The Reds finalized a deal with 2018 first round pick Jonathan India on Tuesday, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis. The deal is worth $5.3 million, moderately under the slot value of $5,946,400.
India, 21, was selected fifth overall by the Reds in the Amateur Player Draft on June 4. He was a third baseman at the University of Florida, where he rocketed himself up draft boards with a stellar junior season in which he hit .350/.497/.717 with 21 homers in 68 games. His strikeout totals were high, but so were his walk numbers, clocking in at 56 and 60, respectively. Despite occupying the hot corner all year, there is widespread optimism that he could play shortstop and second base as a pro, as well as either outfield corner.
The two sides reached an agreement on contract terms over the weekend, as reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, but had to wait on India to complete a physical in Cincinnati.
It’s the second time in three years the Reds have been able to land a top-five pick under slot value. In 2016, Cincinnati drafted Nick Senzel second overall out of the University of Tennessee, and handed him a bonus of $6.2 million, well under slot value of $7,762,900. Last year, meanwhile, the Reds handed prep right-hander Hunter Greene a record $7.23 million dollar bonus after drafting him second overall.
India was the last of the Reds’ first 11 picks from 2018 to sign. Cincinnati gave over-slot bonuses to second round pick Lyon Richardson ($1,997,500) and fourth round pick Mike Siani ($2 million).