 campaign came to an early end for Jonathan India when he had to cut short his stint in the Arizona Fall League after suffering a wrist injury. He had initially tried playing through the injury, but shut things down before the the end of the league’s season. Healthy again, he’s shown off a quick bat and some of the big raw power that got him drafted in the first round.
Drafted as a third baseman, India has gotten a limited amount of playing time at shortstop and at second base in his career. On Wednesday he was at Great American Ballpark in the scrimmage and playing second base for one of the Reds teams. The infielder is facing a bit of a “where does he play” situation, though. Not a true shortstop, he’s not really an option at the position as an every day guy. He could be an above-average defender at third base, and a good option at second base, too – but those spots are currently occupied by Eugenio Suarez and Mike Moustakas. Suarez is signed through 2025 (option for 2025), while Moustakas is signed through 2024 (option for 2024).
He’s more than athletic enough to move to the outfield if needed, but it’s not as if there’s a ton of room available out there, either. Things happen – injuries, trades, performance related issues (both good or bad by everyone involved) – and it could lead to opportunities arising, but it’s tough to see an immediate opening for Jonathan India in Cincinnati in the near-term future.