With the New York Mets looking for their third baseman of the future, Florida’s Jonathan India would be a good choice if he is available with the sixth pick in the MLB Draft.
With all of the injuries that David Wright has had over the course of the last few years, the New York Mets need to find their third baseman of the future. With the sixth pick in the MLB First-Year Player Draft less than two weeks from today, one option the Mets could consider is Florida infielder Jonathan India.
India was a teammate of Peter Alonso back in 2016 before the Mets chose Alonso in the second round that June, so they would be familiar with the Florida roster. As a junior this season, the 21-year-old has a slash line of .376/.520/.759 with 16 home runs, 40 RBI and is 11-for-11 on stolen base attempts.
Over at Minor League Ball, John Sickels had a good profile about India and he talked about some of the improvements that he has made in his junior season as he has risen up a lot of draft boards:
“What’s made the difference this year is offensive development. India has always had a good eye for the strike zone but it’s been even sharper this year; he’s already set a career high in walks and his BB percentage has doubled.”
This season, India has established himself as one of the best players in one of the best conferences (SEC) in college baseball. As of May 19, he led the entire conference in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and walks (45). Plus, he finished two home runs shy of the conference lead. Here is some video of India courtesy of FanGraphs:
If you look at his defense, India has only made six errors at the hot corner this season and his error total has been cut in half from his freshman season back in 2015 (12). If the Mets don’t feel he is the best fit at third, they could play him around the infield and get his bat in the lineup.
Third base is the best spot for India in the long-term for the New York Mets because he is not blocked by any player in the organization. They do have Mark Vientos, who they took in the second round last season, so the competition between them would be interesting. Vientos played most of his 51 games last year in the Gulf Coast League and has split time at shortstop and third base.
Since the Mets have taken a pitcher with their last three first-round selections, it would make sense for Sandy Alderson and the front office to try to add a bat with their first pick this year.
One of the hardest things to do in baseball is to teach plate discipline and India already has that tool before he even reaches professional baseball. If he continues that same approach at the plate, then it is possible that his offensive game could help him rise up the Mets system.
India might not have the same power as Alonso, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea if the Mets decided to take another Florida infielder on June 4 and try to see how far he could get up the system. Keep an eye on him and the Gators, who have one of the best teams in college baseball heading into postseason play.