One of the things that has been overlooked without a minor league baseball season in 2020 is that not only did some players participate on the field (at the alternative sites, for example), but some players made strides in their games. Jonathan India was at Prasco Park with the Cincinnati Reds during the summer. He never did get his chance to come up to the Major Leagues in 2020 and play with Cincinnati, but the progress he made at the alternate site didn’t go unnoticed.

All that you need to do is look around the prospect evaluation landscape to see that the stock is clearly up for Jonathan India. While the public didn’t get to see what was happening at the alternate sites for most teams (at least one team would regularly broadcast their alternate site practices for fans to watch), the teams mostly shared video feeds and data (Trackman/Rapsado/etc).

Since being drafted, it’s been a tough road for Jonathan India. He’s been injured enough that he hasn’t really had a chance to put together the kind of numbers – specifically in the power category – that may have been expected out of him when he was drafted. The injuries weren’t usually enough to keep him off of the field, but he was not 100% most of the time, either. But while he was at Prasco and the Reds alternate camp, health was there and India stood out.

Keith Law of The Athletic had Jonathan India jump into his Top 100 Prospects on his 2021 list after a showing well last summer. For Cincinnati the question likely becomes – what do they do? India has some time at third base, second base, and even a tiny amount of shortstop. He’s probably stretched at short, but looks strong at third and good over at second base, too. He’s plenty athletic enough to handle the corner outfield spots if asked, as well. But all of those spots are locked up on the Reds right now by proven guys, and even All-Stars. Perhaps right field could be there if Nick Castellanos were to opt out following the 2021 season, but if he doesn’t, it’s a situation where the Reds may not have an every day spot opened up for a while for India.

8 Responses

  1. donny

    For me, I can see Votto being benched. Moose sliding over to play 1st. India playing 2nd.

    • Doug Gray

      When is this going to happen? They aren’t benching him anytime soon. He’s making $25,000,000 this year, next year, and in 2023. You can hate the idea all you want, but he’s not going to be “benched” for a lack of performance until 2023 if he’s actually needing to be benched. There’s just no way they are going to pay him that kind of money to sit around and be a pinch hitter.

      • donny

        Yeah, i get that, but you never know. The reds could actually flip the switch from the norm .

    • Stock

      I don’t have the financial resources for the Athletic but I did read Fangraphs post on him. He may not have the arm to play 3B everyday, the range to play 2B everyday or the bat to play LF everyday.

      I also feel Votto’s bat is much better than that of India’s at this point in time.

  2. ClevelandRedsFan

    Best chance for India is universal DH after 2021 CBA. Votto could then DH and Moose could play first. India at 2B.

  3. MK

    When meeting Jonathan in street clothes for the first time in Dayton a few years ago I was surprised at how I athletic he looked. From what I notice now from videos and social media his body has definitely matured. I am really interested to see how that transfers to the field. I really expect him to make a huge jump.

  4. Bourgeois Zee

    I suspect India’s going to be a utility guy for a couple of seasons, behind Garcia, Moustakas, and Suarez. He might also play some RF and LF. I’d get him some time in CF to see if he can handle that as well.

    A five- or six-position backup with a league average bat or better is extremely valuable, fwiw. I’d be overjoyed is that’s what he ends up as.

  5. DaveCT

    If it’s clicking for India at AAA after a few times around the circuit, he might move fast. With older guys at 1B, 3B, 2B, and possibly SS (Farmer), he might get some time.