As you know, Cincinnati’s 2018 first round pick was Jonathan India, a third baseman from the University of Florida. It has been interesting to watch as the Reds appear to have learned an important lesson from their refusal to try their top prospect, Nick Senzel, at any other position — despite the athleticism to play elsewhere around the diamond — until he was on the verge of the majors.
India played the bulk of his games in his first minor league season at third base, but he also started 13 games at shortstop. He’s been out in the instructional league since the season ended, as you can read about in this profile by Bobby Nightengale. I was glad to see this quote, in particular:
During the instructional league, India was making small adjustments with his swing in his last few days in Arizona. The right-handed hitter received instruction from Barry Larkin, Eric Davis and other coaches after batting practice sessions.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Just tweaking stuff with my swing a little bit,Ã¢â‚¬Â India said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Getting a little bit more reps. Infield-wise, I was working at short a lot. Just finding my footwork.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I don’t know if India can stick at shortstop, but it increases his potential ceiling if he can. And if he can’t handle the position, it’s best for the Reds to learn that now, rather than waiting until the very moment that he is ready to make his major league debut, like they did with Senzel.
Whether it’s at shortstop, third base, or elsewhere, I have high hopes for India. I eagerly await his Cincinnati debut in September of 2032.