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View Full Version : Just how good is Joey Votto?



Brutus
05-26-2009, 07:39 PM
You know, I'm usually not much for the hyperbole. I don't like to hold guys to unrealistic expectations or label players as Hall of Famers or perennial All Stars without a solid sample size and extensive proven history.

But I'm going to tread a little bit into the uncharted territory to bring up the possibility of stardom with Joey Votto.

First of all, while I don't claim to be a professional scout, Votto simply passes the eyeball test. One of the things the scouts always look for is the 'sound' of the ball leaving the bat. Votto has this. Scouts look for opposite field power. Votto has that. Scouts love a guy that has fantastic discipline at the plate with the ability to foul pitches off (bat control). Check again.

It's amazing. When you watch Votto in an at-bat, he can go to the plate and wait three or four pitches before swinging, because he rarely is overmatched. Monday he swung and missed at a pitch, giving him a rare strikeout, and I think it was simply a matter of expecting a fastball and getting a changeup. Curious as to just how good a season he's been having, I decided to see how the numbers corroborated the eyeball test.

Did they ever.

No. 1 in batting average (.368)

No. 18 in AB / HR (16.7)

No. 3 in AB / RBI (3.8) - behind only Prince Fielder & Brad Hawpe

No. 1 in OBP (.479) - 19 percentage points ahead of Carlos Beltran

No. 3 in SLG (.632) - behind only Albert Pujols & Raul Ibanez

No. 2 in OPS (1.111) - behind Raul Ibanez

No. 1 in RC/27 (11.08) - meaning a team of Vottos would score 11 runs/game

No. 1 in Off. Win Pctg (.836) - meaning a team of Vottos and an average staff would be expected to win 84 percent of their games / this is 22 pctg. points ahead of Pujols

No. 16 in RC (32.4) - aggregate total despite missing several games. Ibanez leads with 44.8

No. 1 in RBI Rate (40.0) - This is a stat I've made that is essentially a ratio of all runners on base that was driven in compared to runners left on base. If a player gets a hit or walks but does not drive in a run, it does not count against the player. The equation is essentially (RBI-HR) / LOB. Second place in the league with at least 100 PA is Brad Hawpe (35.7), then Todd Helton (32.9), Chase Utley (32.8) and Carlos Delgado (31.7). Last year Pujols led the league based on qualified players with a 30.2 ratio.

No. 2 in Gross Production Average / GPA (.374) - this is said to be the highest correlation to run scoring even over runs created, base runs etc. It's essentially like OPS but it's 1.8 times the OBP plus slugging. It's then divided by four to scale it to a batting average-like metric. Manny is No. 1 (.382). Albert Pujols is third (.366), Raul Ibanez (.365) and Carlos Beltran (.350). League average is around .263.

No. 19 in BB% (13.1%). Adam Dunn (17.5%) and Kosuke Fukudome (17.3%) lead the league.

No. 50 in K% (15.%%). Juan Pierre & Miguel Tejada (5.9%)are league leaders with Albert Pujols (6.7%) third.

No. 8 in P/PA (4.30). Jayson Werth (4.55) leads the league.

What's interesting about these two aforementioned categories, however, is that of the top 50 players in the league in pitches seen per plate appearance, only nine (9) of the top 50 have a better strikeout rate (i.e. fewer strikeouts per plate appearance) than does Votto. So in other words, Votto is among the league's best at seeing more pitches while still avoiding strikeouts.

Dovetailing on this BB/K issue, Joey Votto is 10th in the league in BB/K ratio (1.05). Albert Pujols leads at an insane 2.69 with only a total of 12 NL qualified players having a plus ratio of 1.00 or more. Side note: Brandon Phillips is the 12th of these players.

Only Scott Hairston (.500) and Brad Hawpe (.486) have a better BA with RISP than does Joey Votto (.457).

Lastly, Votto is No. 3 in the entire major leagues in WPA (Win Probability Added). This is arguably the most important stat (beyond run creation) because this measures the aggregate percent chances a player contributed to his team winning games. For instance, say a player comes up in the 5th inning, down 2 runs with a runner at first and one out. If he strikes out, WPA will then deduct the chances the team had of winning the game after the player hit minus the chances they had of winning before he hit. This is all based on historical play data. So if there was a 33% chance of the team winning and his out made it 31%, he gets a -2.0. Then if he comes up with runners on second and third, two outs in a tie game in the ninth while hitting a home run, he'll get credit for a + percent (100% chance of winning minus whatever the chances were before he came to the plate). He currently trails only Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay with a 2.55 WPA. Over the course of the season, the leaders usually are around 5-8. Anything over 8 is a fantastic year.


OK so I may have overdone this. But clearly, Votto is having the kind of season that only Albert Pujols and Raul Ibanez can match in the National League. These guys are more proven players, although Ibanez has not typically been THIS good. But though sample size is still an issue, combine the season Votto is having with the old-fashioned eye-test, and we have something potentially special here.

A couple of additional notes:

* Though his batting average seems unsustainable, especially given his .409 BABIP, he continues to hit a very, very consistent 25% line drives. In fact, all three seasons thus far in the majors he's hit at 25-26%. This bodes well for him consistently being a .300 hitter.

* Though his BB/K rate is spectacular, his career ratio is a respectable but a bit more tempered 0.63 including minor league seasons. So this might be in line for an eventual correction.

* His HR/FB ratio (21.9%) continues to climb. This indicates to me he's getting stronger and I think it's indicative of the number of opposite field home runs he's now hitting out of the ballpark instead of becoming "warning track" outs.


Anyhow, to summarize, clearly Votto is putting up some lopsided numbers. Can he sustain it? Hard to say. Is he overperforming? Possibly so. Either way though, the guy has some great potential and is a lot of fun to watch.

aubashbrother
05-26-2009, 07:43 PM
and is not even in to top 5 vote getters so far for the all star game

1. Albert Pujols Cardinals 842,058
2. Prince Fielder Brewers 427,284
3. Ryan Howard Phillies 294,830
4. Carlos Delgado Mets 158,953
5. Lance Berkman Astros 146,001

http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090526&content_id=4960488&vkey=allstar2009&fext=.jsp#nlvote_0526

give me a break

Kingspoint
05-26-2009, 07:46 PM
I can't think of a better baseball player named Joey.

Brutus
05-26-2009, 07:48 PM
and is not even in to top 5 vote getters so far for the all star game

1. Albert Pujols Cardinals 842,058
2. Prince Fielder Brewers 427,284
3. Ryan Howard Phillies 294,830
4. Carlos Delgado Mets 158,953
5. Lance Berkman Astros 146,001

http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090526&content_id=4960488&vkey=allstar2009&fext=.jsp#nlvote_0526

give me a break

People are still catching on. He has not yet become 'mainstream.' I suspect if he keeps this up, next year might be a totally different story. Of course, it will be tough to offset Pujols for the fan vote.

mlh1981
05-26-2009, 08:04 PM
He's steady. He's not the kind of guy who will get into prolonged slumps. Hits well vs. righties and lefties. He's a definate superstar in the making, and someone the Reds should definately build around.

PhillipsHead
05-26-2009, 08:14 PM
Well all the voting does is pick the starter for each squad. Beyond that it's 2 backups. So Pujols should start, and your reserves should be Gonzalez and Votto.

aubashbrother
05-26-2009, 08:17 PM
isnt manuel the nl manager though. you know one will go to howard

texasdave
05-26-2009, 08:52 PM
Excellent post.

Larkinfan_11
05-26-2009, 09:10 PM
Yonder=Trade Bait??

Brutus
05-27-2009, 01:48 AM
Yonder=Trade Bait??

Possible. I really wonder though if the Reds won't simply move Votto to left. It's not like he's done anything to merit having to be moved, but he unlike Alonso is more cut out for playing left field.

I guess some might depend on a bat like Holliday or someone becoming available and getting them without paying a hefty price. If you can, and get them signed to an extension, maybe you use Alonso as bait. Otherwise, I'd have the long-term plan of moving Votto.

corwinator3407
05-27-2009, 02:33 AM
People are still catching on. He has not yet become 'mainstream.' I suspect if he keeps this up, next year might be a totally different story. Of course, it will be tough to offset Pujols for the fan vote.


As long as the Reds don't become last years Rays (for lack of a better way to put it) average baseball fans will take more time to know who he is. Its gonna happen though.

Dude Rock
05-27-2009, 02:38 AM
This city of Reds fans are in love with Joey. I know I am. In a total heterosexual kind of way. ;)

CySeymour
05-27-2009, 10:08 AM
Yonder=Trade Bait??

I don't think yet. My guess is he wouldn't be a viable trade option until mid season next year. Actually, I don't think they Reds can trade him until August of this year, because he didn't sign until August of last year.

dunner13
05-27-2009, 10:22 AM
I don't think yet. My guess is he wouldn't be a viable trade option until mid season next year. Actually, I don't think they Reds can trade him until August of this year, because he didn't sign until August of last year.

I know we cant trade him for a year but is it a year from when he was drafted or a year from when he was signed. Even if it is from when he was signed some have said we can just trade him as a player to be named later. I think hes the type of player that billy beane would love to have, and holliday has started to pick it up as of late.

Dude Rock
05-27-2009, 10:56 AM
I know we cant trade him for a year but is it a year from when he was drafted or a year from when he was signed. Even if it is from when he was signed some have said we can just trade him as a player to be named later. I think hes the type of player that billy beane would love to have, and holliday has started to pick it up as of late.

I hope we don't trade Yonder for Holiday. Holiday is a rent-a-player and in my opinion, shouldn't command as much as Beane thinks he should. He'd be a half a season player for the Reds and then sign a big contract elsewhere, and we'd be out key players from our farm system.

Just say no to Holiday.

CySeymour
05-27-2009, 11:06 AM
I hope we don't trade Yonder for Holiday. Holiday is a rent-a-player and in my opinion, shouldn't command as much as Beane thinks he should. He'd be a half a season player for the Reds and then sign a big contract elsewhere, and we'd be out key players from our farm system.

Just say no to Holiday.

I second this!

Rockermann
05-27-2009, 11:57 AM
Just say no to Holiday.

My employer does.

Ghosts of 1990
05-27-2009, 12:32 PM
He's about as good as Sean Casey was during the 1999 season..... sean was unconscious during that season especially in the first half. Votto is a casey clone

bgwilly31
05-27-2009, 12:41 PM
and is not even in to top 5 vote getters so far for the all star game

1. Albert Pujols Cardinals 842,058
2. Prince Fielder Brewers 427,284
3. Ryan Howard Phillies 294,830
4. Carlos Delgado Mets 158,953
5. Lance Berkman Astros 146,001

http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090526&content_id=4960488&vkey=allstar2009&fext=.jsp#nlvote_0526

give me a break


Thats because the reds highlights get no coverage what so ever on ESPN>

Rockermann
05-27-2009, 12:44 PM
Thats because the reds highlights get no coverage what so ever on ESPN>

That's a good point and certainly has a LOT to do with it.

dunner13
05-27-2009, 05:28 PM
I hope we don't trade Yonder for Holiday. Holiday is a rent-a-player and in my opinion, shouldn't command as much as Beane thinks he should. He'd be a half a season player for the Reds and then sign a big contract elsewhere, and we'd be out key players from our farm system.

Just say no to Holiday.

I know it would be a surprise for the reds to give holiday a long term contract but walt did trade for mcgwire and sign him to a long term contract when in st louis. I could see him doing the same with holiday.

Hondo
05-27-2009, 05:38 PM
Why would you TRADE Yonder? Draft the guy who many considered the BEST available BAT and Trade him for Holliday? Come on... I want to see Yonder Alonso in a Reds uniform and see what he can do...

Lockdwn11
05-27-2009, 05:57 PM
He's about as good as Sean Casey was during the 1999 season..... sean was unconscious during that season especially in the first half. Votto is a casey clone

Votto has way more talent then Casey did with alot more pop in his bat. The only thing the two have in common is they both hit for avg. other then that it's not even close

Dude Rock
05-27-2009, 06:37 PM
He's about as good as Sean Casey was during the 1999 season..... sean was unconscious during that season especially in the first half. Votto is a casey clone

Geez........that'a huge insult to Joey Votto. :thumbdown

Ghosts of 1990
05-28-2009, 02:56 AM
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/caseyse01.shtml?redir

Look at Casey's numbers in 1999. Votto will be lucky to end up with those numbers. Casey was an MVP candidate that year and had we made the playoffs would have finished a lot higher.

Votto will be a 30 HR guy I think in several seasons, and has a better body. Other then that, he's Sean Casey.

Redlegs Homer
05-28-2009, 04:42 AM
Don't trade Yonder unless a ridiculous vet will come back in return. Yonder will be too good of a pro to trade for a half-year player like Holliday. Just find a way to fit Yonder and Votto on the field at the same time. I don't care if Votto has to play left or Yonder plays left. The Votto-Bruce-Alonso 3-4-5 spot will be terrifying.

Shawn_RedsFan
05-28-2009, 04:45 AM
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/caseyse01.shtml?redir

Look at Casey's numbers in 1999. Votto will be lucky to end up with those numbers. Casey was an MVP candidate that year and had we made the playoffs would have finished a lot higher.

Votto will be a 30 HR guy I think in several seasons, and has a better body. Other then that, he's Sean Casey.

I will remember this post until the end of the season when Votto is awarded the NL MVP :thumbup: or when he has better numbers than Casey which I assure you he will and it WON'T be because of LUCK.

Lockdwn11
05-28-2009, 08:08 AM
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/caseyse01.shtml?redir

Look at Casey's numbers in 1999. Votto will be lucky to end up with those numbers. Casey was an MVP candidate that year and had we made the playoffs would have finished a lot higher.

Votto will be a 30 HR guy I think in several seasons, and has a better body. Other then that, he's Sean Casey.

Yes, and Homer Bailey should have started the year in the rotation over Harang right JB?

CySeymour
05-28-2009, 09:54 AM
Don't trade Yonder unless a ridiculous vet will come back in return. Yonder will be too good of a pro to trade for a half-year player like Holliday. Just find a way to fit Yonder and Votto on the field at the same time. I don't care if Votto has to play left or Yonder plays left. The Votto-Bruce-Alonso 3-4-5 spot will be terrifying.

I love this post! I don't think you will need to trade Yonder just to trade him. If ya get something rediculous in return, then go ahead.

Dude Rock
05-28-2009, 07:16 PM
Joey Votto is some kind of man candy!

gedred69
05-28-2009, 10:28 PM
I have followed Votto since he was drafted, all through the Minor League system. His so-so year at Potomac was an aberration, which he blames O'Brien for, with his mandate of take the 1st pitch to all Minor hitters. I've always thought of him as a Will Clark, (not a bad guy to be likened to). After watching him closely during ST in '07, I felt like the Reds vastly under-estimated how ready he was. He confirmed that with the late season call up in '07, and surely did last year. This year, I think he may be a bit better than Clark. Hits LH without any problem. Will foul off multiple pitches to get the pitcher to throw him one he likes. Has become very adept at picking throws out of the dirt or on a bounce. Is intense and looks like a team leader....

And, do we really want to move him to LF to make room for a player now at high "A"?