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Arizona Fall League

India learning to be a complete hitter at AFL

Reds' No. 5 prospect among eight playing in Arizona
@wboor
October 1, 2019

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. The fifth overall pick from the 2018 Draft reached Double-A late in '19 and didn’t take long to

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.

The fifth overall pick from the 2018 Draft reached Double-A late in '19 and didn’t take long to adjust to the increase in competition as he hit .270/.414/.378 over 34 games. India, the Reds’ No. 3 prospect will get more at-bats against advanced arms as a member of the AFL’s Glendale Desert Dogs.

Daily Reds AFL updates | Desert Dogs roster & stats | Reds Top 30 prospects

“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.”

Reds hitters in the Fall League
Tyler Stephenson, C (Reds' No. 7 prospect): Stephenson, the 11th overall pick from the 2015 Draft, got off to a slow start in his professional career -- including dealing with numerous injuries -- but seems to be putting things together over the past two seasons. After hitting a career-best 11 homers in '18, Stephenson was bumped up to Double-A Chattanooga in '19 and hit .285 (career high)/.372/.410 over 89 games. The 23-year-old is also full of potential behind the plate, where he has plus arm strength and is improving his game-calling.

Jose Garcia, SS (No. 9): The Reds signed Garcia for nearly $5 million in 2017 and after a slow start to his career, the 21-year-old is certainly looking like he was worth the money. Garcia, who has plus speed and athleticism, hit .280/.343/.436 with a career-high eight homers over 104 games with Class A Advanced Daytona this season.

Stuart Fairchild, OF (No. 16): A second-round pick from the 2017 Draft, Fairchild reached the Double-A level for the first time in '19 and hit .275 over 42 games. The 23-year-old finished strong as he hit .284 in August and although he doesn’t have any major standout tools, he is a consistent performer. Fairchild is also a good defender with a solid arm and is capable of playing all three outfield positions.

Reds pitchers in the Fall League
Jordan Johnson, RHP: Johnson, whom the Reds acquired from the Giants in March, missed two months with a right shoulder impingement and then spent the bulk of the season with Chattanooga, where he posted a 6.98 ERA over nine starts. Johnson struggled with command this season and issued 30 walks over 50 1/3 innings, so in addition to building up innings, Johnson will also look to hone his command while in Arizona.

Diomar Lopez, RHP: Lopez’s season didn’t start until June and he’s only totaled 84 2/3 innings over the past two seasons, so he’ll need to build up some more innings in Arizona. However, when he was on the field, Lopez was strong in 2019, his first season with the Reds, who acquired him via an April trade with the Padres. Lopez went 4-1 and pitched to a 2.72 ERA with 53 strikeouts over 43 innings with Daytona.

Dauri Moreta, RHP: The Reds signed Moreta out of the Dominican Republic in 2015 and although he’s struggled with consistency and command throughout his career, he took a step forward this season. The 23-year-old operates with a mid-90s fastball and pitched to a 2.35 ERA over 35 appearances with Daytona. Moreta has racked up a lot of strikeouts throughout his career -- 274 over 199 innings -- and that trend continued this past season as he fanned 64 over 57 1/3 innings and held opponents to a .223 average.

Cory Thompson, RHP: Thompson, a fifth-round pick from the 2013 Draft, reached the Double-A level for the first time and is looking to carry that momentum with him to Arizona. The 25-year-old posted a 4.21 ERA over 33 games with Chattanooga. However, after a bit of a rough start while he was still adjusting to the new level, Thompson finished on a high note, yielding one earned run or fewer in each of his final 15 appearances.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.