View Full Version : Votto's Power

06-08-2011, 02:17 AM
Any good reason his home run totals are lower this year? At the pace he's on now, he's going to be lucky to get to 25. Not that 25 is bad, but considering how he almost got to 40 last year, it would be a bit of a disappointment. The good news is his doubles totals look to increase this year (although not drastically) and his triples may increase as well.

Blitz Dorsey
06-08-2011, 02:40 AM
IMO, it's largely because of teams pitching around him. Also, Votto was on pace for well over 30 HRs this year in early May, but then went into a HR drought for a while. I still think he will finish with close to 30, but no question the added walks are cutting down on his homers.

06-08-2011, 07:24 AM
Without looking at his current numbers he has been first or second most of the year in OPS+. I think it is just a function of teams pitching around him, crappy cold weather and some regression from last year's homer count.

06-08-2011, 07:25 AM
He walked 91 times last year and is on pace to walk 138 this year. I think he'll surge at some point and get over 30 HR. He reminds me of a 99-04 Todd Helton. This guy is special and I believe he'll make adjustments and finding that one pitch per at bat he can drive.

06-08-2011, 07:37 AM
He just hasn't had many pitches to drive for homers. When he gets them, he crushes the ball. Votto is a special hitter that takes what the opposition gives him. Right now they are giving him walks, gap shots and singles. As they've started pitching to him to avoid Bruce his power stroke has improved and I think it will continue to do so.

Ghosts of 1990
06-08-2011, 09:26 AM
Offense is just down in general in terms of power. Other than 1 guy (Bautista) who is an extremely curious case for me, a big home run season now is 35 home runs. We're playing 1992 baseball again. I don't like it. If you play fantasy baseball, there is a huge power outage in all of baseball.

06-08-2011, 10:09 AM
I don't like it.

Personally, I love it. The less games look like a home run derby, the happier I am.

06-08-2011, 10:47 AM
It's certainly not his power. Did you see the one he hit last week high up on off the batters eye. Wow! He's country strong. :)

06-08-2011, 11:10 AM
Regardless of his home run total, Votto is one of the best hitters in all of baseball.

Now that that's out of the way, I think part of his problem may be he doesn't turn on many inside pitches and crush them to right. He puts together great at bats, is often looking to go the other way, and I think a little bit of power is sacrificed in that regard. He could probably hit 50 homers if he wanted to, but at what cost? I don't want to see him sacrifice other parts of his game to boost that aspect.

Even with his current approach and his lack of pulling the ball, i think the power surge will come soon enough. He may not match last year's 37, but it will end up respectable.

06-08-2011, 11:39 AM
For reference:

2009 544 13% 2% 1% 19% 26% 15% 26% 18%
2010 648 14% 1% 1% 19% 30% 13% 23% 25%
2011 276 19% 3% 1% 16% 27% 18% 19% 15%

Seems like there are three basic factors:
- A lot more walks
- Fewer FB as a percentage of total PA
- Fewer HR per FB

I'm guessing all three are likely to be new normals to some degree. I think all three are a function of him being pitched more carefully. We should note, he's not see more balls as a percentage of pitches this year -- it's actually right in line with last year at 42%. The walks are coming from Votto being more selective (swing rate down from 48% to 42%) and getting ahead in the count more often (first pitch strike % down from 58% to 51%). However, I would posit that the fly ball rate dip is coming from seeing more pitches low and outside -- the locations that are more likely to lead to fly balls. Unfortunately FanGraphs doesn't have hitter heat maps, but I'd love to see one for Votto to see if my hypothesis is right.

That said, we shouldn't lose sight of the big picture; Votto has been essentially just as productive this year as last, as evidenced by his .431 wOBA (compared to last year's .439). That wOBA leaves him 4th in MLB behind Bautista (.513!), Berkman (.439) and Kemp (.432).

What I find absolutely incredible with Votto is his BABIP. His career BABIP is. 357. Anybody can spike up to that range in one year, but to sustain a level like that is quite rare. You are either a speedster like Ichiro or Michael Bourn who can leg out a bunch of infield hits or you're just an awesome, well-round hitter like Joe Mauer, Shin-Soo Choo or David Wright. Since 2009, of hitters with at least 1000 PA, Votto's .370 BABIP leads the majors.

The Operator
06-08-2011, 09:57 PM
He reminds me of a 99-04 Todd Helton. .I think that's a great comparison. He definitely does have a similar game to Helton when he was in his prime.