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Thread: Votto's Approach Changing?

  1. #1
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    Votto's Approach Changing?

    Votto's walk rate is up to nearly 20% now, which I keep hearing is due to people pitching around him after his MVP season. What I see is something slightly different. He seems far less agressive at the plate and his power is suffering as a result. In fact, I don't see him getting pitched around more than last year at all. If you look it up, you will see the following numbers...

    Votto 2010- Faced 41.8% strikes
    Votto 2011- Faced 42.1% strikes

    Votto 2010- Swung at 72.9% of those strikes
    Votto 2011- Swung at 66.6% of those strikes

    Now, maybe you don’t see a problem with this. His OBP has gone up even over his MVP season a year ago. The problem is that his power has gone way down as a result of something and it happens to coincide with him swinging at way less strikes. To me, this points to an issue with how aggressive (or not) his approach is right now.

    If you want to see an example in the other direction, take a look at Curtis Granderson who is being thrown fewer strikes, swinging at more of them, and driving more of them for extra bases and HRs than ever before.

    Anyway, I’m not trying to argue that Votto sucks, or he isn’t doing his share because of one stat. I’m just wondering if maybe he is being a little too patient for this team’s own good so far this season. Thoughts?

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    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    I think it is at least fair to point out, so no harm there. I also wonder if the decrease in power is just a blip on the radar screen. He is just as likely to run off a 20 game stretch where he smacks 8-10 homers. But I wonder how things would change if Bruce were hitting behind him instead of Rolen.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

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    Retro-Gamer Krawhitham's Avatar
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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by swaisuc View Post
    Votto 2010- Faced 41.8% strikes
    Votto 2011- Faced 42.1% strikes

    Votto 2010- Swung at 72.9% of those strikes
    Votto 2011- Swung at 66.6% of those strikes

    Where do you get these numbers? Was he swinging at pitches out of the strike zone more or less last season?

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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    I posted the numbers from fangraphs "plate discipline" section. He is swinging at fewer outside of the zone, but the difference isn't quite as drastic. Basically, he's swinging way less period, but he's cut down on swinging at strikes even more than he's cut down swinging at balls.

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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    Put Bruce in the 4 hole....I could care less if they are both lefties.

  7. #6
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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    Nice post. I tried to dig a little deeper but couldn't really find a statistical reason why Joey is taking more strikes. He's seeing about the same amount of fastballs (so it's not like pitchers are throwing more breaking balls for strikes against him). He's had about the same percentage of at bats where he's come to the plate without anyone on base (so it's no as if he's taking more pitches in an effort to get on to start a rally).

    As far as Joey possibly being too selective, I think it is a little early to go there. I think his SLG will normalize as the season goes on.

  8. #7
    Retro-Gamer Krawhitham's Avatar
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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    You can not fight stats but with just the eye test it looks like he is getting less to hit, maybe pitchers are hitting edges a lot more this season than last.

    I know last season you would see a pitcher think he could grove a fastball down the middle and get it past Votto, and that did not work out too well for the pitchers

    If Votto starts getting knocked in when he walks maybe pitchers will pitch more to the center of the plate hoping to get him out instead of walking him

    As horrible as Votto's power numbers are this season he is only 4 behind his 2010 pace, maybe the ball will start flying out with the temperature raising

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    All work and no play..... Vottomatic's Avatar
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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    I love Joey. I want to marry him. BUT.........

    I've noticed he isn't coming up with the clutch hits like he did so often last season. I also thought he was a wayyyyy tougher at-bat last year.
    "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's Approach Changing?

    He's definitely a tougher at-bat this year. His strikeout rate is way down and his walk rate is way up. I agree with the OP, though. I'd like to see him swing at more stuff and start hitting the ball harder and getting more power.

  11. #10
    Rojo Johnson #99
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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    While it's always enjoyable to have an MVP candidate to root for on your team, does it matter if Votto's power numbers are down so long as the team is still the #1 in total offense? (according to: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting). I understand that the offense has been spotty at times, but the overall stats don't lie about how well the Reds offense is doing thus far.

    The point is: should one player's performance take precedence over that of the entire teams? I'm not trying to say that is the position this thread takes, but I do believe that the performance of the team is what should be the focus. Jay Bruce has picked for the lack of power from Votto and that's what good offensive teams do: the team stat sheet is more important than that of an individual player.

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    Retro-Gamer Krawhitham's Avatar
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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vottomatic View Post
    I love Joey. I want to marry him. BUT.........

    I've noticed he isn't coming up with the clutch hits like he did so often last season. I also thought he was a wayyyyy tougher at-bat last year.
    None on = .299
    Runners on = .373
    Scoring Position = .419
    Scoring Posn, 2 out = .400

    how much more clutch does he have to be?

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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Señor Rojo View Post
    While it's always enjoyable to have an MVP candidate to root for on your team, does it matter if Votto's power numbers are down so long as the team is still the #1 in total offense? (according to: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting). I understand that the offense has been spotty at times, but the overall stats don't lie about how well the Reds offense is doing thus far.

    The point is: should one player's performance take precedence over that of the entire teams? I'm not trying to say that is the position this thread takes, but I do believe that the performance of the team is what should be the focus. Jay Bruce has picked for the lack of power from Votto and that's what good offensive teams do: the team stat sheet is more important than that of an individual player.
    Yeah right now we're the #1 offense, but we'd be the #1 offense further out in front if Joey's power numbers were better.

  14. #13
    Rojo Johnson #99
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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf371 View Post
    Yeah right now we're the #1 offense, but we'd be the #1 offense further out in front if Joey's power numbers were better.
    Baseball is a game of ups and downs - it's dynamic. I'll take Bruce's May surge over a dip in Votto's power numbers. Joey's power potential won't go away barring a major injury, so let's wait to see if things change in the next few weeks. The important thing to note is not that the team could be better if its MVP had higher power numbers, but that it is still #1 even when its MVP isn't performing as expected.

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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    I like the lineup the way it is. Bruce would not see the pitches he is seeing if he were to bat in the four or five spot. Gomes is a fastball hitter and I would like to see him bat 2nd, permanently.

  16. #15
    Rojo Johnson #99
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    Re: Votto's Approach Changing?

    Nothing wrong with Votto's power tonight. He crushed that ball. It almost made it up to the Cincinnati Bell Pavilion.


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