Jacksonville Sports Day

MLB: Former Gators Player India Named National League Rookie of the Year

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Gator great Jonathan India’s dream rookie season for the Cincinnati Reds was capped off with the National League Rookie of the Year Award on Monday evening, as announced by the National Baseball Writers Association of America.

India received 29 of 30 first-place votes to claim this year’s rookie honors in the senior circuit.

With the honor, India becomes the second former Gator in three seasons to take home N.L. Rookie of the Year honors. New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso won the award in 2019 after setting the Major League Baseball rookie record with 53 home runs. Florida is the only college program to have two Rookie of the Year winners in a span of four years or less.

For India, today’s announcement culminates a 2021 campaign in which he paced all rookies in runs (98), doubles (34), extra-base hits (57), on-base percentage (.376) and on-base plus slugging (.835). Meanwhile, the Reds second baseman led N.L. rookies in RBI (69) while ranking second in hits (143), home runs (21) and stolen bases (12).

In the process, India became the first rookie in MLB history to have at least 20 home runs, 20 hit-by-pitches and 10 stolen bases in the same year. By the time it was all said in done, he finished his debut season with a .269/.376/.459 batting line and 3.9 wins above replacement over 631 plate appearances spread across 150 games played.

India, who helped the Gators capture their first-ever NCAA Championship in 2017, batted a combined .310/.411/.530 over his three-year Florida career from 2016-18. The newly-minted N.L. Rookie of the Year wrapped up his time in Orange & Blue with 208 hits, 31 home runs, six triples, 43 doubles, 147 runs scored, 126 RBI and 41 stolen bases.

As a senior, he collected First Team All-America and SEC Player of the Year honors after slashing .350/.497/.717 with 21 homers and 15 steals. India was also named a 2018 Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist, Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalist, ABCA South All-Region First Team, First Team All-SEC and to the SEC All-Defensive Team.

In June of 2018, India was drafted No. 5 overall in the MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds. He is the second-highest drafted player in school history behind Mike Zunino (third overall in 2012).

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