India, 24, is expected to serve as Cincinnati's most-days second baseman after batting .313/.441/.604 with eight extra-base hits this spring. Mike Moustakas, who previously held down the keystone, has since shifted to his natural third base to fill the vacancy left behind by Eugenio Suarez, who moved over to shortstop to replace Freddy Galvis. Give the Reds credit for their resourcefulness, if nothing else.
India entered the spring ranked by CBS Sports as the third best prospect in the Reds system. Here's what we wrote at the time:
India is a tough prospect to nail down. He has above-average strength, and proved as much during his junior year at Florida. Yet he's seldom tapped into that power outside of that year, and has instead been a hitter whose value stems from hitting for average and walking. That's fine … it just makes for an underwhelming profile at third base. The Reds, to be fair, have also given India some exposure to second base -- an experiment that might nod at Eugenio Suarez's presence, or perhaps their desire to find a more appropriate position for him. Whatever the case, India should reach the majors before 2021 is over.
The last time we saw India, he hit .259/.365/.402 with 11 home runs over 121 games split between High- and Double-A. Clearly, then, he should benefit from moving to second base, where the power demands are lower.
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The Reds are coming off their first playoff appearance since 2013. SportsLine's forecast has them down for 83 wins, or the third most in the National League Central. In terms of playoff likelihood, SportsLine sees the Reds holding a 31 percent shot. Cincinnati opens the season at home against the Cardinals at 4:10 p.m. ET on Thursday.