Dynasty Divorces: Jonathan India and Nolan Gorman
This is the fourth installment of Dynasty Divorces! Every year, fantasy baseball websites release their Top 100 Prospects lists. In this series, Brett Cook (@beautyofgrace32) and Taylor Case (@TCasesLoaded) will both highlight one player who they see dropping on these lists. Keeping a highly coveted prospect too long could lead to you feeling regret for not ending things sooner. With each highlighted player, we will advise on what to do with that prospect. Follow us on Twitter and send us a response if you want to further discuss these guys! You can also contact us if you think of someone we haven’t covered that fits the criteria.
In case you are stumbling upon this series for the first time, here are the players we have highlighted in our previous articles. In August we wrote about Royce Lewis and Alex Kiriloff. In the middle of September we talked about Yusniel Diaz and Taylor Trammell. At the end of September we highlighted Forrest Whitley and Seth Beer.
Jonathan India, Age: 23, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
Analysis by: Brett Cook
As we begin, I just have to say that writing about a Cincinnati Reds prospect sure does make a Big Red soda sound good. It isn’t the greatest soda but when I drink it I feel like a rebel. Why? As a kid my parents always told me not to swallow my bubble gum, so when I gulp down a bubble gum flavored soda I just feel like I am doing something I shouldn’t.
On the other hand, maybe Jonathan India could one day earn the nickname Big Red for the Reds. Coming out of Florida in 2018, India was drafted fifth overall. In his junior year at Florida, he mashed 21 home runs. With that recent home-run success in college, the hope was that India would continue to develop his power. Outside of his power, every tool is above average across the board. His power is the weakest spot of his game as it is graded average.
In his first taste of rookie ball in 2018, India left something to be desired. He began his minor league career with 14 games in Greeneville before being promoted to Billings. After a few games, he was promoted to Single-A. He played well in his first two stints, but he really struggled in Dayton. Looking at these stats, there is a little encouragement in the fact that half of his 2018 home runs came in Single-A, but at the same time he also struck out twice as much as he walked. He also had a measly .229 batting average in Single-A.
When the 2019 season rolled around, India began to turn a corner in High-A. He hit eight home runs but struck out almost twice as much as he walked. Outside of striking out at such a high clip, his High-A stint was actually encouraging. He was eventually promoted to Double-A where he finished off the 2019 season. In that small sample size, he had his highest batting average as a minor leaguer and really started to cut down on his strikeout rate (22:26 BB:K).
In 2019 Jonathan India was found on six “top prospects” lists. He would drop off half of those in 2020. He was also found in the Top 50 on a few lists in 2019 but didn’t find the Top 50 on any list in 2020. Based on all that has been said, I can understand him dropping 10-15 spots on 2020 lists. What I do not understand is how he fell off lists completely.
I really don’t understand it given this next fact. Nearly all of 2019 he was playing with a lingering wrist injury. Even with that wrist injury, he hit 10 home runs. He also hit for a great average while battling this injury. Knowing that his average fly ball distance dropped from 323ft to 296ft from 2018 to 2019 illustrates the point that I am making. You can’t hit the ball as hard when you are battling a wrist injury all year.
VERDICT – GIVE ME A RED SOLO CUP OF BIG RED
Be patient with Jonathan India. The Reds reported that India had an increase in bat speed as well as power this year, which is exactly what they were hoping for when they drafted him. My guess is that you drafted him with the same hope, so let’s prematurely celebrate what we learned today. To do this, go out and get two items if you don’t have them already (1) Big Red (2) Red Solo cups. Then pour a glass of your bubblegum beverage into your red solo cup and think about all the success that India (Big Red) will have in a Reds jersey.
Nolan Gorman, AGE: 20, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals
Analysis by: Taylor Case
Power, power, power. I’m talking “kill the lights with your lightning bat” kind of power. That’s Nolan Gorman’s calling card, and even though he’s currently being ranked more as a top-60 prospect as opposed to top-40 in 2019, I’m still bullish on his potential as the #2 prospect in the Cardinals system.
Looking at his stats on Fangraphs, it’s pretty clear he’s got the makings of a potential three-true-outcomes player, although I’m hoping he can add a few more walks to his game. Does the nearly 30% strikeout rate from 2019 bother me a little? Why yes, yes it does. He was definitely overmatched at the plate when he made it to the FSL in 2019, but I imagine it didn’t help that most players at that level were two to three years his senior.
Regardless, he could definitely be a little more selective at the plate. The reality, however, is that most 20-year olds have holes in their game. It’s not new. They can’t all be Juan Sotos, people. What I was really curious about when it came to researching Gorman was tangible improvements this season. And according to a Prospect Report from Mike Rosenbaum, he “received glowing reviews…for his progress on both sides of the ball this summer at the team’s alternate site.” Now, while we don’t care much about defense for fantasy purposes, it is nice to read some good news in a year where prospect info is scarce. Teams aren’t exactly bringing out the loudspeakers to broadcast player performance off the big stage. It’s almost like they don’t care about dynasty baseball managers…
Verdict – Be Patient
I, being relatively strapped for power in a certain dynasty league, am definitely looking forward to a Gorman cup of coffee ASAP. In a year with very little public information about player development on the Major League stage, we still saw Gorman drop down multiple prospect lists moving into the 2020 season. Is there something behind the scenes that I don’t know? Or do these rankings maybe reflect a due rankings correction for a player who may have been ranked a tad too high in 2019? Personally, I think it’s the latter. He’s a young player who had the benefit of advancing his craft at the alternate site, and we all know home runs sell in this silly little game we play. If you have Gorman rostered and can afford to wait for the potential power payout, I advise patience.