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By Conrad Clowers

Herald Spots Writer

Think of all drafts like a roll of the dice in Vegas. The higher you are drafted, the better your odds are at making it to and being a success in the majors.

Jonathan India was considered one of the top prospects for the 2018 MLB draft. When it was the Reds turn to pick at #5, he became their first round pick. Before even one base hit, the University of Florida man signed with the Reds for 5.3 million dollars.

The Reds’ second baseman spent the next few years making his way through the Reds’ minor league system. India made stops with the Greeneville Reds, Billings Mustangs, Dayton Dragons, and the Daytona Tortugas. Spring training of 2021 was a giant leap for India. The Ft. Lauderdale native impressed so much he earned the job (at least initially) as the Reds every day starting second baseman.

All the hard work in the minors had paid off. India would get a chance to follow in the greats that once manned the position for the Reds such as Joe Morgan and Pokey Reese. Every baseball fan knows baseball is a long, long season. Nearly one month into the season India has exceeded expectations. Cincinnati is off to a rare, hot start and the former first round pick is a big part of it. India is hitting .283 with 11 RBIs in 13 starts in 14 games.

Jonathan India. Photo by Michael Mitchell

The shining of the India light is a much-needed one for the Reds. So many players over the past 10 seasons have been tried and failed, sooner or later, at the second base position. A stable mainstay was needed if the team was going to take the next step in competing for a title.

Cincinnati is atop of the National league Central Division with a one game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers and two game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals.

India has never been a power hitter in his career. He has always been a run producer and hit for a good average. He knows what it’s like to win, as he was a member of Florida’s 2017 College World Series winning team. This coming week, Cincinnati will face off against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the St. Louis Cardinals for the second time this season. Cincinnati, in their first 15 games, has only lost at home twice in nine games.

For India, it will be a time to establish himself to teams he will be facing many times in his career that he can be a force to be reckoned with. Whether he sticks, who knows? The groundwork has been laid with the draft and the development. The Reds have done their part. Now let’s see if India does his.

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