India played high school baseball at American Heritage High School in Delray Beach, FL
Jonathan hit .410 with 25 stolen bases as a senior. He also was a part of what may go down as one of the best high school infields ever. American Heritage also had Lucius Fox, a native of the Bahamas who returned to his homeland to sign for $6 million with the Giants as an international free agent, and Tyler Frank, who went on to Florida Atlantic.
His In 2015, the Brewers chose India in the 26th round, out of high school in South Florida
Hisfather, John India, also was a Gator.
In 2015, the Brewers chose India in the 26th round, out of high school in South Florida
Jonathan has a lively, athletic build. And he plays the game as hard as anybody. He is a real team guy and a tough competitor. His tools all play up due to his high baseball IQ and work ethic.
India needed to lose a few pounds. “I was 195 pounds over the 2014 summer,” India said. “Scouts were telling me to lose some weight, not really lose weight, but get more muscle. I trained at this place called Impact Sports Performance. I do agility, I did a lot of strength training, I did a lot of just movements using my feet, getting quicker in the field. They’ve helped me so much. That’s why I look the way I do now and I feel so good out there.”
Being leaner allows him to move better and it’s a credit to his work ethic, following through on critiques he heard from scouts. (Rode - PBR - 3/17/15)
In 2018, during the regular season with the Florida Gators, Jonathan was the SEC Player of the Year after he batted .365 with 16 home runs and 40 RBIs in 54 games. A native of Coral Springs, Florida, India was semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award.
June 2018: The Reds chose India in the first round (#5 overall), out of the Univ. Florida.
India signed for a $5
India signed for a $5.3 million bonus. He spent the day in Cincinnati and took a physical before coming over to the ballpark.
"It's amazing. It's a dream come true of mine," India said. "It's the next step in my life, to have worked so hard for. It's taken a lot of sacrifices to get here. I'm so happy it finally came to this day. I'm ready to get going." India, 21, will report to rookie-level Greeneville later this week to get his pro career started. (Sheldon - mlb.com - 7/3/18)
"He's got an advanced offensive approach," said Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams. "To do what he did this year in the best conference in the nation speaks to his ability. He's got a hit tool, but with more power than some of the other guys we were looking at it in that same range. [He is a] very good defensive player, that will serve him well given some flexibility with him in terms of moving him around. But he's played a very good third base and we took a good close look at that as well. I think we've got a kid who moves quick."
Many players never forget where they were standing or sitting when they were taken in the MLB draft. As it happened during the 2018 draft, Jonathan was standing on first base after earning a walk when the Reds selected him with the fifth overall pick.
India, who was playing with the Florida Gators in the NCAA regional tournament, was not immediately available to discuss his future with Cincinnati
India, who was playing with the Florida Gators in the NCAA regional tournament, was not immediately available to discuss his future with Cincinnati. As he spoke about it, he realized that something was happening even before the plate appearance.
"I saw my family and friends where they usually sit, and I just saw them all hugging," India said. "I was like, 'That's pretty weird. I guess something good happened.' Then a bunch of fans started to yell and stuff. Yeah, I definitely knew during the game.
"I'm trying to focus on the game and play, and I hear that stuff, which is awesome. So I'm happy."
Back in Gainesville, Fla., India was just keeping his emotions from getting out of whack. "Stay humble and I still have a goal to finish to win a national championship for the team," India said. "Not think ahead and finish my season out." (Sheldon - mlb.com - 6/5/18)
2018 season: In 44 minor league games, which includes games at rookie-level Greeneville and Billings, the 21-year-old India hit .240 with six homers and 23 RBI. He owned a .380 on-base percentage, drawing 28 walks compared to 44 strikeouts.
In 2019, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated India as the 4th-best prospect in the Reds' organization. He moved up to #2, behind only Hunter Greene, in 2020 . And he was at #3 a year later, in 2021.
2019 Season: After a solid first full season of professional baseball, the Reds sent Jonathan India to the Arizona Fall League to further develop his game and potentially expedite his path to the Majors.
India reached Double-A late in 2019 and didn’t take long to adjust to the increase in competition as he hit
India reached Double-A late in 2019 and didn’t take long to adjust to the increase in competition as he hit.270/.414/.378 over 34 games.
“Just becoming a complete hitter, just keep working on the stuff I need to work on,” India said when asked about his goals and mindset.
India certainly has the tools to develop into a complete hitter, which is why the Reds regarded him so highly coming out of Florida. The 22-year-old has an advanced approach at the plate, as well as good plate discipline and the ability to hit for average.
While India isn’t considered a slugger, he flashes above-average power and did hit 11 homers and total 34 extra-base hits in his first full season (121 games).
The No. 94 overall prospect can also provide the Reds some defensive versatility as his above-average arm and fielding skills allow him to play all over the diamond. India was a third baseman in college and that’s primarily where he’s played as a professional, but he has seen game action at both second base and shortstop as well.
“I enjoy anywhere in the infield,” India said. “I’m a versatile player. I can play anywhere in the field, honestly. So, whatever it takes.” (W Boor - MLB.com - Oct 1, 2019)
In the offseason, Jonathan lives in Coral Springs, Florida, with his parents, John and Elizabeth. He grew up a Mets and Jets fan, because his dad was originally from Long Island.
2020 Season: Jonathan India was one of the prospects from the alternate training site at Prasco Park last season who really seemed to take a step forward and was impressive. With half of a season under his belt in Double-A in 2019 and an ability to play multiple positions, he’s probably the position player among the group that is most surprising that didn’t get a big league invite.
March 31, 2021: After some infield maneuvering by the Reds, the roster seemed to line up in prospect Jonathan India’s favor. Still, nothing feels better than getting the official word. India has made Cincinnati’s Opening Day roster as its second baseman.
“It’s a crazy feeling. It’s something I dreamed about since I was 4 years old playing this game,” India said. “To be in this position right now, it still hasn’t really hit me. I’m here. It won’t really hit me, until I’m under the lights and playing. It’s a blessing for me. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip, and I’m going to be here for a while.”
India, the club’s No. 5 prospect, will be the first Reds second baseman to make his Major League debut on Opening Day since Pete Rose in 1963. When Spring Training opened, India wasn’t even part of big league camp, so his chances of reaching the Majors this soon appeared remote. But as part of the early Minor League camp roster of extra players that could be used in Cactus League games, he did not waste his chances.
India, now the youngest player on the 26-man roster at 24, batted .313/.441/.604 with three home runs in 22 games. On March 12, he was added to the big league camp as a non-roster player. The club moved Eugenio Suárez from third base to shortstop, and Mike Moustakas from second base to third base. India’s performance made the club comfortable with him manning second base.
“He knows what he’s doing. He can hit,” Suárez said of India. “That’s why he made this team. That’s why he’s here with us. He’s got big talent. He knows how to hit. He showed how he hits in Spring Training, and I hope he does a really good job here in the regular season. Of course, it’s going to be different. But I think he’s got mental strength. And the talent is more important. I think he’s going to be really good with us.”
Manager David Bell delivered the good news to India.
“It was kind of emotional. He was just very proud of me,” India said. “It’s something I’ll never forget. That conversation really got to me, and I’m not an emotional person, but I teared up with a feeling of being on a team and what I went through this Spring Training. It was a great convo that I’ll never forget.”
India has shed the No. 71 he wore in spring and was given No. 6, the number he wore for the University of Florida.
“I’ve been No. 6 my whole life. Six was a huge number for me, and I’m so happy I got it,” India said. “Thank you to Rick Stowe [senior director, clubhouse operations] for that, because that wasn’t open until the last minute. I’m very grateful, and I’m going to wear that number with a lot of pride because that’s my number.”
He spent 2020 at the Reds’ alternate site in Mason, Ohio. That experience of facing pitchers at a higher level proved beneficial heading into 2021.
“I was definitely more comfortable this spring playing out there,” India said. “I think it was because of the alternate site. It helped me a lot, preparing myself, my body, my mental state. It gave me a different look at the game at that position. I worked on a lot of things there, and you can ask the people there that I grinded really hard there. It made me more prepared for Spring Training, mentally, at the plate and in the field.” (M Sheldon - MLB.com - March 31, 2021)
2021 Season: India's 34 doubles ranked as the 24th most in all baseball. His 98 runs scored ranked 18th in all MLB), his 71 walks 24th. Only Ty France and Mark Canha (27 each) were hit more often than India’s 23 plunkings, all of which propelled him to the 8th best OBP in all of baseball (.376).
His.835 OPS was tied with Kris Bryant and .001 behind Manny Machado, ranking just ahead of Justin Turner (.832) and Nelson Cruz (.831). All told, that was good for a 4.0 fWAR rookie campaign. All year, India was a presence, typically at the top of the Reds’ lineup, and he led all qualified rookies with his .376 on-base percentage and was second with his .835 OPS. He topped the list with 71 walks and 34 doubles and landed third in that group with 244 total bases. He also was among rookie leaders in homers (21) and steals (12).
The Reds' second baseman was named the 2021 National League Rookie of the Year. In voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, India received 29 of the 30 first-place votes and one second-place vote for 148 points.
“That was just one thing that came to my mind at Spring Training,” India said from his hometown in South Florida. “I could have said, ‘I want to hit 40 homers, or I want to get MVP,’ but that was the one thing that stuck to me before I started the year was, ‘You know what? I am going to win Rookie of the Year this year.’ I said it on interviews. I just had a feeling that was what I wanted, and I was going to accomplish it.”
India, 24, is the eighth Reds player to win the award and the first since reliever Scott Williamson in 1999. Third baseman Chris Sabo was the club’s last position player to win it, in 1988. Pete Rose was the last second baseman from Cincinnati to win the award, in 1963.
Marlins pitcher Trevor Rogers received the lone remaining first-place vote, 26 second-place votes and three for third place for 86 points. Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson was third with three second-place votes and 13 for third place and 22 points. (M Sheldon - MLB.com - N0v 15, 2021)