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Thread: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

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    Future Fame of Holler WildcatFan's Avatar
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    Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    Man, I could listen to this guy talk about hitting all day long. In today's Baseball Tonight podcast (a heck of a baseball podcast for those interested), Joey talks about his hitting preparation and philosophy. One of the more interesting points he made was that he went through the entire rest of the season last year after his injury hitting with two strikes--ON PURPOSE. He felt like that gave him the best chance to get the ball in play, and explains why he didn't homer the rest of the year. The interview is part of a series of interviews with Votto on hitting that will be featured in ESPN the Magazine's MLB Preview issue. Can't wait to pick that up.

    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=9065455

    Joey interview starts at about the 6:40 mark, but before that is an interview with Jon Fay where Fay says he still believes Aroldis will end up a starter. Which means plan on him being a closer.
    "I never argue with people who say baseball is boring, because baseball is boring. And then, suddenly, it isn't. And that's what makes it great." - Joe Posnanski

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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    Quote Originally Posted by WildcatFan View Post
    Man, I could listen to this guy talk about hitting all day long. In today's Baseball Tonight podcast (a heck of a baseball podcast for those interested), Joey talks about his hitting preparation and philosophy. One of the more interesting points he made was that he went through the entire rest of the season last year after his injury hitting with two strikes--ON PURPOSE. He felt like that gave him the best chance to get the ball in play, and explains why he didn't homer the rest of the year. The interview is part of a series of interviews with Votto on hitting that will be featured in ESPN the Magazine's MLB Preview issue. Can't wait to pick that up.

    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=9065455

    Joey interview starts at about the 6:40 mark, but before that is an interview with Jon Fay where Fay says he still believes Aroldis will end up a starter. Which means plan on him being a closer.
    Thanks for the link, good listen.

    I heard it as Joey just used his 2 strike approach from the beginning at 0-0

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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    Quote Originally Posted by UCBrownsfan View Post
    Thanks for the link, good listen.

    I heard it as Joey just used his 2 strike approach from the beginning at 0-0
    Yea, you're right, but it made me go back and pull up some random September games, and Votto went to two strikes three or four times almost every game I looked at. For example, just pulled up the last game of September against Pittsburgh, and his at-bats were 0-2 groundout, 2-2 double, 2-2 strikeout, 2-1 single. Just interesting that he almost welcomes two strikes because he's worked so hard on that swing. You'd be hard-pressed to find a guy who works like Joey.
    "I never argue with people who say baseball is boring, because baseball is boring. And then, suddenly, it isn't. And that's what makes it great." - Joe Posnanski

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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    I guess I'm dyslexic. I read that as "Buster Olney hitting on Joey Votto".
    "I can't take this homerism anymore." - 10xWSChamps, August 11, 2010. A Cardinals fan having a problem with all the homerism on Redszone. Classic.

    "Man do I miss the days where were didn't need a calculator and an encyclopedia of baseball metrics to enjoy a baseball game ... - MikeS21" - 8/2/12 game thread

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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    Wow that is awesome to listen to. Votto is an incredibly smart baseball player.

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    Not a big fan of Buster's show (bring back Baseball Today!) but that was a good segment.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    numbersinthereds.blogspot.com I actually made a post on 7/4/14. I promise.

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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    Quote Originally Posted by gilpdawg View Post
    Not a big fan of Buster's show (bring back Baseball Today!) but that was a good segment.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    I liked baseball today better as well, but I don't think Buster's show is all that bad. He has some good interviews on there, this one in particular.

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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    FYI, I looked up splits for the Reds, last years OPS after an 0-2 count:
    Stubbs .316
    Choo .379
    Frazier .381
    Bruce .387
    Phillips .480
    Hannigan .567
    Ludwick .582

    and

    Votto .697, crazy Votto was a better hitter if he started with an 0-2 count than Stubbs and Cozart were at 0-0.

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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    Quote Originally Posted by UCBrownsfan View Post
    FYI, I looked up splits for the Reds, last years OPS after an 0-2 count:
    Stubbs .316
    Choo .379
    Frazier .381
    Bruce .387
    Phillips .480
    Hannigan .567
    Ludwick .582

    and

    Votto .697, crazy Votto was a better hitter if he started with an 0-2 count than Stubbs and Cozart were at 0-0.
    Votto after 0-2: .279/.315/.382

    Here what gets me with Votto (2012):
    After 0-1: .284/.387/.458
    After 1-0: .388/.569/.671

    If you gave Votto a first pitch ball in 2012, he was basically prime, roided up Barry Bonds. If you got a strike on him first, here was merely Shin Soo Choo/Alex Gordon.
    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.

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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Votto after 0-2: .279/.315/.382

    Here what gets me with Votto (2012):
    After 0-1: .284/.387/.458
    After 1-0: .388/.569/.671

    If you gave Votto a first pitch ball in 2012, he was basically prime, roided up Barry Bonds. If you got a strike on him first, here was merely Shin Soo Choo/Alex Gordon.
    Amazing.

    Do you have any perspective on how special of a "pure hitter" (whatever that means) Votto is Rick? I mean there have been more productive guys in the last 25 years, but there are few that I would rather watch hit than Joey. Am I totally biased or is he really incredible?

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    Amazing.

    Do you have any perspective on how special of a "pure hitter" (whatever that means) Votto is Rick? I mean there have been more productive guys in the last 25 years, but there are few that I would rather watch hit than Joey. Am I totally biased or is he really incredible?
    I don't know what metric you'd want to look at.

    From a contact standpoint, he's got a fair bit of swing and miss in his game, unlike Joe Mauer, Tony Gwynn, George Brett, Rod Carew, etc.

    If you're looking for line drives, be prepared to talk about Votto as elite just like Mark McLemore, Michael Young and Mark Loretta.

    From a power standpoint, there's obviously a long list of guys ahead of him.

    The reality is that he's a very, very good hitter, but not really historically "special" -- at least not until he starts adding some more longevity and sustained power. His best comps among other recent major leaguers include Manny Ramirez, Ryan Braun, David Wright and Miguel Cabrera, who (insanely enough) is only 5 months older than Votto.
    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.

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I don't know what metric you'd want to look at.

    From a contact standpoint, he's got a fair bit of swing and miss in his game, unlike Joe Mauer, Tony Gwynn, George Brett, Rod Carew, etc.

    If you're looking for line drives, be prepared to talk about Votto as elite just like Mark McLemore, Michael Young and Mark Loretta.

    From a power standpoint, there's obviously a long list of guys ahead of him.

    The reality is that he's a very, very good hitter, but not really historically "special" -- at least not until he starts adding some more longevity and sustained power. His best comps among other recent major leaguers include Manny Ramirez, Ryan Braun, David Wright and Miguel Cabrera, who (insanely enough) is only 5 months older than Votto.
    Yeah I don't really have a metric in mind, just wanted to hear you freestyle on him a bit. Stuff like how he almost never pops up to the infield nor yanks a ball foul just blow my mind.

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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    Amazing.

    Do you have any perspective on how special of a "pure hitter" (whatever that means) Votto is Rick? I mean there have been more productive guys in the last 25 years, but there are few that I would rather watch hit than Joey. Am I totally biased or is he really incredible?
    Kinda what I thought Kal.Is his eyesight a little special? As you say,a lot like every great hitter,but an astounding thinker. Also he doesn't talk in cliches and he's honest.

    To me his Eastwood look on each pitch,and his ability to foul off pitches capture my attention.

    I don't know if I made it clear.I think all great hitters have more in common than not.But Votto is cerebral and he's "ours",making him more fun to listen to.
    May the Lord bless

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    The lack of IFFB is definitely interesting. But when you peruse the list of guys with the fewest, it's a total mishmash of styles.

    Keeping in mind that they only have data going back a few years, #2 on the list of fewest is Ryan Howard, followed by Julio Franco, Howie Kendrick, Joe Mauer, Austin Jackson and Derek Jeter. You've got a few contact/gap hitters and a few swing from the heels types, guys who hit flyballs and guys who hit grounders, guys who walk and guys who don't. There doesn't seem to be any particular rhyme or reason.

    Not much further down the list are Bobby Abreu, Josh Hamilton, Jack Cust, Felipe Lopez and Michael Young.

    I guess there are a lot of approaches that can lead guys to putting the bat squarely on the ball.
    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.

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    Future Fame of Holler WildcatFan's Avatar
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    Re: Votto on hitting with Buster Olney

    Good lord, Joey, you're my favorite hitter ever. Another great article, this time from Fangraphs.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index...to-on-hitting/

    Certain pitchers will still try to induce pop-ups from the player that has hit the fewest infield flies in baseball — Jeff Sullivan famously noted that there have been more perfect games than Votto infield flies since 2009 — but being level with his swing allows Votto to “cover up” whatever holes a pitcher might be trying to target. “It’s got to be the perfect sliver of the strike zone, up and in-ish, and I have to take the wrong swing, and I have to swing at it,” said Votto. (And, yes, Matt Cain is good at it.)

    The data once again supports Votto’s assertion. Jeff Zimmerman showed last year that for all hitters, high and inside is the spot for infield pop-ups. The difficulty is that, as he points out, 73% of pitches taken in those spots are called for strikes, so batters often have to swing. He looked at Buster Posey against Edwin Encarnacion — Votto’s infield fly in 2012 came after his injury and didn’t make for good comparison — and found that batters that keep up their back elbow find success. That back elbow is also related to how pull-happy your swing is.

    We’ve talked about how level his swing is, and how pull-conscious he’s been. But how hard Votto swings is part of it, too. As he said above, he’s had better power years than he had before his injury last year, and yet he felt better about his swing last season than he ever had before. “I bet if you took my average home run distance my rookie year, it was probably a good ten or twenty feet further, maybe.” Last year, Votto’s fly balls and home runs averaged 300.8 feet, good for the bottom of the top 20 among qualified batters. In his MVP season, they averaged 316.7 feet, or third in baseball.

    As you can see, Votto “took less risks” with his swing as he puts it. And his swinging strike rate, which used to be above average (10.4% in 2010), has plummeted the last two years (6.9% last season). “There’s less of a chance I miss the ball with this swing,” says Votto, once again backed by the numbers.
    "I never argue with people who say baseball is boring, because baseball is boring. And then, suddenly, it isn't. And that's what makes it great." - Joe Posnanski

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