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Thread: Future is now for Reds' Votto

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Future is now for Reds' Votto

    Future is now for Reds' Votto
    Top prospect hits homer in star showcase
    BY DAVID BUSH | ENQUIRER CONTRIBUTOR

    SAN FRANCISCO - Each of the Reds' two participants made his presence felt in Sunday's annual All-Star Futures Game, one more event in what has been a season of change for the two prospects.

    The World team - a 7-2 winner in the exhibition between top minor-leaguers at AT&T Park, the site of Tuesday's All-Star Game - included Cincinnati's Triple-A first baseman Joey Votto while the U.S. team included Jay Bruce, an outfielder for Double-A Chattanooga.

    Votto, a Toronto native who helped his side's cause with a sixth-inning home run Sunday, will resume his part-time schooling at a new position when he returns to Louisville. With an eye on their future major-league needs, the Reds have been giving their 2002 second-round draft choice playing time in left field. He admits to some difficult moments in the 20 or so games he has tried it.

    "I am actually getting better out there," he said. "From the beginning, you can't get much worse than I was. But I have come by leaps and bounds since then."

    Even first base wasn't always Votto's work station. He was drafted as a catcher, but no one felt his future was behind the plate.

    His fielding at first base is more than adequate, which makes it easy for him to work in the outfield.

    "The reason why I don't mind playing left field and getting some work out there is that I am comfortable at first," he said. "I feel like they can stick me in left field for a week and I can come back and have the same ability at first."

    But his bat, which has produced a .315 batting average in Louisville following his MVP season at Chattanooga last year, is what intrigued the Reds.

    And he showed it off by belting a drive over the left field fence. The left-handed hitter said the off-field power was a good sign.

    "I like to hit the ball to all fields," he said. "But I usually find I am on my game when I am driving the ball hard the other way."

    Bruce, who hit a triple, said he has adjusted to a new team and a new level of competition.

    An outfielder who was the Reds' first-round choice two years ago, Bruce started the season at Class A Sarasota and by hitting .379, earned a promotion last month to Double-A Chattanooga, where he has kept up the performance, averaging .328 with four home runs.

    "It was an adjustment in some ways, and in some ways it wasn't," Bruce said. "It's still baseball, and I do my thing. But there are some differences. The pitching is a little more consistent, better defense. So far I have been pretty fortunate getting some good pitches, and when I get 'em, I hit 'em."

    He hit one Sunday in the second inning, knocking a pitch from Phillies prospect Carlos Carrasco into the right-center field area of AT&T Park, known as Triples Alley. And third base is where Bruce ended up.

    "So that's what it's called," he said. "I can see why."

    Votto was making his second appearance in the Futures Game. And while he said he doesn't want to make a career of being a star of tomorrow, he said he enjoyed the experience.

    "I had never been to San Francisco," he said. "It's a great city and a great ballpark. And it's always good to play against the best at your level."

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...T04/707090323/

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  3. #2
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    Votto doesn't seem overly thrilled about still being in the minor leagues. Not from this article, but Joey had this to say in an article with TSN.com
    "The more time I spend in the minor-leagues, I don't want to use the word anger or frustration, but it just eats at you," said Votto. "You want to get there as quickly as possible, especially when you're playing well. I'm just trying to do whatever it takes."

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    Member icehole3's Avatar
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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    take it out on the opposing pitchers Joey

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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    So close but so far... the gap is large and Joey has earned a promotion... its time to promote him, this season is sunk get his bat ML ready for next year... I'd be unhappy if he wasn't frustrated to be up in the majors... hes a competitor

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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    he should be up by Sept 1 if not sooner

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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    He'll probably be up as soon as one of the other bats is traded away.

    The thing that jumped out at me in that article regarded his defense. From everything I'd read earlier this year, I wasn't sure if he was playing LF at times because he was competent at first base, or because he wasn't. I'm glad to hear that (at least in his opinion) it's the former.
    Not all who wander are lost

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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    I believe it's almost a foregone conclusion the Joey V. will join the Reds within the next three weeks - who is dealt to make room is probably being the only question.

    We all know that Votto has been playing some OF recently and the Bats have been somewhat short-handed there this year. What are the chances they bump Jay Bruce to AAA to replace Votto if he can maintain something close to his current .328 pace in AA between now & then?

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    Quote Originally Posted by corkedbat View Post
    I believe it's almost a foregone conclusion the Joey V. will join the Reds within the next three weeks - who is dealt to make room is probably being the only question.

    We all know that Votto has been playing some OF recently and the Bats have been somewhat short-handed there this year. What are the chances they bump Jay Bruce to AAA to replace Votto if he can maintain something close to his current .328 pace in AA between now & then?
    I would be willing to bet money that Jay Bruce is staying in AA the rest of the season.

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    Just another Votto article. He does sorta dicuss his feelings about still being in AAA.

    http://http://www.sbrforum.com/Headlines/MLB/47371.aspx

    Joey Votto is just a phone call away from joining the Cincinnati Reds.

    A two-time Futures Game participant, Votto is biding his time at Class AAA Louisville, where the first baseman is batting .315 with 11 home runs and 50 RBI with 10 stolen bases in 83 games. Throw in 50 walks and the lefthanded hitter has compiled a .412 on-base percentage.

    "The Reds haven't said anything to me about their plans," Votto said. "That's their decision. I'm just here to play and keep improving."

    Although the Reds are tied with the Washington Nationals for the worst record in the major leagues and already have summoned righthander Homer Bailey, Votto says he has not been given any indication when or if he will be summoned.

    The 23-year-old isn't just a one-hit wonder. Votto was Class AA Southern League MVP last season, batting .319 with 46 doubles, 22 homers and 77 RBI at Chattanooga.

    Votto homered in the sixth inning of the Futures Game, but doesn't feel that will make much of a difference when the Reds call him up.

    "I don't think something like this makes a big difference with the Reds decision," he said. "They see me play all the time and they know how I play and what I'm about. I don't think hitting a home run today makes that big of a difference.

    "The only thing that may affect their decision is whether or not I handled the magnifying glass, the spotlight in front of cameras on a big league stage and if you handle yourself well that can speak for itself.

    To improve his versatility, the 6-3, 220-pounder has been playing some left field, which could come into play if Cincinnati trades regular left fielder Adam Dunn by the trade deadline.

    "If it happens, it happens," Votto said. "I want to keep getting better; my fielding, hitting, strikeouts. I want to cut down on my strikeouts."

    While Votto, a native of Toronto, would love to join 2007 first-time Canadian-born All-Stars Justin Morneau and Russell Martin in the major leagues, he's not focued on his heritage.

    "I don't think of myself as a Canadian necessarily. I do recognize I'm Canadian," Votto said. "I'm a baseball player with the Cincinnati Reds. This is the uniform I wear. I'm happy to be Canadian. I grew up there. I'm a Cincinnati Red first and foremost. ... I'm a Cincinnati Red, so I'm just trying to help them win games. I just hope they're ready to call me up so I can help do that.

    Votto marvels at having icon Ken Griffey Jr. around to learn from.

    "You just watch what he does. He's fun to be around," Votto said. "He's a great guy, too. He's always prepared. Like I said, I don't know the guy, but just seeing the way players interact with him all the time and get along with him, he's just awesome. He has a special hitter's stroke and you don't ever teach that."

    Despite all of his successes, Votto has had to overcome one obstacle this season. He was experiencing blurry vision in his right eye early in the season, went to the doctors, was given contacts and soon after embarked on a 17-game hitting streak.

    "I don't know what happened to my eyes. I couldn't see out of my right eye," Votto said. "I could see, but it wasn't clear vision. I had an optometrist take a look at it and they said I had bad vision and you've got to put contacts in, so they wrote a prescription and it worked out OK.

    "Yeah, how about that (hitting streak). It's funny how these things work. I see great afterwards. I don't want to necessarily say that it has everything to do with my contacts, but it does have something to do with my eyesight. I thought I was going to come around anyways, but I see the ball now."

    That correction has allowed Votto to put his sights firmly on the major leagues.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    Hatteberg is definitely going to be traded. His stock is at an all time high right now and when that happens, enter Joey Votto.

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    Quote Originally Posted by fearofpopvol1 View Post
    Hatteberg is definitely going to be traded. His stock is at an all time high right now and when that happens, enter Joey Votto.
    I wish I were as sure about Hatty being traded as you. What scares me about Hatty is that he is going to be cheap next year at just under 2M. He also could be a good bat off the bench and I can see reds management keeping him around for another season. Votto should get the full time 1b gig ASAP but I thought he would have been up here by now.

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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    I can see either Conine or Hatteberg being traded. One of them will be gone to make room for Votto. We only need one reserve first baseman.

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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I wish I were as sure about Hatty being traded as you. What scares me about Hatty is that he is going to be cheap next year at just under 2M. He also could be a good bat off the bench and I can see reds management keeping him around for another season. Votto should get the full time 1b gig ASAP but I thought he would have been up here by now.
    I'm a big fan of Scott, but Conine is probably similar in price and he is also a righty (which would be better for a platoon situation). Scott's value right now is at an all time high and he is sort of old. I think you can actually get a prospect with return for him. I could be wrong though.

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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    How about a line up in a couple of years off
    1. CF Stubbs- Leading off (so far that seems where his future lies)
    2. Left Bruce
    3. 2nd Phillips
    4. Right Hamilton
    5. 3rd Frazier (This would be a stretch but I really do think he will be a fast mover)
    6. 1st Votto
    7. ss Janish (suppose to be a wiz with the glove)
    8. Catcher ?????

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    Re: Future is now for Reds' Votto

    Quote Originally Posted by Redmachine2003 View Post
    How about a line up in a couple of years off
    1. CF Stubbs- Leading off (so far that seems where his future lies)
    2. Left Bruce
    3. 2nd Phillips
    4. Right Hamilton
    5. 3rd Frazier (This would be a stretch but I really do think he will be a fast mover)
    6. 1st Votto
    7. ss Janish (suppose to be a wiz with the glove)
    8. Catcher ?????
    If you'te talking abot 2009:

    * I don't see Stubbs or Frazier there yet.

    * You could just as easily see Dickerson in CF as Stubbs.

    * If Stubbs hits well enough to make it I'd think he'd hit 6th or 7th.

    * I think there will be at least one or two regulars acquired (a SS who can leadoff would be nice)

    * You might see a Hanigan/Tatum platoon at C by then (if one isn't traded for) while we wait on Moresco


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