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View Full Version : Can Joey Votto hit .500...



RedLegsToday
06-19-2012, 12:46 PM
... over a whole month of performance.

Past 23 games:

41-82, 6-hr, 12-2b,

slash line of:

.500/.576/.866

I don't know that I've ever seen a player hit this well over this long a period. I know Bonds has put up a whole season with a better ob% and slg%, but, a .500 Batting average over 82 AB's, with tons of power? Crazy.

Even better, this streak of greatness started with a 1-3 performance. Since that day, his batting average has not been under .500 that whole stretch.

Degenerate39
06-19-2012, 03:53 PM
That's pretty amazing. Does anyone think Votto could be the next player to hit .400 in a full season?

toledodan
06-19-2012, 03:58 PM
That's pretty amazing. Does anyone think Votto could be the next player to hit .400 in a full season?



as much as he walks i believe he could.

dougdirt
06-19-2012, 03:58 PM
That's pretty amazing. Does anyone think Votto could be the next player to hit .400 in a full season?

I don't think we are ever going to see it happen again.

redsmetz
06-19-2012, 04:11 PM
I don't think we are ever going to see it happen again.

I have to agree. Tell me if I'm looking at this incorrectly, but if you assume he plays out the year with roughly the same number AB's, we're about 40% through the season, so figure he'd end with 559 AB's total. To bat .400, he'd need to have 224 hits. He's at 84 hits already, so he'd need another 140 hits. There remains 331 AB's needed to reach the 559 AB's, so he'd need to bat at a .422 clip the rest of the way. Needless to say, that would be extremely daunting. Many concur with Doug's assessment, that we'll probably never see someone hitting .400 again (although we have learned never to say never).

RichRed
06-19-2012, 04:28 PM
The lack of artificial turf and Joey's relative lack of speed to leg out infield hits will probably preclude .400 from happening. It'll sure be fun to watch him try though.

Superdude
06-19-2012, 04:55 PM
I'd kind of like to see an alternate universe where Votto abandons the OBP approach and swings early in the count. I would think his K% would come down a whole lot if he didn't take so many pitches, and with his BABIP and home run power, who knows what kind of batting average he could put up. Not that I want to see that happen, but it would certainly be interesting to watch.

Vottomatic
06-19-2012, 05:42 PM
I think you have to consider who is batting behind him. If the Reds had a stud behind him, he'd probably see even more pitches to hit and do even better.

RedsManRick
06-19-2012, 06:34 PM
I think the bigger impediment to Joey batting .400 is his mediocre strikeout rate. When George Brett his .390, he had a strikeout rate of 4.3%. When Tony Gwynn hit .394, he had a strikeout rate of 4.0%.

Votto's lowest career strikeout rate is 17.3%, in 2008. That's a lot of guaranteed outs that BABIP can't affect. It would help if he hit for a lot of HRs, but not enough.

Let's look at a generous case. Let's say he gets 600 PA and walks 20% of the time. That leaves 480 at bats, meaning he'd need 192 hits.

Now let's say he strikes out 16% of the time (that's of PA). That's 96 of those at bats which are strikeouts. And let's say he hits 40 HRs. The remaining 344 PA (480-96-40) result in balls. He's already got 40 hits, meaning he needs 152 hits of those 344. That would require a .442 BABIP -- even higher than he's gotten so far. That's with basically everything i his favor.

If we use his career bests in K%, BB% and HR/PA, 104 strikeouts (8 fewer BIPs), 34 HRs (6 fewer hits, 6 more BIP) and 115 BBs (5 more AB, 5 more BIP) -- resulting in a .455 BABIP.

In short, if he could cut down on his Ks significantly, hit HRs more frequnetly than he has this year and walk just as much, all while increasing his BABIP even further, he's got a chance.

oneupper
06-19-2012, 06:53 PM
What was Ted Williams' BABIP when he hit .406?

RichRed
06-19-2012, 08:17 PM
What was Ted Williams' BABIP when he hit .406?

According to baseball-reference, .378. :confused:

dougdirt
06-19-2012, 08:27 PM
According to baseball-reference, .378. :confused:

Makes sense. Home runs count as hits, but not in BABIP. He hit quite a few home runs that year (37) and he never struck out (27). More home runs than strikeouts is going to lead to a pretty high average.

edabbs44
06-19-2012, 09:41 PM
The lack of artificial turf and Joey's relative lack of speed to leg out infield hits will probably preclude .400 from happening. It'll sure be fun to watch him try though.

Didn't stop Ted.

Redhook
06-19-2012, 10:08 PM
I think you have to consider who is batting behind him. If the Reds had a stud behind him, he'd probably see even more pitches to hit and do even better.

True, but moreso I think he'd see more pitches if people were getting on base ahead of him more often.

dougdirt
06-20-2012, 12:09 AM
Didn't stop Ted.

Ted also had 27 strikeouts and 147 walks..... that guy was, what is the word I am looking for? Good?

AtomicDumpling
06-20-2012, 01:12 AM
It is an interesting question. I imagine if Votto were to stop worrying about his OBP and SLG to concentrate 100% on his Batting Average he could hit .400 if he really tried. I think he has the talent and the skill to do it. Lucky for us though, Joey is plenty smart enough to realize that OBP and SLG are far more important than batting average.

RedLegsToday
06-20-2012, 08:16 AM
Well, Joey finally dropped under .500 last night. Now 43-87 over his last 24 games. Still, 42-84 over his last 23 starting from May 24.

A couple of other tidbits from this run:

Started with a 15 game hitting streak, in which Joey hit 29-53, .547. Which means, that, even with the 0-4 on June 10, Joey stayed over .500.
I was also wrong on my first comment, he slipped to 35-71 and 36-74 (.486), before going 3-4 on June 17 to get him back to .500. But, if you start from May 25 (a 4-4), then he hasn't dropped below .500.

RedLegsToday
06-20-2012, 08:20 AM
Also, I love the fact that Joey's career high in doubles for a season is 40, and that he already has 30 in 67 games this year. :-) On pace for 72.5. Reds record is 51, I believe. No one has hit 60 in a year since 1936 (Joe Medwick set the NL record with 64 that year).

redsmetz
06-20-2012, 08:21 AM
Also, I love the fact that Joey's career high in doubles for a season is 40, and that he already has 30 in 67 games this year. :-) On pace for 72.5. Reds record is 51, I believe. No one has hit 60 in a year since 1936 (Joe Medwick set the NL record with 64 that year).

Fractions sort of breakdown in this situation. That 72 and a half doubles would be 72 doubles and another single, I think. ;)

MikeThierry
06-20-2012, 12:14 PM
I can't recall any player hitting over .500 in a given month, playing full time. I can't find even the greatest players of all time doing that. Votto is having a great year no doubt that I would almost say it's impossible to hit .500 for a month.

Cyclone792
06-20-2012, 12:31 PM
I can't recall any player hitting over .500 in a given month, playing full time. I can't find even the greatest players of all time doing that. Votto is having a great year no doubt that I would almost say it's impossible to hit .500 for a month.

I just took a quick glance at a few guys:

George Sisler hit .526 in June 1920.

Ty Cobb hit .521 in July 1918. Splits are not available for Cobb prior to 1918, but my guess is he likely hit over .500 in a month at least one other time. IIRC, there may have been reports of him hitting nearly .500 well into the summer of 1911. He finished 1911 hitting .420 so it's certainly possible that he hit over .500 during one of those months.

Rogers Hornsby hit .509 in August 1924.

There may be a few others as well, but that's what a quick search turned up for me.

MikeThierry
06-20-2012, 12:34 PM
I just took a quick glance at a few guys:

George Sisler hit .526 in June 1920.

Ty Cobb hit .521 in July 1918. Splits are not available for Cobb prior to 1918, but my guess is he likely hit over .500 in a month at least one other time. IIRC, there may have been reports of him hitting nearly .500 well into the summer of 1911. He finished 1911 hitting .420 so it's certainly possible that he hit over .500 during one of those months.

Rogers Hornsby hit .509 in August 1924.

There may be a few others as well, but that's what a quick search turned up for me.

Anyone in the modern era, because I can't find anyone. As you pointed out, there were some guys back in the 20's when the game was completely different but what those guys did back then have very little to do with how the modern ball player plays.

Cyclone792
06-20-2012, 12:37 PM
Anyone in the modern era, because I can't find anyone. As you pointed out, there were some guys back in the 20's when the game was completely different but what those guys did back then have very little to do with how the modern ball player plays.

Actually, I would consider those years to be "the modern era". Pretty much once the foul-strike rule was implemented across MLB by 1903, the modern era takes shape.

dougdirt
06-20-2012, 12:43 PM
Actually, I would consider those years to be "the modern era". Pretty much once the foul-strike rule was implemented across MLB by 1903, the modern era takes shape.

Well until you add in that until the league was truly integrated it wasn't really the best game around.

MikeThierry
06-20-2012, 12:45 PM
Actually, I would consider those years to be "the modern era". Pretty much once the foul-strike rule was implemented across MLB by 1903, the modern era takes shape.

I consider the modern era in baseball starting in 1947. After that year, all the best players were able to play instead of just a select group based on color of skin.

MikeThierry
06-20-2012, 12:47 PM
I would even go so far to say that it started in 1969 or so when they lowered the mound. After that, the type of game that went on during that time most mirror's the type of game we see today.

Benihana
06-20-2012, 12:48 PM
Is Votto the best hitter in Reds history? Methinks yes.

True he has to continue to do it for more years, but has any Reds hitter been more dominant over a three year period than Votto has 2010-present?

Cyclone792
06-20-2012, 12:53 PM
Well until you add in that until the league was truly integrated it wasn't really the best game around.


I consider the modern era in baseball starting in 1947. After that year, all the best players were able to play instead of just a select group based on color of skin.

A small percentage of black players joining MLB isn't going to significantly change what the game's best players are capable of doing. No evidence exists that says otherwise. The game's dominant players continued to dominate in the same fashion before and after integration. The only thing that changed was the style of play (less BA driven and more power driven).

Nevertheless, if you choose to ignore the game before 1947, then you're just shortchanging yourself.

Cyclone792
06-20-2012, 12:56 PM
Is Votto the best hitter in Reds history? Methinks yes.

True he has to continue to do it for more years, but has any Reds hitter been more dominant over a three year period than Votto has 2010-present?

As a hitter, this three year stretch from Votto may be the best ever. As a total offensive force, Morgan's run from 1974-76 may still be ahead of Votto. Those 185 stolen bases during those three yeras at an 86 percent clip from Morgan drives up his value quite a bit.

MikeThierry
06-20-2012, 01:01 PM
A small percentage of black players joining MLB isn't going to significantly change what the game's best players are capable of doing. No evidence exists that says otherwise. The game's dominant players continued to dominate in the same fashion before and after integration. The only thing that changed was the style of play (less BA driven and more power driven).

Nevertheless, if you choose to ignore the game before 1947, then you're just shortchanging yourself.

I'm not ignoring the game prior to 1947. I'm just saying it's pointless to compare what players do today to those players back in the 20's and 30's. It's just a different game, period. What Ty Cobb hit in 1918 has no bearing on what Joey Votto does in 2012. However, what George Brett did in 1985 has more relevance to what Joey Votto is doing this year.

RedLegsToday
06-20-2012, 01:03 PM
Tony Gwynn hit .475 in August of '94. Granted, it was only like 10 games, and then the strike hit. Rod Carew hit .486 in June of '77, 54-111. He began that month with a 1-3 and ended it with a 2-5, so, he has a 51-103 streak in there. He hit 8 triples that month. That seems like a lot.

He also started the 1983 season 48-96 (though, he was under .400 for part of that stretch). And, he didn't quite show Votto's power. :-)

RedLegsToday
06-20-2012, 01:08 PM
Frank Robinson had a 3-year stretch of leading the league in OPS each year, competing against in their prime Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. Just as a hitter, I think that's the standard Joey is up against. Morgan added gg defense at 2nd base and stole bases like few ever could. He had a 12.0 WAR one season, which is one of the 10 highest in baseball since integration (maybe since 1901).

MikeThierry
06-20-2012, 01:23 PM
Tony Gwynn hit .475 in August of '94. Granted, it was only like 10 games, and then the strike hit. Rod Carew hit .486 in June of '77, 54-111. He began that month with a 1-3 and ended it with a 2-5, so, he has a 51-103 streak in there. He hit 8 triples that month. That seems like a lot.

He also started the 1983 season 48-96 (though, he was under .400 for part of that stretch). And, he didn't quite show Votto's power. :-)

What always amazed me about Tony Gwynn is his lack of strikeouts. He never struck out more than 40 times in a given year. That's amazing. The year he hit .394, he only struck out 19 times :shocked:

RichRed
06-20-2012, 01:47 PM
I just took a quick glance at a few guys:

George Sisler hit .526 in June 1920.

Ty Cobb hit .521 in July 1918. Splits are not available for Cobb prior to 1918, but my guess is he likely hit over .500 in a month at least one other time. IIRC, there may have been reports of him hitting nearly .500 well into the summer of 1911. He finished 1911 hitting .420 so it's certainly possible that he hit over .500 during one of those months.

Rogers Hornsby hit .509 in August 1924.

There may be a few others as well, but that's what a quick search turned up for me.


George Brett almost did it, hitting .494 in July of 1980 (in only 21 games though).

MikeThierry
06-20-2012, 01:54 PM
George Brett almost did it, hitting .494 in July of 1980 (in only 21 games though).

Living in KC in my early child hood, he was my favorite player growing up. It was amazing to see Brett and Bo Jackson play together. Brett still remains one of my favorite players of all time.

RedsBaron
06-20-2012, 01:58 PM
What always amazed me about Tony Gwynn is his lack of strikeouts. He never struck out more than 40 times in a given year. That's amazing. The year he hit .394, he only struck out 19 times :shocked:

What has amazed me has been those hitters who were able to hit more home runs in a season than they struck out.
Ted Kluszewski had a four year run of doing that, 1953-56, when his HRs exceeded his strikeouts each season: 40/34, 49/35, 47/40 and 35/31.
Joe DiMaggio had a five year run, 1937-41: 46/37, 32/21, 30/20, 31/30 and 30/13. That final year, 1941, was the year of his 56 game hitting streak. In 622 plate appearances, 541 official at bats, DiMaggio struck out 13 times, while hitting with power: 43 doubles, 11 triples and 30 home runs, to go with a .357 average. Amazing.
In that same season Ted Williams hit .406 and his HRs exceeded his strikeouts, 37/27, but for most of his career Ted did strike out more often than he homered.
In 1948 Stan Musial had his greatest season, hitting .376, and that year Stan had more HRs than Ks: 39/34.
In Gwynn's strike shortened 1994, he had 12 HRs and 19 Ks.

MikeThierry
06-20-2012, 02:04 PM
What has amazed me has been those hitters who were able to hit more home runs in a season than they struck out.
Ted Kluszewski had a four year run of doing that, 1953-56, when his HRs exceeded his strikeouts each season: 40/34, 49/35, 47/40 and 35/31.
Joe DiMaggio had a five year run, 1937-41: 46/37, 32/21, 30/20, 31/30 and 30/13. That final year, 1941, was the year of his 56 game hitting streak. In 622 plate appearances, 541 official at bats, DiMaggio struck out 13 times, while hitting with power: 43 doubles, 11 triples and 30 home runs, to go with a .357 average. Amazing.
In that same season Ted Williams hit .406 and his HRs exceeded his strikeouts, 37/27, but for most of his career Ted did strike out more often than he homered.
In 1948 Stan Musial had his greatest season, hitting .376, and that year Stan had more HRs than Ks: 39/34.
In Gwynn's strike shortened 1994, he had 12 HRs and 19 Ks.

That's what always amazed me about Pujols watching him all those years here in St. Louis. He never struck out more than 100 times in a season (which seems to be almost common place in today's game). In fact, in his 2006 season, he hit 49 hr's and only struck out 50 times. That's amazing.

Dan
06-20-2012, 02:06 PM
What has amazed me has been those hitters who were able to hit more home runs in a season than they struck out.
Ted Kluszewski had a four year run of doing that, 1953-56, when his HRs exceeded his strikeouts each season: 40/34, 49/35, 47/40 and 35/31.
Joe DiMaggio had a five year run, 1937-41: 46/37, 32/21, 30/20, 31/30 and 30/13. That final year, 1941, was the year of his 56 game hitting streak. In 622 plate appearances, 541 official at bats, DiMaggio struck out 13 times, while hitting with power: 43 doubles, 11 triples and 30 home runs, to go with a .357 average. Amazing.
In that same season Ted Williams hit .406 and his HRs exceeded his strikeouts, 37/27, but for most of his career Ted did strike out more often than he homered.
In 1948 Stan Musial had his greatest season, hitting .376, and that year Stan had more HRs than Ks: 39/34.
In Gwynn's strike shortened 1994, he had 12 HRs and 19 Ks.

DiMaggio for his career struck out 369 times while homering 361 times.

(that's my 2nd favorite stat of all time, with number one being 3016, which is the number of hits Aaron had if you take away every one of his home runs)

MasonBuzz3
06-20-2012, 02:07 PM
Todd Helton - .512 BA/.588 OBP/1.000 SLG, 11 HRs, 26 RBIs, 32 runs- May 2000

MikeThierry
06-20-2012, 02:13 PM
Todd Helton - .512 BA/.588 OBP/1.000 SLG, 11 HRs, 26 RBIs, 32 runs- May 2000

Great find. He seems to get lost in the conversation of great players of his era. Looking at his home/road splits, while he has hit significantly better at Coors in his career, he's also hit well outside of Coors. .290 BA with a .390 OBP outside of Coors is nothing to be ashamed about.

MasonBuzz3
06-20-2012, 02:36 PM
found a couple of more

Ivan Rodriguez
June 2004 -.500 (43-for-86)

Roberto Alomar
Sept. 1997 - .500 (35-for-70)

Votto will end up with a ton more AB's than either of these two with 10 more games left in June

RedLegsToday
06-20-2012, 05:53 PM
Those are great finds. Should have thought of Helton, considering he was on my fantasy team at the time and I can remember him hitting over .500 generally whenever he was at home.

RedLegsToday
06-20-2012, 05:55 PM
Comparing Joey and Helton, Todd hit .372/.463/.698, which is fairly similar to Joey's numbers right now. In 2000, playing in Coors field, that came out to only 163 OPS+. Joey is at 207 this year.

RedLegsToday
06-20-2012, 06:09 PM
checking the game logs, the Rockies played 15 games at home that month, only 8 on the road. So, an excellent hitter, playing in the greatest hitting environment ever created, in one of the best years for hitting in the past 100 years managed to hit .512 playing close to 65% of his games that month in that environment.

If I counted this right, Helton was 31/55 at home that month and 11/27 on the road.

Joey is 24-48 at home, 19-39 on the road. Obviously, he's getting a huge help from his home park. ;-)

RedLegsToday
06-20-2012, 06:23 PM
June 2004 -.500 (43-for-86)

If you take the 3 last games of May and the first game of July, Rodriguez hit 51-102!

Masonbuzz, whatever made you think to check Ivan Rodriguez?

I suppose that these long .500 hitting streaks are a little more frequent than I had thought.

Dan
06-20-2012, 06:43 PM
Not quite a .500 average, but Rod Carew went .486/.538/.775/1.313 in June 1977. That's the year he batted .388.

Ted Williams in 1957 at the age of 38 went .522/.619/.957/1.575 from Jul 11 - Aug 9.

RedLegsToday
06-20-2012, 06:46 PM
I checked the year Ted hit .406, he didn't come particularly close to .500 over any one month, so, I didn't check any deeper. didn't even think to check his .388 season.

If you stretch it out to August 18, I get him to 56-112.

RedsManRick
06-20-2012, 07:41 PM
If you take the 3 last games of May and the first game of July, Rodriguez hit 51-102!

Masonbuzz, whatever made you think to check Ivan Rodriguez?

I suppose that these long .500 hitting streaks are a little more frequent than I had thought.

Right; our general inability to look at every possible arbitrary set of end points makes us think these kinds of things are rare when they just so happen to occur within the arbitrary bounds we like to look at.

The question in our head is: How many times has a player gotten hits in 50% or more of his at bats over the course of any selection of 100 or more consecutive at bats?

If you limit it to months, since that's one way we can get close, you miss out on every other sequence of 100+ at bats -- which is the vast majority of them. The hunt and peck method will never turn up the non-HOFer who who hit .517 from April 17th through May 23rd during a season in which he hit just .298 due to a crazy slump in July. Until and unless we've looked at all of the possibilities, it's not fair to say how rare the occurrence is.

But that's a really hard question for a fan to answer, even us statheads, using the easily accessible tools. Where's Elias when you need them?

Of course, hunt and peck can sure be a lot of fun. In 1920, Babe Ruth put up an OPS of 1.540 in June, followed by 1.581 in July.