Cincinnati Reds One to Watch in 2022: Jonathan India

As someone who has invested too much time and emotion in the Cincinnati Reds over the last couple of years, I have found the “slash and burn” approach of ownership completely demoralising.

However, life goes on – even without my man-crush Jesse Winker in Reds colours – and there are reasons for optimism. High on the list is Jonathan India.

Pre-2021, the Cincinnati Reds second baseman’s prospect shine had utterly tarnished. A reputable prospect evaluator ranked India 12th in the Reds system. The 24-year-old had simply failed to develop.

And then, with his tousled locks and winning smile, Jonathan India not only established himself as the Reds’ second baseman for the rest of the decade but quickly became favourite to succeed Joey Votto as the face of the franchise when the Canadian legend hangs up his cleats.

In 150 games, India scored 98 runs, which was the 18th best in MLB. You would have got good odds on India crossing home plate more than Mookie Betts, Manny Machado or Aaron Judge.

The NL Rookie of the Year hit 21 home runs, swiped 12 bags and walked at a mature rate of 71BB to 141SO. Evidently, he was wasted in the minor leagues and just wanted to play with the big boys.

Whether at the plate, in the field or running bases, India is the epitome of cool. He has a swagger that you don’t usually associate with Fort Lauderdale natives.

And, if spring training is anything to go by, it appears that he is carrying his 2021 form into the new season.

By dumping Winker, Eugenio Suarez, Tucker Barnhart, Wade Miley, Amir Garrett and Sonny Gray, ownership (aka Ohio Moneyball wannabes) have not given many reasons for neutral fans to tune into games… but India is one.

Featured image photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images.

Who is your “One to watch for 2022”? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @BatFlips_Nerds

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