Re: Can Joey Votto hit .500...
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.
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.