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View Full Version : Votto's Approach Changing?



swaisuc
05-31-2011, 10:13 AM
Votto's walk rate is up to nearly 20% now, which I keep hearing is due to people pitching around him after his MVP season. What I see is something slightly different. He seems far less agressive at the plate and his power is suffering as a result. In fact, I don't see him getting pitched around more than last year at all. If you look it up, you will see the following numbers...

Votto 2010- Faced 41.8% strikes
Votto 2011- Faced 42.1% strikes

Votto 2010- Swung at 72.9% of those strikes
Votto 2011- Swung at 66.6% of those strikes

Now, maybe you donít see a problem with this. His OBP has gone up even over his MVP season a year ago. The problem is that his power has gone way down as a result of something and it happens to coincide with him swinging at way less strikes. To me, this points to an issue with how aggressive (or not) his approach is right now.

If you want to see an example in the other direction, take a look at Curtis Granderson who is being thrown fewer strikes, swinging at more of them, and driving more of them for extra bases and HRs than ever before.

Anyway, Iím not trying to argue that Votto sucks, or he isnít doing his share because of one stat. Iím just wondering if maybe he is being a little too patient for this teamís own good so far this season. Thoughts?

CySeymour
05-31-2011, 10:17 AM
I think it is at least fair to point out, so no harm there. I also wonder if the decrease in power is just a blip on the radar screen. He is just as likely to run off a 20 game stretch where he smacks 8-10 homers. But I wonder how things would change if Bruce were hitting behind him instead of Rolen.

Krawhitham
05-31-2011, 11:19 AM
Votto 2010- Faced 41.8% strikes
Votto 2011- Faced 42.1% strikes

Votto 2010- Swung at 72.9% of those strikes
Votto 2011- Swung at 66.6% of those strikes



Where do you get these numbers? Was he swinging at pitches out of the strike zone more or less last season?

swaisuc
05-31-2011, 11:32 AM
I posted the numbers from fangraphs "plate discipline" section. He is swinging at fewer outside of the zone, but the difference isn't quite as drastic. Basically, he's swinging way less period, but he's cut down on swinging at strikes even more than he's cut down swinging at balls.

DocRed
05-31-2011, 11:35 AM
Put Bruce in the 4 hole....I could care less if they are both lefties.

RiverRat13
05-31-2011, 11:55 AM
Nice post. I tried to dig a little deeper but couldn't really find a statistical reason why Joey is taking more strikes. He's seeing about the same amount of fastballs (so it's not like pitchers are throwing more breaking balls for strikes against him). He's had about the same percentage of at bats where he's come to the plate without anyone on base (so it's no as if he's taking more pitches in an effort to get on to start a rally).

As far as Joey possibly being too selective, I think it is a little early to go there. I think his SLG will normalize as the season goes on.

Krawhitham
05-31-2011, 11:57 AM
You can not fight stats but with just the eye test it looks like he is getting less to hit, maybe pitchers are hitting edges a lot more this season than last.

I know last season you would see a pitcher think he could grove a fastball down the middle and get it past Votto, and that did not work out too well for the pitchers

If Votto starts getting knocked in when he walks maybe pitchers will pitch more to the center of the plate hoping to get him out instead of walking him

As horrible as Votto's power numbers are this season he is only 4 behind his 2010 pace, maybe the ball will start flying out with the temperature raising

Vottomatic
05-31-2011, 04:49 PM
I love Joey. I want to marry him. BUT.........

I've noticed he isn't coming up with the clutch hits like he did so often last season. I also thought he was a wayyyyy tougher at-bat last year.

lonewolf371
06-01-2011, 12:37 AM
He's definitely a tougher at-bat this year. His strikeout rate is way down and his walk rate is way up. I agree with the OP, though. I'd like to see him swing at more stuff and start hitting the ball harder and getting more power.

SeŮor Rojo
06-01-2011, 04:10 PM
While it's always enjoyable to have an MVP candidate to root for on your team, does it matter if Votto's power numbers are down so long as the team is still the #1 in total offense? (according to: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting). I understand that the offense has been spotty at times, but the overall stats don't lie about how well the Reds offense is doing thus far.

The point is: should one player's performance take precedence over that of the entire teams? I'm not trying to say that is the position this thread takes, but I do believe that the performance of the team is what should be the focus. Jay Bruce has picked for the lack of power from Votto and that's what good offensive teams do: the team stat sheet is more important than that of an individual player.

Krawhitham
06-01-2011, 05:17 PM
I love Joey. I want to marry him. BUT.........

I've noticed he isn't coming up with the clutch hits like he did so often last season. I also thought he was a wayyyyy tougher at-bat last year.

None on = .299
Runners on = .373
Scoring Position = .419
Scoring Posn, 2 out = .400

how much more clutch does he have to be?

lonewolf371
06-01-2011, 05:22 PM
While it's always enjoyable to have an MVP candidate to root for on your team, does it matter if Votto's power numbers are down so long as the team is still the #1 in total offense? (according to: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting). I understand that the offense has been spotty at times, but the overall stats don't lie about how well the Reds offense is doing thus far.

The point is: should one player's performance take precedence over that of the entire teams? I'm not trying to say that is the position this thread takes, but I do believe that the performance of the team is what should be the focus. Jay Bruce has picked for the lack of power from Votto and that's what good offensive teams do: the team stat sheet is more important than that of an individual player.
Yeah right now we're the #1 offense, but we'd be the #1 offense further out in front if Joey's power numbers were better.

SeŮor Rojo
06-01-2011, 05:37 PM
Yeah right now we're the #1 offense, but we'd be the #1 offense further out in front if Joey's power numbers were better.

Baseball is a game of ups and downs - it's dynamic. I'll take Bruce's May surge over a dip in Votto's power numbers. Joey's power potential won't go away barring a major injury, so let's wait to see if things change in the next few weeks. The important thing to note is not that the team could be better if its MVP had higher power numbers, but that it is still #1 even when its MVP isn't performing as expected.

jwmann2
06-01-2011, 06:16 PM
I like the lineup the way it is. Bruce would not see the pitches he is seeing if he were to bat in the four or five spot. Gomes is a fastball hitter and I would like to see him bat 2nd, permanently.

SeŮor Rojo
06-01-2011, 09:46 PM
Nothing wrong with Votto's power tonight. He crushed that ball. It almost made it up to the Cincinnati Bell Pavilion.

bigredmechanism
06-01-2011, 10:00 PM
I think it's mostly due to being pitched around. The way JB is been hitting behind him makes it pretty tolerable when he walks. Two solo's or a two run blast: take your pick on what sounds scarier.

Vottomatic
06-01-2011, 10:05 PM
As long as Jay keeps it up, Joey is going to see pitches to hit.

This could get interesting. Seriously.

bigredmechanism
06-01-2011, 10:24 PM
As long as Jay keeps it up, Joey is going to see pitches to hit.

This could get interesting. Seriously.

Yep. If we have any luck, Votto will start to heat up while JB is still doing it. A tough 3-4 for any pitcher when they are hot. I love how we just dominate the Brewers this year.

lonewolf371
06-01-2011, 11:17 PM
Nothing wrong with Votto's power tonight. He crushed that ball. It almost made it up to the Cincinnati Bell Pavilion.
He crushed it! That was awesome to see.

I've really warmed up to Bruce batting clean-up. He's mashing with RISP. Votto will start getting more pitches soon and the offense should pick up even more.

ntorvik
06-03-2011, 12:45 PM
If Bruce keeps hitting, Votto will get hot too. Bruce sucked a big one early in the season, which is why I think Votto's numbers have been a little low. I think Votto may have been trying to be more careful as well due to the fact that early on, he didn't have to scary bat behind him, so he had to do more himself instead of relying on others. His power numbers will pick up.

swaisuc
06-03-2011, 01:45 PM
I think it's mostly due to being pitched around. The way JB is been hitting behind him makes it pretty tolerable when he walks. Two solo's or a two run blast: take your pick on what sounds scarier.

Not picking on you specifically, but I posted the stats in the OP that Votto is not seeing fewer strikes. Do you not believe these stats or do you think that is unrelated to being "pitched around"? If it is the later, what does being pitched around mean?

lonewolf371
06-03-2011, 01:50 PM
Not picking on you specifically, but I posted the stats in the OP that Votto is not seeing fewer strikes. Do you not believe these stats or do you think that is unrelated to being "pitched around"? If it is the later, what does being pitched around mean?
Yeah, batters are taking the exact same approach with Votto this year as last year. That's how we know Votto is treating each at-bat differently. The effects so far have definitely been a higher walk rate and fewer strikeouts. If he can do that while still crushing the pitches he likes, it will be safe to say that Votto is a much better offensive player this year than last year with this approach.