Cincinnati Reds' Jonathan India fixes his hair as he runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Cincinnati, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Jonathan India Earns NL Rookie of the Year

Former Florida Gator infielder Jonathan India has been named National League Rookie of the Year.

He led the Florida Gators to their first NCAA title in 2017 and was selected fifth overall in the 2018 MLB Draft.

India is the second former Gator to earn this title in the last three years, with the other being Pete Alonso back in 2019.

He is also the first Cincinnati Red player to be awarded this honor since 1999.

His Time as a Gator

India was with Florida from 2016-2018. In 2017, the sophomore hit .274/.354/.429 and ended with six homeruns and 34 RBIs, also contributing to the team’s College World Series win. During the 2018 season, he was named First Team All American and SEC Player of the Year. Also during his final collegiate season, he was ranked top 10 nationally in walks, and his 21 homeruns ranked him 5th in school history. In addition, India led the Gators with four homeruns and ten RBIs in the NCAA Tournament that same year. He was ultimately selected 5th by the Cincinnati Reds, marking the second highest draft pick in UF history.

Cincinnati Reds

After a strong spring training, India debuted at second base. This marked the first rookie to debut on second base since 1963.

India appeared in 150 games for the Reds. He finished his rookie season making history. His batting average was .269, he had .376 on base percentage, 57 extra base hits with 34 being doubles, 21 homeruns, 98 runs, 69 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. He also became the first rookie in MLB history with 20 homeruns, 20 hits by pitch, and 10 stolen bases. India is the eighth Reds player to earn this title. The previous winners include Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, etc.

ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian explains that India’s talent on the field would win him the title.

The Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena was also voted 2021 Rookie of the Year along side Jonathan India.

About Sara Dastgerdi

Sara Dastgerdi is a current student at the University of Florida.

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