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Thread: Fangraphs on Joey Votto

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Fangraphs on Joey Votto

    All Systems Votto
    by Dan Budreika - December 29, 2009 - Share this Article

    Joey Votto has been one of the Reds brighter spots since they made him a second round selection in the 2002 draft. He progressed steadily through the minor league system and made his major league debut late in 2007.

    Votto had a very solid rookie season (.373 wOBA) in 2008 and built upon that strongly in 2009. Despite missing a few weeks in June due to a bout with depression and anxiety attacks over the sudden loss of his father, Votto, had an extremely encouraging 2009 season. In 131 games and 469 at-bats Votto hit .322/.414/.567 with 25 home runs. He had the third highest wOBA (.418) in the majors trailing only Albert Pujols (.449) and Prince Fielder (.420).

    Votto’s .373 BABIP in 2009 stands out like a sore thumb and when we refer to the expected BABIP calculator from The Hardball Times Votto’s expected BABIP is .317 based on his batted ball profile. This number would severely damage Votto’s triple slash. The calculator would have spit out this unimpressive line assuming that all hits subtracted from Votto’s line were generously singles:

    .266/.358/.511

    Color me unimpressed. I’m just not buying this. While we should expect some natural regression from Votto’s 2009 BABIP going forward I think the calculator is being too harsh here. It should also be noted that Votto has consistently strung together high BABIPs. Here are his BABIPs dating back to his 2006 season in Double-A:

    2009: .373 (MLB)
    2008: .330 (MLB)
    2007: .354 (MLB-84 ABs) and .341 (AAA)
    2006: .371 (AA)

    Votto has consistently hit the ball hard and I think his 21.7% line drive percentage (a component that the calculator considers) in 2009 is hurting his expected BABIP score from the calculator. In 2008 his line drive percentage was 25.2% and it was 26.1% in 84 big league at-bats in 2007. While the 2009 mark suggests that he hit fewer line drives I believe that natural scorers bias could also be coming into play here especially considering his high 2009 BABIP and very low 2009 line drive rate compared to his 2008 and 2007 (small sample size) rates.

    Votto has flown under the radar and isn’t quite a household name because he plays on a bad team and is overshadowed by four big name first basemen in his division in Pujols, Fielder, Derek Lee, and Lance Berkman. I wouldn’t peg Votto to hit around .320 again with some normal and expected BABIP regression but he’s going to be a good power source and provide a nice batting average around or slightly above .300. The Bill James (.311/.397/.550) and Fans (.311/.398/.535) projections look quite fair for Votto and much more accurate than the BABIP calculator’s glum forecast.

    Bill James is projecting a .344 BABIP in 2010 and you, The Fans, have his projected BABIP at .352. That sounds about right to be but I’d expect a home run total north of 30 for Votto in 2010 since he has no significant injury history and appears to be over his depression and anxiety issues. Expect more long balls if he appears in 150+ games especially in the homer friendly ballpark in Cincinnati.

    Votto deserves more recognition than he’s been granted and he may be a candidate that could slide to you in rounds 6-8 of your fantasy drafts. You would be getting fantastic value with him there and don’t be afraid to pop him a little earlier if need be. It’s all systems go for Votto.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/ind...-systems-votto

    I agree with Bill James and the fans - I see Votto OPSing anywhere from .925 to .950 this year with 30 homers.

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  3. #2
    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs on Joey Votto

    Good stuff! Thanks for posting, OBM.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs on Joey Votto

    I can get behind the 30 HR's a lot more than I can another .340+ BABIP season. I just don't expect non speed burners to continuously beat BABIP by a large amount. Votto is an excellent hitter, but he isn't hitting the ball harder than guys like Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols and they aren't posting those BABIP numbers. I see Votto in the .875-.925 OPS range next season.

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    Member redsfandan's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs on Joey Votto

    So you don't think he can have another .340+ babip even though that seems to be the norm for him?
    "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs on Joey Votto

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfandan View Post
    So you don't think he can have another .340+ babip even though that seems to be the norm for him?
    I don't think he has a 'norm' yet. He has 2 seasons in the majors where his BABIP was about 40 points off from the two seasons. Minor League BABIP's don't count because the talent level is uneven both pitching wise and defensively.

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    Haunted by walks
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    Re: Fangraphs on Joey Votto

    Why do they call it a triple slash when there are only two slashes?

    How can we trust any of their stats if they can't even count the slashes?

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    On the brink wolfboy's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs on Joey Votto

    Interesting to see two opposite BABIP extremes in Votto and Bruce. If Votto's BABIP comes back down to earth, I hope Bruce's is able to climb out of the cellar.
    How do we know he's not Mel Torme?

  9. #8
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs on Joey Votto

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfboy View Post
    If Votto's BABIP comes back down to earth, I hope Bruce's is able to climb out of the cellar.
    I look for Votto's BABIP to drop a bit and Bruce's to raise a bunch.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs on Joey Votto

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    Why do they call it a triple slash when there are only two slashes?

    How can we trust any of their stats if they can't even count the slashes?
    Have you ever realized that the word bed actually looks like a bed?
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs on Joey Votto

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Have you ever realized that the word bed actually looks like a bed?
    I hadn't.... but my day just got better because it.


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