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Is Jonathan India for NL Rookie of the Year a Legit Thing?
“Leadoff got me going. It definitely drove me to play harder and really dig deep and get out of that slump I was in” (Cincinnati Enquirer). And boy, it sure did.
There are only a few National League Rookie of the Year Contenders and Jonathan India is most definitely one of them. This was not the case until July when he started consistently batting well and seeing the ball better in the leadoff spot. This confidence proved to help his production, where he batted .319 with 4 homeruns and 12 RBIs in the 25 games he played in July.
He is now batting .281 overall with 14 homers and 49 RBIs to his name in 105 games played.
India, who was not expected to be in this conversation at the start of this season, has really come out of his shell after a slow start. He is playing his position as one of the best in the game right now.India, also, has played impressively in the field for a rookie with a Fielding Percentage of .975.
How the Other ROY Contenders Match Up
Other rookies in this race include Trevor Rodgers (+115), Patrick Wisdom (+2500), Ian Anderson (+2500), and Dylan Carlson (+3000) (DraftKings Sportsbook).
Trevor Rodgers, a starting pitcher for the Miami Marlins, trails India, who is the favorite to win the award (-150). Rodgers is also having a great season with an ERA of 2.45 and 129 strikeouts with 110 innings pitched. The only major mark against Rodgers is that he is 7-6 on the season on a team that is dead last in the NL East with a 48-67 record.
Patrick Wisdom, from the NL Central rival Cubs, is batting .265 with 18 home runs and 36 RBIs. This is comparable to India, but India does have 36 more walks than Wisdom does.
The Reds, on the other hand, are 62-54 and only 3.5 games out of the wild card. Their success has a lot to do with consistent hitting all season from players like India in the lineup.
Past ROY Winners
A field player has won the ROY award, including both the AL and the NL, 14/20 times. It can be reasonably assumed that the Baseball Writers’ Association of America tends to favor batters over pitchers when giving the award.
India, who is known mainly for his contact hitting as the leadoff batter, is currently batting better than 4 of the last 6 batters to win the award in the NL which includes stars like Pete Alonso, Cody Bellinger, Kris Bryant, and Bryce Harper.
Awards and Accolades
India was awarded the NL Rookie of the Month in July. He also ranks 4th in the NL in On-Base % at .400, 7th in walks, and 1st in putouts as an NL second baseman.
Teammates such as Joey Votto know how good India is but focus more on how good he is going to be in the future.
Journey to the Majors
The Cincinnati Reds selected India at number 5 in the 2018 draft out of the University of Florida. India moved around often before making his major league debut on March 31, 2021 as he played in the Appalachian League, Pioneer League, Class A and Class AA. His stellar performances during Spring Training with the Reds jump-started his career into the majors.
From there, he has put up a stellar season thus far and has a great chance to win Rookie of the Year as long as he is able to maintain his production throughout the rest of the season as the Reds make a playoff push as the season comes to an end.
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