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Thread: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

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    Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Why's the power down has been a big discussion this year. His ISO Slugging is down almost 100 points. A lot has been said about him not getting good pitches, etc.

    But I have noticed him taking a lot of good pitches as well. I don't know if he's guessing more or what. But here's some numbers to back it up.

    In Strike Zone Swing %:

    Votto
    2007 - 74
    2008 - 73
    2009 - 74
    2010 - 73
    2011 - 66

    Another piece of evidence that might show a lack of HR's is this:

    His Line Drive percentage is up 8% this year, FB % is down 4%. At the same time, his HR/FB % is down by over 10%

    So, although I do think the 66 in zone swing percent is an issue...

    I actually think evidence is pointing that he is a better hitter this year, but it just isn't producing the power we expect. By better, I mean the actual hit tool is better. I'm not saying he is more productive this year, just that he is a more talented hitter. More numbers to represent this:

    Out of zone swing % is down 5.7%
    In zone contact % is up 3%
    Contact % is up 1%
    First pitch strike % is down 8.2% (you gotta take it for it to be a ball right?)
    Swing and miss % is down 2%
    LD% is up 8.1%
    GB and FB rates are down by 3.8% and 4.3%
    BABIP average is a career high of .381 compared to last years .361


    Alright, I know that was a lot of numbers and %'s. So digest, then post. Thanks for reading.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx...latediscipline
    Last edited by TOBTTReds; 06-19-2011 at 08:36 PM. Reason: Add source

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    Two-Time Batting Champ Edd Roush's Avatar
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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Thanks for the research TOBTTReds, I found it interesting.

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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Thanks, and you're welcome.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    The first half, Votto has become a singles hitter with a little pop. I'm not happy with that and I hope it is a temporary issue. I don't think that makes him a better "hitter." I am really concerned about his slugging.
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    Member Superdude's Avatar
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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    The first half, Votto has become a singles hitter with a little pop. I'm not happy with that and I hope it is a temporary issue. I don't think that makes him a better "hitter." I am really concerned about his slugging.
    Agreed. He's a different hitter, and still a very productive hitter, but not a better hitter.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Good stuff. According to some just released analysis by BP, HR/FB stabilizes (performance to date becomes a better predictor of future performance than league average) at about 60-65 fly balls (about half a year on average). Interestingly, he's at 63 fly balls so far this year.

    By contrast, LD rate takes about two years and BABIP about 2.5.

    So, the lack of power is "real", for lack of a better term. Though it should be noted that his career HR/FB is 19.2% This year it's at 14.3% compared to 25% last year. Make of all of that what you will.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 06-20-2011 at 08:43 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Do you think he is being pitched to differently this year than last?
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    Member Superdude's Avatar
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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeThierry View Post
    Do you think he is being pitched to differently this year than last?
    Maybe in some ways, but I've seen it posted in here a few times that he's seeing a similar amount of balls and strikes. It seems like he's just choosing not to swing early in the count, getting two strikes often, and then putting himself in a position where he's forced to be a protect first contact type hitter.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    Maybe in some ways, but I've seen it posted in here a few times that he's seeing a similar amount of balls and strikes. It seems like he's just choosing not to swing early in the count, getting two strikes often, and then putting himself in a position where he's forced to be a protect first contact type hitter.
    Interesting idea. He's trying to be too fine and ending up, ironically, getting fewer pitches to drive. I'd be interested to see his spray chart this year vs. last. Just completely anecdotally, it seems to me that he's driving fewer pitches to LF and rolling over more balls to 2B.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Member Superdude's Avatar
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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Interesting idea. He's trying to be too fine and ending up, ironically, getting fewer pitches to drive. I'd be interested to see his spray chart this year vs. last. Just completely anecdotally, it seems to me that he's driving fewer pitches to LF and rolling over more balls to 2B.
    Maybe it's just me skewing things in my head, but it just seems like Votto's always excelled at fighting off pitchers pitches and hitting deep in the count, but now it's like that's his goal every at bat. Wouldn't mind seeing him unload on a pitch early in the count every once in a while where he doesn't have a strikeout in the back of his mind.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    Maybe it's just me skewing things in my head, but it just seems like Votto's always excelled at fighting off pitchers pitches and hitting deep in the count, but now it's like that's his goal every at bat. Wouldn't mind seeing him unload on a pitch early in the count every once in a while where he doesn't have a strikeout in the back of his mind.
    His pitches per PA is up from 3.93 to 4.11, 20th in MLB (virtual tie with Stubbs).
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Maybe in some ways, but I've seen it posted in here a few times that he's seeing a similar amount of balls and strikes. It seems like he's just choosing not to swing early in the count, getting two strikes often, and then putting himself in a position where he's forced to be a protect first contact type hitter.
    What I also meant by asking if he is being pitched to differently is the type of pitches he is seeing. Is he seeing the same percentage of fastballs this year as he was last year, the same percentage of sliders this year as he was last year, etc?
    “Our next home stand follows this road trip.”

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    Member Superdude's Avatar
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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeThierry View Post
    What I also meant by asking if he is being pitched to differently is the type of pitches he is seeing. Is he seeing the same percentage of fastballs this year as he was last year, the same percentage of sliders this year as he was last year, etc?
    That's pretty much what I meant by "maybe in some ways". Hard to really quantify it.

    This is a theory I just completely made up, and I still think it's mostly just a change in approach, but another factor could be which counts that Votto is seeing the strikes in. Pitchers may have been more willing to challenge Votto early in the count last year and then tempt him with balls later. Maybe now pitchers have adjusted and are nibbling the corners early in the count, getting to three balls, and then pumping strikes to avoid the walk? One or two borderline pitches early in the count are enough to force Votto into a defensive approach, meaning you can attack him like almost any other hitter once you get him 2-2 or 3-2.

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    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: Votto: Too many takes; but better "hitter" than last year?

    Votto is having another excellent season. It will be very hard for him or anyone else to duplicate his 2010 stats. It seems to me he has changed his stance and approach. He seems to be leaning over more and is utilizing a traditional 2-strike approach on every pitch. He is much more defensive and less aggressive, almost like he is trying to avoid making an out instead of trying to drive the baseball. He doesn't seem as confident as last year. He might be feeling some pressure to live up to the reputation he built last year. His mannerisms at the plate are completely different than last year, especially immediately following a taken pitch. He is still awesome and a great hitter even with the reduced power.


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