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?