Top Bounce-Back Candidate For 2023: Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds, as a team, have some bouncing back to do to try to return to respectability. But one player who had a breakthrough 2021 only to slump badly in 2022 is the Reds' top likely bounce-back candidate.

Jonathan India got 29 of 30 votes to win NL Rookie of the Year in '21; he batted .269 with an .835 OPS, 21 HR, 34 doubles, 12 SB and 98 runs. His numbers dropped precipitously last season, to .249 with a .709 OPS, just 10 HR and 3 SBs. 

Sure, he only played 101 games and was hampered by hamstring issues and a freak accident that caused a serious shin bruise. He admitted, though, in addition, that he was taken aback by the sudden pressures he faced as a sophomore. 

"It was my first time experiencing something like that,” India said. “As a second-year guy, people were looking at me like a vet now. Like, 'Oh my God, it's my second year. I'm still working on things.'

The 26-year-old went back to working on things in the offseason, and there's some hints of optimism at spring training, as he has six walks and only one strikeout in 18 plate appearance so far this spring. He’s reached base at a .444 clip. 

In addition, there's reason to believe that with the new rules bringing base-stealing more to the forefront, that India can get back to being that sparkplug for the Reds at the top of the lineup that they so sorely need. 

Photo: Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK