India made his big-league debut on Opening Day, going 2-for-4. He had 10 hits in his first six games.
“I started off pretty good my first couple series,” India said, “and then I went through the normal struggles of a baseball player, honestly, just the ups and downs here and there. It’s tough for anyone, of course, but I battled through it and got the opportunity to hit lead-off and I ran with it.”
India hit .230 through May, and his average was at .245 on June 5 when he moved into top spot in the batting order. He stayed in that position the rest of the season and especially thrived in June and July, hitting .303 and .319, respectively.
“It didn’t really change my approach,” India said. “It never changed who I was as a hitter. I think it just put me in a better spot with the guys behind me and allowed me to get pitches to hit and drive the ball.”
Bell said it was an easy decision to move India into the leadoff spot and that he probably waited too long to make the move.
“He deserves all the credit because he just recognized what he could do at the top of the lineup for our team,” Bell said, “and he adapted his game to that role. That’s not ever anything I would ever ask or expect out of a player. He just naturally did it because he knew what that role meant to our team, and by doing certain things, he could help us win more games. I do think by doing that it made him a better player. But the reason it happened was because he wanted to help us win, and I think that’s what stands out so much about Jonathan.”