With the fifth pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Reds chose Florida third baseman Jonathan India.
From the Reds...
India, 21, was named 2018 SEC Player of the Year after batting .365 with 16 HR, 40 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 54 regular season games during his junior year at Florida. The Coral Springs (FL) native led the conference with a .506 on-base percentage and a .730 slugging percentage. He was selected as a semi-finalist for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award and entered the draft rated the fifth-best prospect by Baseball America.
This year for the Gators, India played primarily third base but also made several appearances at shortstop. He became just the 12th player in school history to amass in his career 20 or more home runs, 100 or more RBI and 30 or more stolen bases.
India was a solid, albeit unspectacular, prospect coming out of high school powerhouse American Heritage three years ago, one whose strong commitment to the University of Florida teams knew would be tough to break. After two fairly pedestrian years with the Gators -- along with a pair of summers in the Cape Cod League -- the infielder has broken out in a big way during his junior season.
India has been perhaps the best all-around college hitter this spring, showing the ability to impact the game in a number of ways. He has an advanced approach on offense, showing excellent plate discipline and the ability to hit for average that should translate. His pitch selection has improved tremendously, which, in turn, has given him better pitches to drive, something he's doing more consistently this year. Some evaluators see at least average power from India in the future. He's a solid runner with excellent instincts and can steal a base. India has played a lot of third, but his athleticism and instincts -- not to mention his strong arm -- could allow him to play any of a number of infield positions at the next level.
Prolific college hitters are always hard to find, and those who perform in their Draft year tend to shoot to the top of boards. That's exactly what's happening with India, whose performance in the top-notch South Eastern Conference is putting him into many first-round conversations.
MLB comp: Kevin Seitzer