Former Gators infielder Jonathan India garnering HOF comparisons as a rookie

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Former Gators infielder Jonathan India is having a historic rookie year for the Cincinnati Reds. With 96 runs and 56 extra-base hits, he becomes the first Reds rookie since Hall of Famer Frank Robinson to reach both marks in 1956, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Robinson was named National League Rookie of the Year unanimously that year, and India is the favorite to take home the award this 65 years later.

If the comparison to Robinson is any indication, India should be a fixture in Cincinnati’s lineup for a long time. Robinson stayed in the MVP conversation for the next 17 years, and Reds first baseman Joey Votto has all but said he expects India to be in the race someday.

Votto is also careful not to put too much pressure on India, who is just 24 years old and three years removed from playing for the Gators. In 2018, India had one of the best offensive seasons in Florida baseball history and was named SEC Player of the Year and a consensus First Team All-American.

India’s transition to the major league level has come fairly quickly, and the Reds’ decision to start a rookie at second base for the first time since Pete Rose seems to be working out. India has a .271 average, 33 doubles and 21 home runs with four games left in Cincinnati’s season.

The only thing working against India is the Reds missing the playoffs, but he should become the second former Gator to win the NL Rookie of the Year in the past three years.

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