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Thread: Votto and the choking up

  1. #1
    malingered here too long malcontent's Avatar
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    Votto and the choking up

    This has been discussed for some time, but I think it should have its own thread.

    Who thinks it's a real problem, and that he should abandon it entirely? Who thinks it isn't a problem?

    I only saw the highlights tonite (Hill's 10 K's), but it looked like Votto was choking up a good 5 inches on his one punch-out.
    Everything is perfect, but there is a lot of room for improvement. --- Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

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    Member North's Avatar
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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    You pose a good question.

    A couple of games ago, the tv announcers also made comment.
    Fiat justitia ruat caleum. Nolo timere. Laus Deo.

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    malingered here too long malcontent's Avatar
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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    You pose a good question.

    A couple of games ago, the tv announcers also made comment.
    Reds' announcers, or opposition guys? What did they say?
    Everything is perfect, but there is a lot of room for improvement. --- Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

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    Winning the Human Race TheBigLebowski's Avatar
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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    It’s a fine question, but this thread probably won’t go well.
    I'm just going to go find a cash machine.

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    malingered here too long malcontent's Avatar
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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigLebowski View Post
    It’s a fine question, but this thread probably won’t go well.
    Probably not, but I'm curious what people are thinking about it now. Like I said before, I thought it would spell his doom offensively when he started. I figured that it would kill his power numbers.

    And then he almost won an MVP. So in a way, it's easy to disregard it as a factor now. I would be surprised if he ever abandoned it, so I don't think we'll ever really know how it's factoring in to his decline. I am curious what kind of feedback he is getting from coaches.
    Everything is perfect, but there is a lot of room for improvement. --- Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

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    Member Wonderful Monds's Avatar
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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    If he’s been doing it his entire career (which he has) then you can probably assume it’s not the issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Sheed View Post
    When it comes to crow, I'd like nothing more than to eat Dick's all season long and into the postseason.

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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    Considering I have never played baseball, much less be a NL MVP, I don't feel qualified to critique his batting style.

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    Just a Fan RiverfrontRed's Avatar
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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    Quote Originally Posted by TNRED View Post
    Considering I have never played baseball, much less be a NL MVP, I don't feel qualified to critique his batting style.
    That's never stopped anyone before

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    The one. The only. Ron Gant's Avatar
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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    Not only is he choking up, he's just flat-out choking.

    It's a shame to see but it was going to happen eventually.

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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    A couple of articles on choking up:
    https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-players-on-choking-up/
    “I don’t know. I don’t know if I care,” said Joey Votto carefully. “I don’t think about choking up as a sacrifice of power, I think of it as controlling the bat more, and feeling more comfortable. It’s not about power, I don’t think I’ve thought about power for a while.”

    Votto has taken to the practice gradually. “I’d been doing it sporadically for the first few years and it’s become constant the last six or seven years. Since 2011, I’ve done it pretty consistently, and for the last three or four years it’s been constant to the extreme, where I’m moving up the bat, choking up to a real massive level, almost where it’s almost like pepper.”
    Votto was explicit: “I take a step at times towards the outside part of the plate, which gets me closer to the ball, it’s like a crossover move if I’m looking to go the other way or looking to hit the pitch on the outside part of the plate.” There are ways to compensate for less plate coverage, in other words.
    Votto, who often thinks about how he will age in the game, was unsurprisingly the most explicit about the role of choking up in the aging process. “As you get older, you don’t feel quite as strong, quite as powerful,” the Reds’ first baseman said. “To use the same bat, I don’t feel like I can grip it on the end and whip it through the zone with the same power.” Hence the more extreme choking up in recent years.
    https://tht.fangraphs.com/the-physics-of-choking-up/


    The “rotational inertia” of an object is a measure of how hard it is to get the object to rotate. Objects that have a large rotational inertia have proportionally more of their mass farther from the axis of rotation than objects that have more of their mass closer to the axis. In other words, if you swing a bat by the barrel end, it has less rotational inertia than when you swing it by the handle end.If batters can get the bat into the hitting zone as fast as possible, they can wait as long as possible to decide whether to swing and where to expect the ball. If that is their goal, then they should hold the bat by the barrel end. I suspect you’ve already realized that if a batter swung the bat by the barrel against a big-league fastball, the handle would snap like a twig.

    Clearly, batters aren’t interested just in getting the bat into the hitting zone quickly. They are also interested in getting as much lumber as possible on the ball. This is the “great compromise” for hitters. They must find the right combination of a quick swing versus putting “good wood on the ball” that will maximize their paycheck. Batters who tend toward the quick swing sometimes choke up, while power hitters focus on the big stick.
    A 2010 research paper in The Sport Journal reports the following results comparing the swings of batters with and without choking up. The authors state:

    The choke-up grip had significantly less swing time and stride time than the normal grip.
    The choke-up grip had significantly greater bat tip velocity than the normal grip.
    No significant difference between choke-up and normal grips in bat-ball accuracy.
    Last edited by klw; 05-18-2019 at 06:24 AM.

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    Member GADawg's Avatar
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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    The choking up seems to be getting more egregious but it doesn’t bother be as much as that crouch he’s in....by his own admission he’s not thinking “power” and I don’t think he was even when he had it but he’s a big, tall, strong man and he could probably use that as more of an advantage if he chose to.....little leverage ya know

  19. #12
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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    When one can show that his choking up (more) is the direct cause to his struggles early this year, then I'll listen. Yeah, the numbers right now speak volume; but we don't know with certainty that it is the cause. As a fan, I don't think I carry the qualifications to be critiquing, or giving hitting advice, to one Joey Votto. And it's not that I don't think fans shouldn't show concern, or wonder what the heck is going on with Joey .... I'm just not qualified (LOL)

    You know what my biggest "concern" is with Votto? I'm watching this guy let a lot of good pitches go by, and I'm wondering why is he being so selective? It's like he's straining at a gnat, looking for that certain pitch, while also falling behind in the count (where one then can't be so selective, and the pitcher has the advantage). Could that be the reason for his K rate raising? Don't know.

    The guy still put up solid numbers last year - though not the Joey Votto numbers we expect. But he still had a .416 OB%. While we won't see the .900+ OPS/ 40 HR Joey again, I don't believe he has, all of a sudden, fallen off the face of the earth. Small window still (24 games), but batting second he's sporting a .358 OB%. You adapt. And I still think Joey can be a solid table setter for us. We have the players behind him with the power (slugging).

    Ain't nothing we can do anyway. Lets just give him time and see what transpires. But Joey is one of those hitters - yeah, like a Gwynn IMO - who puts everything he has into the art (science) of hitting. He studies, is analytical in his approach. Is he being his own worst enemy right now?

    I want to ask this though (because it's been asked of me), and I don't know. When he steps out of the box and does that half, upward, somewhat awkward looking, swing - what's that all about? I tried to act "educated" around my golf buddies and said it has something to do with "launch angle" because everyone is trying to get height on the ball ... but I have no idea! (LOL)
    Last edited by GAC; 05-18-2019 at 07:46 AM.
    "In my day you had musicians who experimented with drugs. Now it's druggies experimenting with music" - Alfred G Clark (circa 1972)

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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    I see multiple issues:

    IMO, umpires have expanded the strike zone a bit (only watching the Reds games, though, so this may not be a valid observation league-wide.

    Joey has always "known the strike zone" better than the umps (just like my HS son did), to his detriment.

    That upward "launch angle" half swing may be messing with his muscle memory... too many at bats look like that half swing... LOL

    Question for the physics profs on the thread: Wouldn't a slightly shorter bat give him more bat control without sacrificing bathead speed?

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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    Quote Originally Posted by malcontent View Post
    Reds' announcers, or opposition guys? What did they say?
    thom IS the opposition guy

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    Re: Votto and the choking up

    I don't know why the choking up has become a few more inches, I'm more concerned that he can't get a piece of a Rich Hill 90mph fastball while choked up that much. Something is off with his vision or swing plane. Maybe he can have Pete come in and help him out.


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