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View Full Version : Has Joey Votto become the best hitter in baseball?



Brutus
06-02-2012, 11:11 PM
I know some might argue Josh Hamilton is also in the discussion, but with Albert Pujols on the decline the last few years, the last couple weeks I've been pondering this question.

For what it's worth, from 2010 to present, Votto leads all hitters in total WAR (17.2) and wOBA (.424). So there is certainly a statistical argument to be made for it.

Cedric
06-02-2012, 11:15 PM
I think he is clearly. He is doing all this without getting many pitches to hit.

Brutus
06-02-2012, 11:17 PM
I think he is clearly. He is doing all this without getting many pitches to hit.

That's the most amazing thing to me. Teams have completely abandoned throwing him anything in the strike zone and he's still got nearly an 1.100 OPS.

_Sir_Charles_
06-03-2012, 12:55 AM
Just imagine what the RBI numbers would look like this season if he had anything CLOSE to normal OBP guys hitting in front of him. The fact that he is second on the team in RBI's speaks VOLUMES about the lineup situation IMO.

And yes....he IS the best hitter in baseball. Not the best power hitter...but the best pure hitter without a doubt.

Matt700wlw
06-03-2012, 12:59 AM
Look up Votto's and Hamilton's career numbers.

VERY similar.

OnBaseMachine
06-03-2012, 02:52 AM
Imagine if the Reds could add a high on-base guy (Chase Headley?) to hit in front of Votto. This offense could really take off then. It's such a pleasure to watch Votto hit. If he stays healthy, he could be the next Red inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Vottomatic
06-03-2012, 09:40 AM
I often wonder how many rbi's Joey would have with 2 high OBP guys hitting in front of him (Melky Cabrera/Dejesus) or how many more pitches he'd get to hit and how high his batting average would be with Giancarlo Stanton hitting behind him.

MWM
06-03-2012, 10:39 AM
What might be just as impressive is how good he's become defensively. If there's any evidence of how dedicated he is to the game, look no further than this.

dougdirt
06-03-2012, 11:08 AM
I voted not sure, because I am not sure. I feel I could argue that Miguel Cabrera is a better hitter. Cabrera has hit .334/.425/.594 since 2010 began with 214 walks and 216 strikeouts. Votto has hit .320/.428/.571 with 245 walks and 295 strikeouts. Votto has been better this year so far, but I can't say that it will last with the gap as wide as it currently is for 2012.

camisadelgolf
06-03-2012, 11:20 AM
Ever since Juan Castro retired, this became an easy "yes" for me.

Scrap Irony
06-03-2012, 11:43 AM
Votto ranks, among National League hitters:
4th in BA
1st in OBP
2nd in SLG
1st in wOBA
1st in wRC+
1st in OPS
4th in BB/K
1st in 2B
10th in R
1st in IBB
2nd in WAR

RedsManRick
06-03-2012, 12:24 PM
I've never a seen a Red hitter who is such a good pure hitter. He actually reminds me of Todd Helton. He's not the most elite contact hitter. He doesn't have huge power. He just ropes line drives all over the place.

cincyinco
06-03-2012, 01:31 PM
Heard Tom last night say at one point in the game that he was 40 for his last 82 at bats? Insane if true.

WebScorpion
06-03-2012, 01:43 PM
I voted not sure mostly because I'm not sure what you mean by 'best hitter'. He is the most consistent hitter in baseball today. He's always in the lineup and even on his bad days he'll draw a walk. He consistently leads the league in OPS, so if that is your measure then it's a yes, but there are other guys with more power (Hamilton) and other guys with more history (Pujols).
http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-gen055.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

dougdirt
06-03-2012, 02:06 PM
Heard Tom last night say at one point in the game that he was 40 for his last 82 at bats? Insane if true.

I believe he said that was his line while in Houston.

Tom Servo
06-03-2012, 02:11 PM
We are lucky fans to get to see him play everyday. :beerme:

dougdirt
06-03-2012, 02:13 PM
We are lucky fans to get to see him play everyday. :beerme:

I am not upset about it.

camisadelgolf
06-03-2012, 02:18 PM
I believe he said that was his line while in Houston.
Yup, that's correct (I heard it, too).

Hoosier Red
06-03-2012, 02:22 PM
That's the most amazing thing to me. Teams have completely abandoned throwing him anything in the strike zone and he's still got nearly an 1.100 OPS.

Of course its all relative. He'd have a 1.000 OPS if they just walked him every time correct?

Raisor
06-03-2012, 04:41 PM
Just imagine what the RBI numbers would look like this season if he had anything CLOSE to normal OBP guys hitting in front of him. The fact that he is second on the team in RBI's speaks VOLUMES about the lineup situation IMO.

And yes....he IS the best hitter in baseball. Not the best power hitter...but the best pure hitter without a doubt.

He's not the best power hitter in baseball, but he is the third best this year.

_Sir_Charles_
06-03-2012, 04:44 PM
He's not the best power hitter in baseball, but he is the third best this year.

True. I worded that poorly. I meant home run hitter.

bucksfan2
06-03-2012, 05:37 PM
Right now Joey reminds me of Barry Bonds during his ladder Giants days. Votto only gets a few pitches each game to hit and he is making use of them. Not only is he hitting well, but he is pounding the ball.

As for power Joey has plenty of it. He may never be a 40 hr guy but 30 is pretty darn good if you ask me.

dougdirt
06-03-2012, 06:02 PM
Right now Joey reminds me of Barry Bonds during his ladder Giants days. Votto only gets a few pitches each game to hit and he is making use of them. Not only is he hitting well, but he is pounding the ball.

As for power Joey has plenty of it. He may never be a 40 hr guy but 30 is pretty darn good if you ask me.
Votto has topped 29 home runs once.

osuceltic
06-03-2012, 07:03 PM
I voted not sure, because I am not sure. I feel I could argue that Miguel Cabrera is a better hitter. Cabrera has hit .334/.425/.594 since 2010 began with 214 walks and 216 strikeouts. Votto has hit .320/.428/.571 with 245 walks and 295 strikeouts. Votto has been better this year so far, but I can't say that it will last with the gap as wide as it currently is for 2012.

No Jose Bautista?

Sorry ... couldn't resist.

757690
06-03-2012, 07:25 PM
Right now Joey reminds me of Barry Bonds during his ladder Giants days. .

God I hope not...

http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/03/01/sp_baseball_azbm102.jpg

DGullett35
06-03-2012, 07:42 PM
Votto could end up with more hits in a month than Cabrera did in May if he wasn't walked so much. Just think what Votto could do with say Matt Kemp hitting behind him? Crazy numbers those 2 would put up. Votto might have a chance at .400 if he had someone to protect him for a full season. His extension seems like it was the right thing to do more and more every day. So happy we get to witness his abilities.

reds44
06-03-2012, 08:51 PM
Trade him for Jose Bautista.

dougdirt
06-03-2012, 09:18 PM
No Jose Bautista?

Sorry ... couldn't resist.

Let's talk again at the end of the year. He got off to a slow start with a very low BABIP.

PuffyPig
06-03-2012, 10:25 PM
Considering the number of walks he draws, he is tied for the major league lead in X-tra base hits this year. And on pace to set a major league record in doubles.

BTW, Cozart is on pace for about 70 X-tra base hits this year.

PuffyPig
06-03-2012, 10:28 PM
Votto has topped 29 home runs once.

We are talking about 4 seasons. He's topped 28 twice, BTW.

dougdirt
06-03-2012, 11:13 PM
We are talking about 4 seasons. He's topped 28 twice, BTW.

Sure, but he has average first base home run power. Of course he also hits a bunch of singles and doubles too (more than most other first baseman), so it works just fine. Just pointing out that he isn't exactly a '30 home run guy'.

osuceltic
06-04-2012, 12:10 AM
Let's talk again at the end of the year. He got off to a slow start with a very low BABIP.

Would you trade Votto for Bautista? Last year it was a no-brainer and you totally dismissed anyone who argued otherwise.

dougdirt
06-04-2012, 12:11 AM
Would you trade Votto for Bautista? Last year it was a no-brainer and you totally dismissed anyone who argued otherwise.

At this point, no. But had Votto not signed his deal and was doing exactly what he is doing now, yes, and I would still consider it a no brainer.

George Anderson
06-04-2012, 12:15 AM
I was pretty much opposed to the contract Votto got this offseason.

I think my future as a MLB GM looks bleak.

Ghosts of 1990
06-04-2012, 12:35 AM
He is the best right now, but some would say I'm biased. I don't think I'm being biased on this one though.

RedlegJake
06-04-2012, 01:51 AM
I don't know if you can say he is THE best. Honestly. After working through my Reds bias. It is easy to say he is definitely in the top 5. You can legitimately argue the top spot for him and in baseball I think maybe that's the best you can really do for a guy. If you can make a legitimate case for him in a barroom argument with fans from various teams - well for baseball that's a high honor. And I don't think anyone would dismiss Votto out of hand in that argument anywhere anymore.

icehole3
06-04-2012, 03:55 AM
Joe Morgan said that Votto had the best approach and discipline at the plate that he has seen since Pete Rose

RedLegsToday
06-04-2012, 06:59 AM
Did Pete even have as good of an approach and plate discipline as Joe Morgan? :-) And, has Barry Bonds been wiped from everyone's mind? Joey reminds me a lot of the 1990's Barry Bonds at the plate.

PuffyPig
06-04-2012, 07:20 AM
Sure, but he has average first base home run power. Of course he also hits a bunch of singles and doubles too (more than most other first baseman), so it works just fine. Just pointing out that he isn't exactly a '30 home run guy'.

Average power for a 1st baseman?

The average 1st baseman is on pace for 15 HR's in the NL league this year, after getting 18.5 last year (I just looked at what the average was between the 8-9 guys in the 16 team league).

BTW, Votto has averaged more than 30 HR's over the last 3 years.

And over his career he's averaged 31 HR's per 162 games.

MWM
06-04-2012, 07:20 AM
Morgan was talking about Reds players only. He was asked where Votto ranked with the players Morgan played with.

cumberlandreds
06-04-2012, 08:45 AM
Morgan was talking about Reds players only. He was asked where Votto ranked with the players Morgan played with.

Exactly. I voted not sure. There are a few others that are very close to Votto and maybe slightly better. I'm just not sure about him being the best among active players.
I had been thinking about how he ranks with Reds players I have seen in my 40+ years. I really think he may be the best. Rose is the one closest to him. Rose never gave AB's away like Morgan was talking about yesterday. Votto is pretty much the same. The one thing that makes Votto a step better is that he hits for power. He can put up 30 HRs without diminishing his overall effectiveness. Rose may have been able to hit for some power. But he didn't have to with all the power that was around him in the lineup. If he had gone for the power numbers it may have affected his overall hitting. That's something we will never know.

oneupper
06-04-2012, 08:48 AM
Did Pete even have as good of an approach and plate discipline as Joe Morgan? .

Maybe Joe Morgan didn't SEE Joe Morgan. It's kind of hard when you're inside Joe Morgan. :D

nate
06-04-2012, 09:33 AM
Sure, but he has average first base home run power. Of course he also hits a bunch of singles and doubles too (more than most other first baseman), so it works just fine. Just pointing out that he isn't exactly a '30 home run guy'.

That's a fair point. From 2009-2012, among all 1B, Votto is 3rd overall with a .570 SLG but kind of in the middle of the pack with 100 HR. He also leads all 1B with a .423 wOBA.

He's rather good!

dougdirt
06-04-2012, 10:46 AM
Average power for a 1st baseman?

The average 1st baseman is on pace for 15 HR's in the NL league this year, after getting 18.5 last year (I just looked at what the average was between the 8-9 guys in the 16 team league).

BTW, Votto has averaged more than 30 HR's over the last 3 years.

And over his career he's averaged 31 HR's per 162 games.

Ok, how about 'average good first baseman'? Last year, 14 first baseman hit 26 or more home runs. Nearly half of the league and that doesn't account for guys who got injured and missed some time.

Brutus
06-04-2012, 11:06 AM
That's a fair point. From 2009-2012, among all 1B, Votto is 3rd overall with a .570 SLG but kind of in the middle of the pack with 100 HR. He also leads all 1B with a .423 wOBA.

He's rather good!

I honestly think it's not that he has average power but he doesn't fall in love with trying to hit the homers like so many do. He's said so many times (and it's evident when watching him) that he'll shorten up his swing and just try to slap the ball somewhere in play. This means he won't hit nearly as many homers, obviously, but he's a more complete hitter because of it. I actually think he could hang much higher on the home run boards if he wanted to do so, but his average/OBP would suffer because of it.

Benihana
06-04-2012, 11:21 AM
I think he has become the best hitter in baseball. And certainly the most durable of the elite hitters in the last couple of years.

Now let's hope he stays like this through 2023

Crumbley
06-04-2012, 11:25 AM
Maybe Joe Morgan didn't SEE Joe Morgan. It's kind of hard when you're inside Joe Morgan. :D
I bet it is.

MikeThierry
06-04-2012, 05:21 PM
I voted "No" on this. I think Kemp and Hamilton are slightly better (not by much mind you). If the poll asked if he was the best 1st baseman, I would say yes. Votto is by far and away the best 1st baseman in the game. It's not even close in my opinion.

Brutus
06-04-2012, 05:52 PM
I voted "No" on this. I think Kemp and Hamilton are slightly better (not by much mind you). If the poll asked if he was the best 1st baseman, I would say yes. Votto is by far and away the best 1st baseman in the game. It's not even close in my opinion.

If Matt Kemp continues what he's doing right now, that's a good argument. However, as it currently stands, Votto's career OPS is more than 100 points better than Kemp. Based on that, it's probably a stretch to put Kemp in the same company as the other two (yet).

Of course, if Kemp keeps hitting like this, it would be a worthy discussion.

MikeThierry
06-04-2012, 06:14 PM
If Matt Kemp continues what he's doing right now, that's a good argument. However, as it currently stands, Votto's career OPS is more than 100 points better than Kemp. Based on that, it's probably a stretch to put Kemp in the same company as the other two (yet).

Of course, if Kemp keeps hitting like this, it would be a worthy discussion.

Good points. I might get some flack for this but who would you rather have up at the plate right now: Votto, Hamilton, Kemp? I'm taking Hamilton. He scares me more than Votto does.

powersackers
06-04-2012, 06:25 PM
I was at my 9 year old's little league game yesterday and I overheard two younger boys (maybe 6 or 7) asking their mom who was better Joey Votto or Babe Ruth.

I said come over here and I'll explain it to you. I said Joey has only played about 5 years, is a 2 time all star and 1 time MVP. I said Babe Ruth played 20 years and had 1 MVP and would have had 18 All star appearances (if they played the game back then).

So they say to me, so Joey's got time to be better than Babe?

I smiled and encouraged their hopes by saying yes.

I was just so happy to hear little guys talking about the Reds and our great games' history.

MikeThierry
06-04-2012, 07:03 PM
I was at my 9 year old's little league game yesterday and I overheard two younger boys (maybe 6 or 7) asking their mom who was better Joey Votto or Babe Ruth.

I said come over here and I'll explain it to you. I said Joey has only played about 5 years, is a 2 time all star and 1 time MVP. I said Babe Ruth played 20 years and had 1 MVP and would have had 18 All star appearances (if they played the game back then).

So they say to me, so Joey's got time to be better than Babe?

I smiled and encouraged their hopes by saying yes.

I was just so happy to hear little guys talking about the Reds and our great games' history.


Lets not go that far, lol. The MVP criteria and the way they voted back then was completely different than it is today. Heck, Stan Musial and Ted Williams got screwed out of a couple of MVP's because of how voters voted at the time (1944 anyone?). I think if Votto can even come close to what Pujols did in his first ten years as a player, Votto will be a lock for the Hall of Fame. To me, Pujols is the standard to which players in the future will be judged and should be judged.

Brutus
06-04-2012, 07:10 PM
Good points. I might get some flack for this but who would you rather have up at the plate right now: Votto, Hamilton, Kemp? I'm taking Hamilton. He scares me more than Votto does.

Depends on the situation. If I need a base hit, I would rather have Votto. If I need a game-winning 3-run homer, then obviously Hamilton is my guy.

Right now I think Votto is the best pure hitter in baseball. His bat control, eye, discipline, etc. is amazing. But Hamilton's ability to flat out punish a baseball... eek.

MikeThierry
06-04-2012, 07:14 PM
Depends on the situation. If I need a base hit, I would rather have Votto. If I need a game-winning 3-run homer, then obviously Hamilton is my guy.

Right now I think Votto is the best pure hitter in baseball. His bat control, eye, discipline, etc. is amazing. But Hamilton's ability to flat out punish a baseball... eek.

To me, it's sort of a what would you rather have scenario. Lamborghini's and Ferrari's are both epic cars that everyone would love to have. There really is no right or wrong answer.

MWM
06-04-2012, 08:05 PM
I think he very well may be the best hitter in baseball. I know he's the toughest out in baseball and I don't think anyone out there has consistently brilliant ABs like Votto. His ABs are some of the best I've ever seen. He's nearly impossible to fool and there's really nowhere to pitch him where you think y can get him out. He has to drive pitchers crazy. I've never seen anyone work from behind in the count as well as Votto. Watching him think his way through each plate appearance is a thing of beauty.

In my opinion, he's a couple of HRs a month from being the clear best hitter in the game. I value on base skills slightly more than I do slugging skills so I'd take him over anyone else right now..

Brutus
06-04-2012, 08:19 PM
I think he very well may be the best hitter in baseball. I know he's the toughest out in baseball and I don't think anyone out there has consistently brilliant ABs like Votto. His ABs are some of the best I've ever seen. He's nearly impossible to fool and there's really nowhere to pitch him where you think y can get him out. He has to drive pitchers crazy. I've never seen anyone work from behind in the count as well as Votto. Watching him think his way through each plate appearance is a thing of beauty.

In my opinion, he's a couple of HRs a month from being the clear best hitter in the game. I value on base skills slightly more than I do slugging skills so I'd take him over anyone else right now..

I agree wholeheartedly with the comment about working from behind in the count. I'd really like to see his OBP with 0-2 counts compared to others. I am guessing it's probably extremely high.

MikeThierry
06-04-2012, 11:14 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with the comment about working from behind in the count. I'd really like to see his OBP with 0-2 counts compared to others. I am guessing it's probably extremely high.

What would you consider high for that count?

Joey Votto OBP with 0-2 count: .199


Pujols is still, when he was in his prime, the best hitter I have ever seen and gave the Cards the best at bat I have ever seen.

Pujols OBP with 0-2 count: .219

Like I said before, all players should be compared to what Pujols did in his prime instead of guys like Babe Ruth. To me, he is the gold standard as to what is considered the best in the game in their prime.

mth123
06-05-2012, 12:20 AM
- In the 70s, we watched 3 Hall of Famers and the all time hit king every day.

- In the 80s, we saw the guy who was once considered the best player in the game resurrect his career in the line-up for a few years and late in the decade maybe the most dynamic force in the game when he could stay on the field.

- In the 90s, we witnessed the prime of a Hall of Fame career at SS who was a big part of transitioning the position to what has become.

- in the 2000s, we watched an all time great with a sweet swing who is in the 600 HR club and the 3 outcome guy with the high OBP who still has an outside chance to join him there.

IMO, Joey Votto is a better hitter than any of them. I think he's the best pure hitter in the game right now for the reasons that MWM stated very well. I'm amazed daily watching him hit.

Brutus
06-05-2012, 12:53 AM
What would you consider high for that count?

Joey Votto OBP with 0-2 count: .199


Pujols is still, when he was in his prime, the best hitter I have ever seen and gave the Cards the best at bat I have ever seen.

Pujols OBP with 0-2 count: .219

Like I said before, all players should be compared to what Pujols did in his prime instead of guys like Babe Ruth. To me, he is the gold standard as to what is considered the best in the game in their prime.

Ruth's career OPS+ (206) is 38 points higher than Pujols (168). That difference between No. 1 and No. 9 is the same as Pujols at No. 9 to No. 162 all-time in OPS+.

Let that sink in for a moment. Ruth is and will likely always be the gold standard. He should be. Relative to his peers, his numbers were uncanny.

reds44
06-05-2012, 02:35 AM
I think Hamilton is better.

*BaseClogger*
06-05-2012, 02:43 AM
Meh, Hamilton has two amazing seasons but wasn't that great last year and has a pretty mediocre year in there too. Joey has been doing it at a consistently high level since his rookie season...

MikeThierry
06-05-2012, 10:10 AM
Ruth's career OPS+ (206) is 38 points higher than Pujols (168). That difference between No. 1 and No. 9 is the same as Pujols at No. 9 to No. 162 all-time in OPS+.

Let that sink in for a moment. Ruth is and will likely always be the gold standard. He should be. Relative to his peers, his numbers were uncanny.

My main knock on guys who played back in the day is that they faced the same pitcher the whole game and didn't have to face the specialized pitching that we see in today's game. I also take away points for players prior to 1947 because they didn't face the best competition. Babe Ruth is one of the best all time no doubt but I feel a new standard should be set for modern baseball players to be measured against. Those standards should be either Pujols or prior steroid use Bonds.

MWM
06-05-2012, 10:19 AM
Ruth's career OPS+ (206) is 38 points higher than Pujols (168). That difference between No. 1 and No. 9 is the same as Pujols at No. 9 to No. 162 all-time in OPS+.

Let that sink in for a moment. Ruth is and will likely always be the gold standard. He should be. Relative to his peers, his numbers were uncanny.

Plus you have Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle in his prime, Lou Gehrig, and even Barry Bond pre-steroids that I think outrank Pujols as the "gold standard". And Frank Thomas from 91-97 might have even been a notch above Pujols.

MWM
06-05-2012, 10:22 AM
My main knock on guys who played back in the day is that they faced the same pitcher the whole game and didn't have to face the specialized pitching that we see in today's game. I also take away points for players prior to 1947 because they didn't face the best competition. Babe Ruth is one of the best all time no doubt but I feel a new standard should be set for modern baseball players to be measured against. Those standards should be either Pujols or prior steroid use Bonds.

Yes, but all those things also applied to all the hitters of that era, not just the stars. That's why you looks at something like OPS+ because it measures how much better a player is than the rest of those who played at the same time. Besides, you could make a case that expansion has offset the "specialized pitcher" impact as there aren't enough good pitchers to go around.

MikeThierry
06-05-2012, 10:32 AM
Let me make this clear. I think guys like Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby are top 10 players in the history of baseball. However, I don't feel you can compare players from the 20's, 30's, 40's, and 60's to today's players. Albert Pujols and Pre-steroid Bonds are easier to make a comparison to today's players than Babe Ruth simply because the game is different. While I think that Babe Ruth is either the best or second best player of all time (hitter at least), it does a disservice to compare Votto to him because the game is different.


Yes, but all those things also applied to all the hitters of that era, not just the stars. That's why you looks at something like OPS+ because it measures how much better a player is than the rest of those who played at the same time. Besides, you could make a case that expansion has offset the "specialized pitcher" impact as there aren't enough good pitchers to go around.

The league hasn't expanded in well over a decade and pitching has normalized since then. Expansion is almost a non-issue now.

Brutus
06-05-2012, 10:38 AM
My main knock on guys who played back in the day is that they faced the same pitcher the whole game and didn't have to face the specialized pitching that we see in today's game. I also take away points for players prior to 1947 because they didn't face the best competition. Babe Ruth is one of the best all time no doubt but I feel a new standard should be set for modern baseball players to be measured against. Those standards should be either Pujols or prior steroid use Bonds.

By the same token, they had to play in massive ballparks where it was often 400-440 feet to hit a home run and you had to often generate much of the power yourself as you didn't have the luxury of running into a 98 MPH very often. It's debatable as to whether the competition was really any less, however.

Let's be honest... Albert Pujols, in aggregate, has also benefited from an era that is conducive to hitting. Smaller ballparks, lower mounds, diluted talent from expansion, etc. Expansion absolutely still matters because the talent is now spread around 30 organizations rather than 16. That means there are twice as many guys pitching -- many of which would not have been pitching in the 1920's. Pujols' best season (2008), he had an 1.115 OPS in a year where the average OPS league-wide was .744 with one homer hit every 38.3 plate appearances. Babe Ruth's best season (1920), he had a massive 1.379 OPS in a year where the league-wide OPS was .734 with one homer every 130 plate appearances.

Ruth accounted for 54 of the league's 369 home runs in one season (15%!). What he did was nothing short of incredible.

I'm not even sure it's fair to hold Babe Ruth to a standard that wasn't seen in baseball for (at least) another four decades. He played baseball as it was played when he was around. He did so, relative to his peers, better than anyone else has ever done so. By a large margin, in fact. But even if you look at what Ruth did, in an era where offense was suppressed (especially homers), he put Pujols' numbers to shame.

MikeThierry
06-05-2012, 10:45 AM
Well, I wouldn't expect to get any love for Pujols on this board so yeah, I'll agree with everyone here. Pujols sucked in his prime (even though he had the best 10 years of any player in the history of baseball). Lets move on.

MikeThierry
06-05-2012, 10:48 AM
Let's be honest... Albert Pujols, in aggregate, has also benefited from an era that is conducive to hitting. Smaller ballparks, lower mounds, diluted talent from expansion, etc. Expansion absolutely still matters because the talent is now spread around 30 organizations rather than 16. That means there are twice as many guys pitching -- many of which would not have been pitching in the 1920's. Pujols' best season (2008), he had an 1.115 OPS in a year where the average OPS league-wide was .744 with one homer hit every 38.3 plate appearances. Babe Ruth's best season (1920), he had a massive 1.379 OPS in a year where the league-wide OPS was .734 with one homer every 130 plate appearances.


You pointed out the very reasons why you can't compare players today to players of yester year. It's a different game.

Brutus
06-05-2012, 10:50 AM
Well, I wouldn't expect to get any love for Pujols on this board so yeah, I'll agree with everyone here. Pujols sucked in his prime (even though he had the best 10 years of any player in the history of baseball). Lets move on.

What on earth kind of strawman is that? Because people think Babe Ruth is the greatest player to ever play the game (a belief that is probably shared by a majority of Americans), thereby we think Pujols sucks? Come on.

MikeThierry
06-05-2012, 10:53 AM
I also do realize that there were 16 teams back then but the pool of great players to choose from was far smaller than today's game. The population is significantly larger than it was back then and it's a world game now. Teams were not picking players from Latin American countries back then nor were they picking players from Japan and other Asian countries. Also, African Americans are allowed to play in today's game. That's why, it seems to me at least, that the expansion argument is a neutral argument. I would be willing to bet that the level of competition is greater now than it was back then.

Brutus
06-05-2012, 10:53 AM
You pointed out the very reasons why you can't compare players today to players of yester year. It's a different game.

Then why are you trying to do it?

If it's a different game then shouldn't you be comparing what the two did in their generations rather than what hypothetically you think would happen in different generations?

Babe Ruth was the most dominant baseball player ever to play the game at the time he played it. The numbers aren't even remotely in question. He accounted for almost 15% of the total homers hit in the American League in 1920. He had 54 of them when everyone else basically had single-digit homers.

There's really no mitigating that, is there?

MikeThierry
06-05-2012, 11:01 AM
Then why are you trying to do it?

If it's a different game then shouldn't you be comparing what the two did in their generations rather than what hypothetically you think would happen in different generations?
Babe Ruth was the most dominant baseball player ever to play the game at the time he played it. The numbers aren't even remotely in question. He accounted for almost 15% of the total homers hit in the American League in 1920. He had 54 of them when everyone else basically had single-digit homers.

There's really no mitigating that, is there?

Absolutely not. You're right to say that Ruth dominated during his time but level of talent back then can't be even comparable to today's players. Today's players are much fitter and are more highly skilled than the majority of players back then. There was also no minor leagues back when Ruth and Hornsby played so the development process was not there.

Homer Bailey
06-05-2012, 11:02 AM
Hamilton, then Votto for me.

MikeThierry
06-05-2012, 11:04 AM
Ruth hitting 15% of the home runs signifies the level of competition around him, or the lack there of.

Brutus
06-05-2012, 11:20 AM
Ruth hitting 15% of the home runs signifies the level of competition around him, or the lack there of.

It signifies what I already mentioned... ballparks were often 430-450 feet in straight away center and the mound was much higher than it is today.

Tiger Stadium was 440 feet to center.

The Polo Grounds, where Babe Ruth played for a few seasons, was 480 feet to center.

Sportsman's Park was 425 feet in St. Louis.

Cleveland's League Park (Dunn Field) was 420 feet to center.

Comiskey Park was 425 feet to center.

Shibe Park in Philly was 515 feet to dead center and 360 down the lines.

Griffith Stadium in D.C. was 420 feet to center.

Fenway was 488 feet until 1940.

These were the parks that Ruth had to play in during the 1920 season when he hit 54 homers. That's also why there were so few other homers hit. When you consider half his games being played in the Polo Grounds, and the dimensions of the other parks, the adjusted average CF dimension Ruth played in was about 460 feet, which was about what most AL and NL players would have faced at that time. Pujols was looking at an average of only about 405 feet.

Further, until 1968, the mound was 15 inches above the ground. Now it's 10 inches. Back in the 1920s and even beyond, many reports say that groundskeepers actually boosted the mount a couple inches higher than 15 inches.

So in reality, hitters back then had to play in bigger ballparks AND have to hit off pitchers pitching at a much larger downward angle than today. I'd like to see today's home run numbers playing against pitchers on 15-inch mounds and in parks averaging 460 feet to dead center.

Thus, your stance that it proves it's about talent is very shaky. It's more likely due to larger parks and a taller mound.

_Sir_Charles_
06-05-2012, 11:34 AM
Currently, 435 in Minute Maid is the deepest CF. 515 is just insane. Petco, thought of as a pitcher's paradise, is 396 to center.

MikeThierry
06-05-2012, 11:53 AM
[QUOTE=Brutus the Pimp;2617946]It signifies what I already mentioned... ballparks were often 430-450 feet in straight away center and the mound was much higher than it is today.

Tiger Stadium was 440 feet to center.

The Polo Grounds, where Babe Ruth played for a few seasons, was 480 feet to center.

Sportsman's Park was 425 feet in St. Louis.

Cleveland's League Park (Dunn Field) was 420 feet to center.

Comiskey Park was 425 feet to center.

Shibe Park in Philly was 515 feet to dead center and 360 down the lines.

Griffith Stadium in D.C. was 420 feet to center.

Fenway was 488 feet until 1940.

These were the parks that Ruth had to play in during the 1920 season when he hit 54 homers. That's also why there were so few other homers hit. When you consider half his games being played in the Polo Grounds, and the dimensions of the other parks, the adjusted average CF dimension Ruth played in was about 460 feet, which was about what most AL and NL players would have faced at that time. Pujols was looking at an average of only about 405 feet.

Further, until 1968, the mound was 15 inches above the ground. Now it's 10 inches. Back in the 1920s and even beyond, many reports say that groundskeepers actually boosted the mount a couple inches higher than 15 inches.

So in reality, hitters back then had to play in bigger ballparks AND have to hit off pitchers pitching at a much larger downward angle than today. I'd like to see today's home run numbers playing against pitchers on 15-inch mounds and in parks averaging 460 feet to dead center.

Thus, your stance that it proves it's about talent is very shaky. It's more likely due to larger parks and a taller mound. [/ QUOTE]





Well that's not true at all. I read just got finished reading a stat given by David Schoenfield that boggled my mind. In the 1920's, the National League strikeout rate never topped out at 3.0 per nine innings. As he pointed out, is it because everyone was a great hitter or was it that pitchers didn't throw as hard and it was easier to put the ball in play?

The lack of talent in the league is a huge factor. Yes, there were big ball parks but the pitching was no where near the level of it was today. Do you really think Babe Ruth would have had as much success getting his 40-50 oz bat around a 95-100 MPH fast ball?

Here is a link to that article by the way:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/17960/is-pujols-the-greatest-hitter-of-all-time

Brutus
06-05-2012, 11:59 AM
One addition I'd like to make on the mound size to show how important it is when considering homers.

In 1968, the last season of the mound being at 15 inches high, there was a homer hit every 61.6 at-bats in the NL. The very next season, when the mound was reduced to 10 inches, those numbers were 44.7 at-bats per homer in the NL. The league-wide OPS jumped from .641 to .688.

Brutus
06-05-2012, 12:08 PM
Well that's not true at all. I read just got finished reading a stat given by David Schoenfield that boggled my mind. In the 1920's, the National League strikeout rate never topped out at 3.0 per nine innings. As he pointed out, is it because everyone was a great hitter or was it that pitchers didn't throw as hard and it was easier to put the ball in play?

The lack of talent in the league is a huge factor. Yes, there were big ball parks but the pitching was no where near the level of it was today. Do you really think Babe Ruth would have had as much success getting his 40-50 oz bat around a 95-100 MPH fast ball?

Here is a link to that article by the way:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/17960/is-pujols-the-greatest-hitter-of-all-time

You're ignoring the other key factor... while he wouldn't be able to use a 50 ounce bat against a 95 MPH fastball, he wouldn't need to. Back then, while the pitchers didn't throw as hard as today, because of the size of the parks and the lack of velocity, hitters had to generate an enormous amount of power in order to hit a homer.

If Babe Ruth can hit an 85 MPH out of parks 480 to straight-away center, you don't think he could do serious damage against 95 MPH in parks 400 feet?

It seems you're not considering the huge differential in force required to hit a baseball 480 feet off 85 MPH and 420 feet off 95 MPH.

Do I think today's players are stronger? Yes. Do I think they're better? Really impossible to say for sure considering none of us were alive to watch those players. By all accounts, the pitchers throw harder today than back then. But does that necessarily mean they're better? I'd say the pitchers today are more difficult to hit off of, but while it was easier to make contact back then, it was far more difficult to hit homers.

Hitting homers is so much easier off 95 MPH, from smaller mounds and in smaller parks. And one could argue that while unquestionably it's more difficult to make contact in this day and age than it was in 1920, some (not all but some) of that contact rate is self-inflicted due to so many players trying to hit homers.

Nonetheless, it's so much easier to hit a homer today than it was in 1920. Astronomically so. The pitchers certainly didn't throw as hard back then, but hitters also choked-up and arguably may have been more skilled at the art of hitting. So while the strikeout rates were lower, that may have been as much due to hitters being more disciplined and fundamentally sound than an indictment on lack of pitching.

CySeymour
06-05-2012, 12:11 PM
The Polo Grounds may have had a very deep fence in center, but hitters more then made up for it by dropping cheap homers down the left and right field lines.

Brutus
06-05-2012, 12:15 PM
The Polo Grounds may have had a very deep fence in center, but hitters more then made up for it by dropping cheap homers down the left and right field lines.

Certainly there were a few cheapies, but it was 450 to left and right-center so given the incline of the outfield fence, that was probably a very small portion of the total homers hit. Either way, to hit a homer in the Polo Grounds, unless it was a dead pull down the lines, it required an act of God (or a Babe Ruth uppercut).

The Polo Ground corners go from 250 down the immediate lines to 450 very, very quickly (all of left center to right center is 450 except for dead-center which is 480).

http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/board/attachments/ootp-mods-rosters-photos-quick-starts/233985d1319923480-search-perfect-ballpark-backgrounds-nyg-1911-1963-polo-grounds-v-1.jpg

MikeThierry
06-05-2012, 12:25 PM
You're ignoring the other key factor... while he wouldn't be able to use a 50 ounce bat against a 95 MPH fastball, he wouldn't need to. Back then, while the pitchers didn't throw as hard as today, because of the size of the parks and the lack of velocity, hitters had to generate an enormous amount of power in order to hit a homer.

If Babe Ruth can hit an 85 MPH out of parks 480 to straight-away center, you don't think he could do serious damage against 95 MPH in parks 400 feet?

It seems you're not considering the huge differential in force required to hit a baseball 480 feet off 85 MPH and 420 feet off 95 MPH.

Do I think today's players are stronger? Yes. Do I think they're better? Really impossible to say for sure considering none of us were alive to watch those players. By all accounts, the pitchers throw harder today than back then. But does that necessarily mean they're better? I'd say the pitchers today are more difficult to hit off of, but while it was easier to make contact back then, it was far more difficult to hit homers.

Hitting homers is so much easier off 95 MPH, from smaller mounds and in smaller parks. And one could argue that while unquestionably it's more difficult to make contact in this day and age than it was in 1920, some (not all but some) of that contact rate is self-inflicted due to so many players trying to hit homers.

Nonetheless, it's so much easier to hit a homer today than it was in 1920. Astronomically so. The pitchers certainly didn't throw as hard back then, but hitters also choked-up and arguably may have been more skilled at the art of hitting. So while the strikeout rates were lower, that may have been as much due to hitters being more disciplined and fundamentally sound than an indictment on lack of pitching.

It's true that Ruth probably wouldn't need a 50 oz bat today. However, its well documented that the level of talent was far less than it was today. As Schoenfield pointed out, it was easier for a great player to excel above a league average type player of the time. This is probably due to the fact that there was not a large pool of talent to choose from (no African Americans, Latin players, far insignificant population size compared to today) and there was no minor league development system.

As Cy pointed out, while the fences may have been deep in the center in those old ball parks, some of those ball fields were ridiculous down the lines. Shibe Park, for example had a huge center field but left and right field were 329 ft away. Yankee's stadium had a notoriously short right and left field (314 ft and 318 ft).

This whole debate we have going has gotten away from the original argument. I just don't feel it does anyone any good to compare a great hitter like Votto to any player that played in the 1920' or 1930's. It does the whole discussion of "who is the best hitter today" a complete disservice.

Brutus
06-05-2012, 12:42 PM
It's true that Ruth probably wouldn't need a 50 oz bat today. However, its well documented that the level of talent was far less than it was today. As Schoenfield pointed out, it was easier for a great player to excel above a league average type player of the time. This is probably due to the fact that there was not a large pool of talent to choose from (no African Americans, Latin players, far insignificant population size compared to today) and there was no minor league development system.

As Cy pointed out, while the fences may have been deep in the center in those old ball parks, some of those ball fields were ridiculous down the lines. Shibe Park, for example had a huge center field but left and right field were 329 ft away. Yankee's stadium had a notoriously short right and left field (314 ft and 318 ft).

This whole debate we have going has gotten away from the original argument. I just don't feel it does anyone any good to compare a great hitter like Votto to any player that played in the 1920' or 1930's. It does the whole discussion of "who is the best hitter today" a complete disservice.

I don't see how anyone can compare talent of 1920 to 2012. I'm aware of no one that can give an account of games from both periods of time, Schoenfield included. To say one is more talented than other can only be inferred but not actually corroborated. Without people alive to see both or without the ability to actually see the players of yesteryear playing against today's competition, it's impossible to actually use that as a basis of discussion. It's at best a subjective theory that can neither be proven or disproven. We can only compare what they did and the circumstances in which they did it.

As I said in my previous reply, the distances down the lines were shorter, but because of the enormous incline from the corners to the power alleys, those short corners accounted for a very small percentage of the balls hit.

All the evidence shows that Ruth was far more dominant against his peers than any other player in history and did so in a period of time where everything was stacked against a power hitter.

The only argument that can be made for Pujols being a better player is a superficial one based on a mere unproven theory that today's players are vastly superior when there's no one alive that can actually compare the two with their own two eyes. It seems a lot easier to simply look at what was actually done rather than trying to hypothesize something that was inferred from second-hand and third-hand accounts of 80-100 years ago.

MikeThierry
06-05-2012, 01:06 PM
I never said Pujols was a better player than Ruth. My whole point in all of this that if we are using comparison standards, it's better to compare modern players to guys like Pujols or Pre-Steroid Bonds. They set the gold standard as to what can be considered the modern baseball player.

Roy Tucker
06-05-2012, 01:11 PM
Posting from my phone so I can't search the thread, but Verducci's SI column says Votto has pulled a ball foul into the stands exactly once his entire career.

camisadelgolf
06-05-2012, 01:14 PM
This isn't really about who the best hitter of all-time is. Relative to everyone else, it's Babe Ruth hands down. But instead, the argument is about who sets the standard for future hitters. As we've seen, it's difficult to compare Babe Ruth to Pujols and vice versa, but it's beyond evident that Pujols played in a more modern version of the game than Ruth did. Would Ruth have been able to hit Pedro Martinez' circle change? (Pujols couldn't.) Randy Johnson's slider? Aroldis Chapman's fastball? We'll never know. But we know what Pujols has done in modern ballparks with a shorter mound and more consistency in the game. What's wrong with saying the comparisons should be done with Pujols instead of Ruth?

dougdirt
06-05-2012, 01:14 PM
Anyone who played prior to 1960 is immediately docked for not playing against a full array of 'colored' players.

Brutus
06-05-2012, 01:23 PM
I never said Pujols was a better player than Ruth. My whole point in all of this that if we are using comparison standards, it's better to compare modern players to guys like Pujols or Pre-Steroid Bonds. They set the gold standard as to what can be considered the modern baseball player.

That's fine, and I wouldn't say that's an unfair approach, but your initial statement was that Albert Pujols was more impressive in his prime than Babe Ruth in his. While you didn't outright say Pujols was better, no statistical measurement really corroborates Pujols being better in his prime than was Ruth in his.

If you simply say Pujols should be the standard of comparison for modern players, I think that's not only fair, but I would agree with it completely.

RedsBaron
06-05-2012, 01:28 PM
Certainly there were a few cheapies, but it was 450 to left and right-center so given the incline of the outfield fence, that was probably a very small portion of the total homers hit. Either way, to hit a homer in the Polo Grounds, unless it was a dead pull down the lines, it required an act of God (or a Babe Ruth uppercut).

The Polo Ground corners go from 250 down the immediate lines to 450 very, very quickly (all of left center to right center is 450 except for dead-center which is 480).

http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/board/attachments/ootp-mods-rosters-photos-quick-starts/233985d1319923480-search-perfect-ballpark-backgrounds-nyg-1911-1963-polo-grounds-v-1.jpg

Look at the immense amount of foul territory in the Polo Grounds, which had to lead to more pop fouls being caught, and the vastness of the outfield, other than down the lines, which had to give more room for balls to fall for hits. I don't know if the net effect helped or hurt hitters.
I've got to think some runners took two bases on passed balls and wild pitches.

Brutus
06-05-2012, 01:35 PM
Look at the immense amount of foul territory in the Polo Grounds, which had to lead to more pop fouls being caught, and the vastness of the outfield, other than down the lines, which had to give more room for balls to fall for hits. I don't know if the net effect helped or hurt hitters.
I've got to think some runners took two bases on passed balls and wild pitches.

All good points, certainly, though I was referring mostly to the power (home run) aspect.

Interestingly, though, the BABIP in 1920 in the AL wasn't drastically different than it was last year. It was .303 in 1920 and .294 last season. So the vastness of the parks back then definitely helped hitters a little bit, but not much.

RedsBaron
06-05-2012, 02:12 PM
All good points, certainly, though I was referring mostly to the power (home run) aspect.

Interestingly, though, the BABIP in 1920 in the AL wasn't drastically different than it was last year. It was .303 in 1920 and .294 last season. So the vastness of the parks back then definitely helped hitters a little bit, but not much.

That surprises me. I think defense probably has improved, with much better gloves and probably more speed in the outfield. I would have expected BABIP in the 1920s to have been even higher.

mbgrayson
06-05-2012, 02:51 PM
Back to the thread subject: Tom Verducci of SI weighs in on the best hitter in MLB:\

Joey Votto. (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/06/05/joey.votto.reds/index.html?xid=cnnbin)

WildcatFan
06-05-2012, 04:29 PM
Back to the thread subject: Tom Verducci of SI weighs in on the best hitter in MLB:\

Joey Votto. (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/06/05/joey.votto.reds/index.html?xid=cnnbin)

This excerpt blows me away:


Votto has not popped up to the infield all season. In fact, he has popped out to the infield only three times in 2,138 plate appearances over the past four seasons.
The average NL hitter bats .198 when he is behind in the count. Votto hits .300 when he is behind in the count.
Votto has pulled a ball foul into the stands only once in his entire major league career. Once.

All of these say to me that Joey is the best hitter in baseball, not because of raw power or the perfect swing or anything like that. He's got an amazing eye and instinct, and he's always the most patient man on the field.

Sea Ray
06-05-2012, 04:34 PM
This excerpt blows me away:



All of these say to me that Joey is the best hitter in baseball, not because of raw power or the perfect swing or anything like that. He's got an amazing eye and instinct, and he's always the most patient man on the field.

That is incredible. I think it's safe to say that all of us would pop up more than 3 out of 2,100 slow pitch softballs in the batting cage...

Cyclone792
06-05-2012, 07:52 PM
Well that's not true at all. I read just got finished reading a stat given by David Schoenfield that boggled my mind. In the 1920's, the National League strikeout rate never topped out at 3.0 per nine innings. As he pointed out, is it because everyone was a great hitter or was it that pitchers didn't throw as hard and it was easier to put the ball in play?

The lack of talent in the league is a huge factor. Yes, there were big ball parks but the pitching was no where near the level of it was today. Do you really think Babe Ruth would have had as much success getting his 40-50 oz bat around a 95-100 MPH fast ball?

Here is a link to that article by the way:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/17960/is-pujols-the-greatest-hitter-of-all-time

League strikeout rates were indeed much lower 90 years ago than they are today, but the style of hitting is also vastly different. The vast majority of players in 1920 were contact/slash/line drive hitters. The style was put the ball in play, spray the field, hit-and-run, etc. Very few players, even after Ruth debuted, were trying to hit home runs.

Pitchers could throw as hard as pitchers today do. Most of the anecdotal evidence I've read suggests that the best and fastest pitchers of yesteryear could throw as hard as the fastest pitchers today. There may not been as many guys topping 95, but they existed. Bob Feller was recorded at 98.6mph in 1948. Players who hit against Feller and Walter Johnson suggested that the Big Train threw even harder. The primary difference is pitchers paced themselves more than they do now. They might drop down to 85mph if there wasn't a pressing situation, but they could dial it right back up if they had to do so.



The Polo Grounds may have had a very deep fence in center, but hitters more then made up for it by dropping cheap homers down the left and right field lines.

IIRC, the Polo Grounds was still an overall pitcher's park. The vast amount of foul territory and deep fences in the power alleys and center field more than made up for the short porches in left and right.



I don't see how anyone can compare talent of 1920 to 2012. I'm aware of no one that can give an account of games from both periods of time, Schoenfield included. To say one is more talented than other can only be inferred but not actually corroborated. Without people alive to see both or without the ability to actually see the players of yesteryear playing against today's competition, it's impossible to actually use that as a basis of discussion. It's at best a subjective theory that can neither be proven or disproven. We can only compare what they did and the circumstances in which they did it.

It's amazing for me to say, and I never thought I'd say it, but I tend to believe the talent difference is probably minimal. There's too many players who have played across such a large stretch of time in the game's history who had such a typical bell-curve of performance as they aged that I think any talent change has been very slow and likely minimal. And there's been a lot of players who dominated in the same fashion across a 20-year stretch. That's a lot of time for the overall talent to catch up, but there's not much evidence of this occurring over any 20 year rolling stretch.

Cyclone792
06-05-2012, 07:55 PM
This excerpt blows me away:

All of these say to me that Joey is the best hitter in baseball, not because of raw power or the perfect swing or anything like that. He's got an amazing eye and instinct, and he's always the most patient man on the field.

It wouldn't surprise me, if in 15 years when the average baseball historian fills out his all-time best players at each position using predominantly National League players, that Joey Votto's name is written down next to 1B.

He's not going to catch Lou Gehrig, but he has a chance to catch everyone else the game has ever seen at first base.

edabbs44
06-05-2012, 08:02 PM
It wouldn't surprise me, if in 15 years when the average baseball historian fills out his all-time best players at each position using predominantly National League players, that Joey Votto's name is written down next to 1B.

He's not going to catch Lou Gehrig, but he has a chance to catch everyone else the game has ever seen at first base.

Not sure that he can catch Foxx either, but point is well taken. The guy is pretty good.

Superdude
06-05-2012, 08:39 PM
Pitchers could throw as hard as pitchers today do. Most of the anecdotal evidence I've read suggests that the best and fastest pitchers of yesteryear could throw as hard as the fastest pitchers today. There may not been as many guys topping 95, but they existed. Bob Feller was recorded at 98.6mph in 1948.

I was watching this video recently, and I guess the claim is that the ball crossed the plate at 98.6MPH. I'm not an expert, but I find it almost impossible to believe that delivery hurled a baseball faster than Aroldis Chapman.

Bob Feller - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMPxpOapRuU)

MWM
06-05-2012, 08:59 PM
What's scary is that he seems to be getting better. He may go down as the best Reds hitter of all time.

WMR
06-05-2012, 09:32 PM
He's a badass, that's for sure.

The numbers he would put up on a team like the Yankees with protection up and down the lineup would be absolutely bonkers.

cumberlandreds
06-06-2012, 09:52 AM
What's scary is that he seems to be getting better. He may go down as the best Reds hitter of all time.

Totally agree. He's looking better this year than any other time. He's just amazing to watch. Just a terrible shame the Reds can't/won't put anyone with any better OBP in front of him. He only has about 28 RBI's. With the hitting he's produced so far he should be around 50 by now.

Kc61
06-06-2012, 12:28 PM
Lifetime Joey Votto has a .309 (BA)/.397/.512/.909 line.

That's hitting lefties.

powersackers
06-06-2012, 12:47 PM
I love where this thread went based on a conversation I had with a couple six year old boys.

MikeThierry
06-06-2012, 12:54 PM
Not sure that he can catch Foxx either, but point is well taken. The guy is pretty good.

I think it will also be hard to pass up what Pujols did in his 11 years in the NL as well. Votto very well could end up as a top 5, 1st baseman all time though when it's all said in done. I think what might "hurt" Votto in this situation is the age at which Votto reached the majors. Votto's first full season was at age 24 where as with Pujols (21), Foxx (19), and Gehrig (22). Those players will have more "prime" years in the majors than Votto will.

Brutus
06-06-2012, 12:57 PM
Pujols (21)

*

MikeThierry
06-06-2012, 12:57 PM
*


:laugh::beerme:

RedsManRick
06-06-2012, 03:17 PM
I love where this thread went based on a conversation I had with a couple six year old boys.

Sometimes the simplest questions are the hardest to answer.

fearofpopvol1
06-06-2012, 06:08 PM
Lifetime Joey Votto has a .309 (BA)/.397/.512/.909 line.

That's hitting lefties.

What's hilarious to me is how many managers of opposing teams bring in a lefty (specialist) to face Votto in the later innings.

MikeThierry
06-07-2012, 11:04 AM
What's hilarious to me is how many managers of opposing teams bring in a lefty (specialist) to face Votto in the later innings.

I don't understand that either. He's becoming or is like Pujols in his prime where you can't bring in matchups to neutralize it. I always found it funny how teams would waste a right handed pitcher to try to get Pujols out when in fact his career line against right handed pitchers are .323 BA, .412 OBP, .601 SLG. I'm sure you guy are getting the sort of comedic chuckle now when you see managers waste a left handed pitcher to try to get Votto out.

DGullett35
06-07-2012, 11:13 AM
Im excited to watch Votto this weekend face Verlander. Not so excited about the rest of the lineup:) but that matchup will be a fun one to watch. My confidence in Votto is so high. The guy can hit anyone in the league lefty or righty doesn't matter. His approach should be taught to every minor leaguer coming through the Reds system. The guy gets it.

cumberlandreds
06-07-2012, 11:18 AM
Im excited to watch Votto this weekend face Verlander. Not so excited about the rest of the lineup:) but that matchup will be a fun one to watch. My confidence in Votto is so high. The guy can hit anyone in the league lefty or righty doesn't matter. His approach should be taught to every minor leaguer coming through the Reds system. The guy gets it.

That will be a classic matchup between Votto and Verlander. I'm afraid though Verlander will end up striking out about 18 before the night is done. One thing the Reds are good at is striking out.

powersackers
06-07-2012, 06:28 PM
http://blogs.thescore.com/mlb/2012/06/06/joey-votto-is-really-good-2/

To quote: "Put simply, Votto is the best hitter in baseball. We can see it visually, graphically and statistically."

Vottomatic
06-08-2012, 08:02 AM
Marty and Thom were talking during the game last night, and Thom mentioned a recent pow wow by Baseball Experts where they did a draft of current major leaguers. He said Votto lasted until the 9th pick, to which Marty said those experts don't know what they're talking about.

9th? Gimme a break. Dude is playing on an offensively inept lineup and he still is leading in all of the important "best hitter" categories.

dougdirt
06-08-2012, 11:17 AM
Marty and Thom were talking during the game last night, and Thom mentioned a recent pow wow by Baseball Experts where they did a draft of current major leaguers. He said Votto lasted until the 9th pick, to which Marty said those experts don't know what they're talking about.

9th? Gimme a break. Dude is playing on an offensively inept lineup and he still is leading in all of the important "best hitter" categories.

It was if you started your franchise today, who would you take. Of course Votto was going to last a little later, he is nearly 30.

Marty doesn't know what he is talking about. Like usual.

Brutus
06-08-2012, 11:20 AM
It was if you started your franchise today, who would you take. Of course Votto was going to last a little later, he is nearly 30.

Marty doesn't know what he is talking about. Like usual.

Sorry, I agree with Marty on this. I guess I'll join him not knowing what he's talking about.

Votto is 28. He has at least 5 years left of his "prime." If I'm building a franchise around people, I take Votto knowing I at least have him at a controlled cost and he's the best hitter in baseball.

Ninth is a joke. Even under that premise.

dougdirt
06-08-2012, 11:27 AM
Sorry, I agree with Marty on this. I guess I'll join him not knowing what he's talking about.

Votto is 28. He has at least 5 years left of his "prime." If I'm building a franchise around people, I take Votto knowing I at least have him at a controlled cost and he's the best hitter in baseball.

Ninth is a joke. Even under that premise.

Well feel free to get in line behind him. Baseball players peak between 27 and 28. Which means Votto, assuming a normal bell curve, is going to continue getting worse over the next 5 years. Yes, he has a very high starting point. But he doesn't have 5 prime years left. Odds are after this season, we have seen the best from him.

Would I have taken Votto before #9, probably. But he wouldn't have been in my top 5.

MWM
06-08-2012, 11:52 AM
My guess is a lot of the top 8 were pitchers.

RedFanAlways1966
06-08-2012, 12:19 PM
Well feel free to get in line behind him. Baseball players peak between 27 and 28. Which means Votto, assuming a normal bell curve, is going to continue getting worse over the next 5 years.

Didn't work that way for BARRY or THE ROCKET. Oh, wait... :p

Brutus
06-08-2012, 12:30 PM
Well feel free to get in line behind him. Baseball players peak between 27 and 28. Which means Votto, assuming a normal bell curve, is going to continue getting worse over the next 5 years. Yes, he has a very high starting point. But he doesn't have 5 prime years left. Odds are after this season, we have seen the best from him.

Would I have taken Votto before #9, probably. But he wouldn't have been in my top 5.

That's not true. The typical progression reaches peak around 27 or 28 and holds steady for about 4-5 years. The decline wouldn't be expected to start until he's 32 or 33.

Chip R
06-08-2012, 12:49 PM
Votto also doesn't play a position that there are few great players. I love Votto but an ace starter or a great shortstop or third basemen are a lot more valuable than a 1st baseman - even one of Votto's caliber.

Brutus
06-08-2012, 12:57 PM
Votto also doesn't play a position that there are few great players. I love Votto but an ace starter or a great shortstop or third basemen are a lot more valuable than a 1st baseman - even one of Votto's caliber.

Sure, that's true, but the wins above replacement metric takes into account positional differences and despite that, he's first in WAR over a 3-year period in the entire majors.

So any differences in position value are taken into account, and he's still been the most productive of any player in the majors.

RedlegJake
06-08-2012, 01:03 PM
I don't know - given the choice between Troy Tulowitzki and a good defensive first baseman who can't hit OR Joey Votto and a good defensive SS who can't hit - I'll take Joey and the gold glove SS. Troy T is about as close a premium position player to comp with Joey that I can think of and I'd still take Joey. Every time. He's just a special hitter - as in 1 or 2 in a generation.

Roy Tucker
06-08-2012, 01:39 PM
Just a comment about the Votto/Hamilton comparison...

Reading this weeks SI article on Hamilton, what he acccomplishes is based on sheer brilliant talent. Since Josh has to spend so much of his time keepng his personal demons at bay, he doesn't have near the work ethic that Votto does. Votto is all about hitting 24 hours a day. Hamilton puts in about a quarter of the video and hitting that Votto does. Votto may not have that once in a generation talent, but he does have the once in a generation work ethic and extraordinary high and consistent concentration.

Don't know if anyone else caught it, but Votto had a great AB last night in the 7th against the Pirate lefty reliever (forget his name, Watson?). It was a great duel and eventually Votto struck out on a nasty down and away pitch. It was just a flash, but Votto glanced at Watson and nodded, like "well done, you got me that time".

Vottomatic
06-08-2012, 03:40 PM
Just a comment about the Votto/Hamilton comparison...

Reading this weeks SI article on Hamilton, what he acccomplishes is based on sheer brilliant talent. Since Josh has to spend so much of his time keepng his personal demons at bay, he doesn't have near the work ethic that Votto does. Votto is all about hitting 24 hours a day. Hamilton puts in about a quarter of the video and hitting that Votto does. Votto may not have that once in a generation talent, but he does have the once in a generation work ethic and extraordinary high and consistent concentration.

Don't know if anyone else caught it, but Votto had a great AB last night in the 7th against the Pirate lefty reliever (forget his name, Watson?). It was a great duel and eventually Votto struck out on a nasty down and away pitch. It was just a flash, but Votto glanced at Watson and nodded, like "well done, you got me that time".

Yeah. I've seen him do that before. Joey makes sure he's not an easy out. And he stockpiles every pitch and at-bat for reference for future at-bats. He's a learning machine. He'll take a pitch. Step out of the box. You can see him thinking. Step back in. Take or swing. He's a very cerebral hitter. You can see it in his facial expressions.

Kc61
06-08-2012, 05:00 PM
Joey has 35 RBIs this year so far.

Ethier leads the NL with 48, Josh Hamilton has 58.

Give Joey some OBP at the top of the order, he'd be right up there with the top guys in that department.

It's kind of a shame that some of Joey's numbers are held back by the surrounding hitters. Votto is such a great hitter, he should be at the top of the NL in many of these categories.

The more I watch Votto the more amazed I am at his hitting ability. There are times he appears to be able to get a single or double at will.

edabbs44
06-08-2012, 06:19 PM
Joey has 35 RBIs this year so far.

Ethier leads the NL with 48, Josh Hamilton has 58.

Give Joey some OBP at the top of the order, he'd be right up there with the top guys in that department.

It's kind of a shame that some of Joey's numbers are held back by the surrounding hitters. Votto is such a great hitter, he should be at the top of the NL in many of these categories.

The more I watch Votto the more amazed I am at his hitting ability. There are times he appears to be able to get a single or double at will.

Joey's "low" RBI totals might be more affected by his XBH distribution. Hamilton has similar RISP and men on opportunities. He also has the same amt of XBHs as Joey. If Joey had the same amt of HRs as Josh, he'd likely have a similar amount of RBI as well.

westofyou
06-08-2012, 07:12 PM
Votto last 96 ab's over last 30 days - .417/.513/.750/1.263

jojo
06-08-2012, 07:20 PM
Well feel free to get in line behind him. Baseball players peak between 27 and 28. Which means Votto, assuming a normal bell curve, is going to continue getting worse over the next 5 years. Yes, he has a very high starting point. But he doesn't have 5 prime years left. Odds are after this season, we have seen the best from him.

Would I have taken Votto before #9, probably. But he wouldn't have been in my top 5.

MGL did a definitive study on aging curves at THT a few years ago and found what you're suggesting-hitters peak at around age 27-28 and gradually decline after that with the dreaded cliff generally occurring around the mid thirties. Assuming the influence of performance enhancing drugs is less these days, one might expect the average decline to be a little steeper.

Tom Servo
06-08-2012, 08:01 PM
Yes.

DGullett35
06-08-2012, 08:07 PM
Yes.

I second this