Turn Off Ads?
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Impressive Votto might not be far away

  1. #1
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    34,844

    Impressive Votto might not be far away

    Impressive Votto might not be far away
    First baseman draws raves for bat, improving defense
    By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

    SARASOTA, Fla. -- Canadian Joey Votto's lumber of choice as a kid was usually a baseball bat, not a hockey stick.

    Votto, the Reds first base prospect, always felt more comfortable on the diamond than on the ice around his native Toronto.

    "I took a girl skating once, I fell all over the place and she laughed at me," Votto recalled. "That was actually my first date. She was laughing at me at the school the next day. When you're in the seventh grade and not skating so well, it gets around the school. It's a big thing."

    Fortunately for the Reds, Votto hits much better than he skates -- which could have the 23-year-old poised to be Cincinnati's next big thing.

    Ranked the organization's third-best prospect by Baseball America, Votto showed the makings of becoming a complete hitter for Double-A Chattanooga last season. Besides having 22 home runs and 77 RBIs, he led the Southern League with a .319 average, 162 hits, 78 walks and several other offensive categories.

    The Southern League named Votto its Most Valuable Player. The Reds named him their Minor League Hitter of the Year. He also particpated in July's MLB All-Star Futures Game.

    "There is no such thing as perfecting your game," Votto said. "But I try as hard as I can to do to get the fundamentals right, run the bases properly and listen to my managers and play defense. I want to clean up my game. There's always something to improve. It drives me crazy and it's frustrating some days when you think you have it and the next day, you don't. It's an ongoing struggle."

    With Scott Hatteberg and Jeff Conine set to play first base for the Reds, it's unlikely that Votto would skip an entire level and start 2007 in the Majors. He is expected to begin the season with Triple-A Louisville.

    In his second big-league camp, Votto impressed early on during live batting practice against Reds pitchers. Not only was the 6-foot-3 left-handed hitter able to drive the ball with some power, he smoothly hit the ball well to left, center and right fields.

    "That's just batting practice. But to be able to hit the ball the other way out of the ballpark shows you he's got the chance to hit a little," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "If he keeps improving and making adjustments, he's got a chance to be a pretty good player."

    Drafted as a catcher in the second round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, Votto was moved to first base early on in his development. He's still learning the fine points of the position and made defense a priority when he played winter ball in the Dominican Republic after last season.

    "One thing I did last summer, I called him and told him to work on his defense as much as his offense," Narron said. "My understanding is he's been working hard defensively."
    That phone call came out of the blue for Votto, who was sleeping when Narron dialed him up. But it proved to be a confidence boost to know the Reds manager was paying close attention to his development.

    "I missed his call, and I called him back and I was surprised," Votto said. "I said, 'Who is this?' he said, 'Jerry.' I said, 'Who's Jerry?' Then I was like, 'Oh, yes sir.' It made me feel good. When someone is paying attention to you while he's busy doing his job, it's nice to know. He's telling you he thinks you have a good chance."

    During morning fielding drills, the Reds' first base trio of Hatteberg, Conine and Votto dutifully take ground balls and often work through situations. Each practiced scooping short hops or making throws to second base. In the various drills, Votto looked just as comfortable as the more polished veterans.

    Votto says he prefers to listen more and talk less when around Hatteberg and Conine, two of the more respected veterans in the game today. Hatteberg, 37, has liked what he has seen from Votto the past two springs.

    "He's one of those guys with unlimited potential," Hatteberg said. "He has got huge power. It seems like he's doing a great job of having an idea at what he wants to do at the plate. He's not just a one-dimensional power guy. He wants to hit for average. Defensively, I'm learning from him, too. He's very smooth over there. He's got a lot of skills in all aspects."

    The stars could align well for Votto this time next year. Both Hatteberg and Conine are signed only through this season, although the club does hold a 2008 option on Hatteberg.

    "I assume he'll be here shortly," Hatteberg said. "I saw him for a few at-bats last year. I know he had a great year at Double-A. I saw his face on the diamond screen I think more than my teammates as a 'player on the rise'."

    It'd be realistic to think that another good year could have Votto in the Majors when September callups are promoted. Until his time comes, he plans on leaving his mark at big-league camp for as long as possible.

    "I'm going to take advantage of the situation I'm in right now," Votto said. "I'm standing around Jeff Conine and Scott Hatteberg every single day listening to them and their stories and watching them go about their work. I have Ken Griffey Jr. in center field. Alex Gonzalez, one of the best defensive players in baseball, is at shortstop. I'd be a fool not to pay attention, watch and learn and add it to my own game. That's where I'm at here."

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    34,844

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    Votto went 2-for-2 tonight with a double and single. IMO, Votto is the most underrated prospect in all of baseball.

  4. #3
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35,447

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    You know I swear I have said that at least twice today OBM... without his 2005 season being hamstrung he would seriously be a top 20 prospect without question. I think its funny that someone like Saltalamacchia gets a redo and keeps his prospect ranking but Votto gets torched for his 2005.... but hey, what do I know?

  5. #4
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    8,085

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    Is it because Saltamacchia (how the heck do you spell his name anyway?) is a catcher and so has more position scarcity than Votto? Perhaps if Votto played another position he would be more highly ranked? I remember seeing this discussed on the Alex Gordon-Joey Votto thread, but I think it's an interesting point. It seems that first base is a much deeper position in terms of offense, so Joey's .300-30-100 upside is not quite as special as it would be if he were a C or even a 3B.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

  6. #5
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35,447

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    while that may be true, Votto is the #1 first base prospect in baseball. While Salty may be the #2 or 3 catcher in the minors, he still put up a .230/.353/.380 line in AA last year....
    Sure he had a great season in 2005, but in his other 3 seasons he hasnt OPS'd higher than .785. Baseball America still ranked him at #36 in baseball.

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    4,082

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    Good milestone post Doug. I've been a Votto backer since 04 when I saw him play about 50 games in Dayton. And a truly nice guy.

  8. #7
    GO XAVIER! toledodan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    overland park, kansas
    Posts
    1,941

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    IMO if the reds fall out of it by the all star break votto could be moved up if he's playing well in louisville. hatteburg could be moved to a contender for a prospect or two. the kid just knows how to hit. we will be getting younger with better talent in the next couple of seasons.

    1B) votto
    2B) phillips
    SS)gonzales
    3B)EE

    thats a very young infield that should be very good for a long time.
    there's nothing like bowling a 300 game! 13 now and retired.


    Ricky henderson has a higher OBP than C. patterson and he's retired. C. Trent 6-14-2008

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    4,082

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    Quote Originally Posted by toledodan View Post
    IMO if the reds fall out of it by the all star break votto could be moved up if he's playing well in louisville. hatteburg could be moved to a contender for a prospect or two. the kid just knows how to hit. we will be getting younger with better talent in the next couple of seasons.

    1B) votto
    2B) phillips
    SS)gonzales
    3B)EE

    thats a very young infield that should be very good for a long time.
    That's part of the reason for my "wait for 08." I can't see any reason Hatte's option is picked up. If it is, I'll feel as sick as I do when I see your avater.

  10. #9
    GO XAVIER! toledodan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    overland park, kansas
    Posts
    1,941

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    Quote Originally Posted by AvesIce51 View Post
    That's part of the reason for my "wait for 08." I can't see any reason Hatte's option is picked up. If it is, I'll feel as sick as I do when I see your avater.

    come on chris. got to give my muskies a little love. i do agree in hoping hatteburg's option isn't picked up if they feel votto is ready.
    there's nothing like bowling a 300 game! 13 now and retired.


    Ricky henderson has a higher OBP than C. patterson and he's retired. C. Trent 6-14-2008

  11. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    4,082

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    Might see you in round 2...though I don't want that.

    You should allow private messaging...

  12. #11
    GO XAVIER! toledodan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    overland park, kansas
    Posts
    1,941

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    Quote Originally Posted by AvesIce51 View Post
    You should allow private messaging...

    just did.
    there's nothing like bowling a 300 game! 13 now and retired.


    Ricky henderson has a higher OBP than C. patterson and he's retired. C. Trent 6-14-2008

  13. #12
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    10,182

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    You know I swear I have said that at least twice today OBM... without his 2005 season being hamstrung he would seriously be a top 20 prospect without question. I think its funny that someone like Saltalamacchia gets a redo and keeps his prospect ranking but Votto gets torched for his 2005.... but hey, what do I know?
    Could it be a possibility that this actually helped him out? I know he struggled that year but in the end it may have helped him out substantially.

  14. #13
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35,447

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Could it be a possibility that this actually helped him out? I know he struggled that year but in the end it may have helped him out substantially.
    Well, he has said that it drove him insane. I cant say whether or not it helped him, only he can tell you that one. All I know is he hated the premise of the idea and he wont shy away from telling you that.

  15. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    4,082

    Re: Impressive Votto might not be far away

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Well, he has said that it drove him insane. I cant say whether or not it helped him, only he can tell you that one. All I know is he hated the premise of the idea and he wont shy away from telling you that.
    Maybe he knows how to hit when down in the count better?


Turn Off Ads?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25