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.

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.

15 Responses

  1. MK

    He is a player who will benefit from the DH in the NL. If comparing his tools he might be an Edgar Martinez type who can be an adequate defender but average at best. Watching him in Dayton I just thought he looked like he had heavy feet.

    • Joseph

      I guess you haven’t been watching the scrimmages online. He’s played exceedingly well defensively, from throwing on the run at 3rd several times, to making several backhanded plays on the grass at deep ss during shifts. The kid’s always been legit in the field. Heavy feet is a Suarez or moose-just FYI.

  2. SultanofSwaff

    India would be the first prospect I’d leverage to add a missing piece to the big club as he is blocked for the foreseeable future……let him go to a team where he can get his career started. A win win.

    • Joseph

      100% correct. Things happen, as they say, but I don’t see things happening that would afford the kid a shot in the foreseeable future. Use him, perhaps with another player(s) to obtain a valuable asset(s). The team trading for him would obviously have immediate plans for him, one would think.

  3. kyblu50

    He could be a future replacement at first base with him trading off at DH.

  4. Dale

    What would the reaction be if he said he wasnt excited? When your own coach says hes excited its literally what hes paid to do. Only time will tell his sincerity.

    • Doug Gray

      I mean, he singled out two guys specifically when he was merely asked about “the young prospects”.

      • Joseph

        The kid’s been absolutely raking at Prasco and has been having really quality ab’s at gabp. So, to say Zinter gets paid to sound enthusiastic about players/prospects is actually insulting to him!

      • Doug Gray

        Right. As I noted, Zinter wasn’t asked specifically about any player – just what it was like working with some of the “young guys” and he singled out both Garcia and India as guys to talk about. He’s impressed.

    • MK

      I kind of thought the same thing Dale. Guess he could have said nothing unless asked specifically.

  5. Tom

    With this year somewhat of a wash, India might be in AAA all next year, with a late season call up.
    Then he may return to AAA to start 2022 but just for service time issues or until an injury opens a spot up.
    2022 should end up being his rookie year while backing up 2b and 3b while Moose gives Votto some time off throughout the year. India can get 15 starts at 3b, maybe 30-40 at 2b, and maybe 15-20 more in the OF during his rookie year even if everyone is healthy.
    2023 is kind of the same story but by then Moose will be slowing down as a 2b and in his final year of the current contract. I can see India’s play demanding more playing time somewhere by then.
    Between now and 2023, the Reds OF situation is far from settled as well.
    In short, keeping India is my preference. Bring him up as a fully mature 25-26 year old ready to battle.

  6. Kap

    Castellanos opting out after this season could ultimately determine India’s future in Cincinnati. Large ripple effect through the depth chart, assuming the DH is in effect for good after 2020

    • Joseph

      I doubt castellanos opts out…free agency will be compromised for the next couple of years, as the owners will cry poverty from this present season. Small-medium market teams will look to unload some of the bigger contracts but the market will be bare for the most part. You never know though!

  7. MikeD

    I agree 100 percent Joseph. Free agency is going to be tough for players and anyone like Castellanos would be foolish to opt out. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing for the Reds?

  8. ClevelandRedsFan

    Castellanos also has an opt out after 2021.

    India is a guy who could definitely benefit from the DH. If India pushes Moose for playing time in 2023, Moose or Votto will become your DH. India can then play everyday at 2B.