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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Joey Votto on base twice for 20th game in row | MLB.com

Being healthy is great. Maybe the Reds should be looking to sell now.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 16, 2017 at 08:07 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joey votto, reds

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   1. Dolf Lucky Posted: August 16, 2017 at 09:48 AM (#5514333)
Maybe the Reds should be looking to sell now.


To the Red Sox, no doubt.
   2. Lassus Posted: August 16, 2017 at 09:53 AM (#5514338)
Mets could use a 1B.
   3. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: August 16, 2017 at 11:56 AM (#5514443)
Joey is the only reason I tune in to the horror show that is the Cincinnati Reds. If they trade him, I will probably be done with them (as I expect the trade will be for salary relief and not get any talent in return).
   4. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 16, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5514449)
Being healthy is great.

He's leading the league in games this year, and played 158 in each of the last two years.

A trade doesn't really make sense because other teams aren't going to put a lot of surplus value on his deal. Votto is guaranteed 157 million thru 2023, his age-39 season. This is sorta like the Verlander situation, where his status as franchise icon doesn't get you anything extra in a trade. Plus he's got the no-trade.
   5. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 16, 2017 at 12:05 PM (#5514453)
During the 20-game streak, he's slashed .435/.611/.742. Not too shabby.
   6. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: August 16, 2017 at 01:26 PM (#5514529)
The difference with the Verlander situation is that Votto is still really really good. (Although he is, of course, signed for many more years.)
   7. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 16, 2017 at 01:44 PM (#5514542)
When does the "Votto for the HOF" talk begin?

He's been one of the best hitters in MLB for the last 7 seasons, and puts up about 6.1 WAR / 162 games.
He isn't going to hit many big milestones (HR, hits), but he's an OBP/OPS god right now.
I think he needs 2 or 3 more seasons (with the expected slow decline) before he gets a lot of HOF talk.
   8. Dolf Lucky Posted: August 16, 2017 at 02:19 PM (#5514554)
When does the "Votto for the HOF" talk begin?


Two things:

1) I have noticed that the "Votto for the HOF" talk has transitioned this season from "He started too late and won't compile the necessary numbers" to "He's probably going to get in". Part of that has to be due to how good he's continued to be.
2) The Jaffe book is likely going to help him big time, as JAWS becomes a commonplace concept (while acknowledging that it'll be over a decade before Votto receives a place on the ballot).

Here's my high-level math:

Votto is currently 22nd on the 1st Base JAWS list. However, he's on pace to reach 7.6 WAR (or on pace to pick an additional 2.0 WAR ROS). If he maintains that pace (or even if he falls off a bit), he'll be 20th on the JAWS list, ahead of Killebrew and behind Mex.

That would mean that heading into 2018, he'd have two of the three last seasons in which he had reached 7.6 WAR, with 2016 sticking out as an outlier of 4.0. Let's call him a baseline 6.4 WAR player. Taking off half a win per year for aging, we'd get 5.9 in 2018, 5.4 in 2019, and so on such that he's at 3.4 WAR in 2023. That would give him a career WAR total of 82.9 (compares favorably to Bagwell) and a WAR7 of 46.8 (more like Helton). JAWS score of 64.8, which would be slightly higher than Bagwell, who took 7 tries to be inducted.

If we introduce some conservatism...let's say that his final season in 2023 is actually replacement level and that 2020 is a 2 WAR season due to injury. Then his career WAR would be 76.6 and his JAWS score would be 61.7, which is like exactly between Bagwell and Big Hurt. Thomas was inducted on his first try.

So far, so good, although there may be some future headwinds built in. There are going to be a significant number of 1B/DH types with slam dunk to marginal cases debuting on the ballot before Votto (Pujols, Thome, Helton, Giambi, Papi, Teixeira, plus Miggy will presumably retire around the same time as Votto). The key to Votto's case may be with how Cabrera ages relative to Votto and who is seen as the stronger player in a head-to-head comparison.

But if the JAWS standard becomes commonplace, then Votto will need a JAWS score of about 57 to qualify, which Votto would be projected to cross (in the above example) in 2020.
   9. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: August 16, 2017 at 03:00 PM (#5514573)
He's been one of the best hitters in MLB for the last 7 seasons, and puts up about 6.1 WAR / 162 games.


7? That's 2011 through 2017. Doesn't even include his MVP year in 2010. :-) He has been top 5 in the NL in OPS in 8 of the last 9 seasons. The only miss was his injury-plagued 2014, only 62 games, "only" a 390 ob% and 125 ops+. He has been between a 155 and 177 OPS+ in all 8 of those seasons. His best run of OPS+ is 2015-2017, actually.

If he holds on to his leads this year, it will be the 6th time leading the league in OB% (he has a 2nd place finish also, with a .459 OB%), 5th in BB, 5th in times on base, 4th in runs created, 2nd in OPS and OPS+.
   10. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 16, 2017 at 03:02 PM (#5514574)
During the 20-game streak, he's slashed .435/.611/.742. Not too shabby.


Almost as good as Barry Bonds in 2004. Well, Bonds didn't hit .400, but he was .609/.812 in OBP and SLP.
   11. Baldrick Posted: August 16, 2017 at 03:17 PM (#5514582)
Three years ago I thought he was a 'maybe, but it'll take some real work' and then he had a bit of a lost season in 2014, and the case looked even tougher. But I'd now say that he's on track, and is likelier to make it than not. Obviously the wheels could still come off at any point, and he's nowhere close to bus territory yet. But he's now got 10 years as an elite hitter, which is a very solid prime, and still seems to be going strong.

The Edgar comparison is clearly a good one, and Votto is still going to need to get a fairly gentle decline phase if he's going to match Edgar's value offensively. But he doesn't need to match Edgar offensively to get in, since he adds some real defensive value. And he's a LOT closer to that plane now than he was in the winter of 2014. Three very good offensive years from Age 31-33 will do quite a bit for you.
   12. BDC Posted: August 16, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5514587)
I posted in some other Votto thread this morning that Votto's "bus list" comps (most similar complete careers) are Elmer Flick, Hank Greenberg, and Ralph Kiner; his closest through age 33 are Honus Wagner, Joe DiMaggio, and Mike Piazza. That's by PA and OPS+.

Berroa's observation about the OBP titles is, I think, going to weigh well with HOF voters by the time Votto is eligible.
   13. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 16, 2017 at 03:24 PM (#5514589)
When does the "Votto for the HOF" talk begin?


I thought it had. Though I don't know if he was necessarily a guy we'd say was a lock. Now I think he is.

Edgar: .312/.418/.515, 147 OPS+, 2,247 H, 309 HR, 1,261 RBI, 68.3 WAR
Votto: .313/.427/.541, 158 OPS+, 1,538 H, 252 HR, 813 RBI, 53 WAR

Votto will lose something off the slash lines, but the counting numbers will be there, barring a collapse, plus Votto actually played a position, and has some hardware. I don't see how Edgar gets elected (and his trends show that he either is, or is going to come insanely close) with those numbers, while Votto doesn't.
   14. Batman Posted: August 16, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5514598)
Almost as good as Barry Bonds in 2004. Well, Bonds didn't hit .400, but he was .609/.812 in OBP and SLP.
Bonds did hit .490/.701/1.176 in his first 22 games that year. Then he cooled off to .342/.594/.755 the rest of the year.
   15. Booey Posted: August 16, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5514600)
I don't see how Edgar gets elected (and his trends show that he either is, or is going to come insanely close) with those numbers, while Votto doesn't.


Count da batting titles.

Edgar - 2
Votto - 0


Seriously though, I think both are going to make it. Votto's MVP - and better overall showing in MVP voting - will cancel out Gar's batting titles. And he won't be competing with a bunch of sillyball era sluggers that dwarf his counting stats to the same degree that Edgar has.
   16. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 16, 2017 at 04:08 PM (#5514626)
Count da batting titles.
Edgar - 2
Votto - 0

Seriously though, I think both are going to make it. Votto's MVP - and better overall showing in MVP voting - will cancel out Gar's batting titles. And he won't be competing with a bunch of sillyball era sluggers that dwarf his counting stats to the same degree that Edgar has.


I mean, it would have to be a twisted sort of logic like batting titles, or "most times saved baseball in Seattle" right? There's just no other way around it from a numbers standpoint. Now, voters like that exist—they usually do things like vote for Jack Morris over Mike Mussina—but they are shrinking in number.
   17. Booey Posted: August 16, 2017 at 04:19 PM (#5514634)
I mean, it would have to be a twisted sort of logic like batting titles, or "most times saved baseball in Seattle" right? There's just no other way around it from a numbers standpoint.

Best or 2nd best (for Ortiz fans) DH ever, vs...well, somewhere lower on the best all time 1B list.
   18. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 16, 2017 at 04:33 PM (#5514643)
Best or 2nd best (for Ortiz fans) DH ever, vs...well, somewhere lower on the best all time 1B list.


Right, bur this is more tortured logic not based on numbers (I know you're not saying it, you're just playing Devil's advocate). I mean, there's only been 40 or so years of DHs in one of the leagues. If you're one of the few who made a career out of DHing, you're going to be in the top echelon of it.

   19. Baldrick Posted: August 16, 2017 at 06:02 PM (#5514723)
I mean, it would have to be a twisted sort of logic like batting titles, or "most times saved baseball in Seattle" right? There's just no other way around it from a numbers standpoint. Now, voters like that exist—they usually do things like vote for Jack Morris over Mike Mussina—but they are shrinking in number.

The one thing Edgar has that Votto (presumably) won't is a very committed media base in his home town. The Seattle media people love Edgar to death and consistently agitate for his HOF case. As do the Seattle fans. For voters that are on the fence about Edgar, there is a huge wave of positive arguments being made out there which might help tip the scales. Votto (most likely) won't get anything like that.

I'm not sure how much that actually matters, but it is a difference.
   20. ReggieThomasLives Posted: August 16, 2017 at 09:45 PM (#5514942)
But if the JAWS standard becomes commonplace, then Votto will need a JAWS score of about 57 to qualify, which Votto would be projected to cross (in the above example) in 2020.


I think JAWs should be relegated to the dust-bin of history. It's gimmicky, work to calculate, and is full of arbitrary assumptions. We already have a natural, already calculated measure that maps exactly to how much better than the average player a candidate was during their career, it's called Peak WAA.

Joey Votto already has 35 WAA. That's significantly more than Jeter ended up with, and he's already matched Jeters Peak WAA. If you look at the lists of great players, Votto's peak WAA rank is arguably HOF worthy already.
   21. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 16, 2017 at 10:07 PM (#5514953)
Joey Votto already has 35 WAA. That's significantly more than Jeter ended up with, and he's already matched Jeters Peak WAA. If you look at the lists of great players, Votto's peak WAA rank is arguably HOF worthy already.


There are about 150 non pitchers in the HOF who were selected for their playing career. The median WAA is ~31. Votto at 35 is 10 slots higher than that, along with carlton Fisk and Tim Raines. Now Fisk and raines had higher peaks than that. Votto's peak is equivilent to Berra, McCovey, and Andre Dawson.
   22. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: August 16, 2017 at 10:16 PM (#5514955)
Votto is still adding to his WAA
   23. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 16, 2017 at 10:31 PM (#5514972)
Oh absolutely. The proposal was that Votto already had a HOF WAA, and that's what I was responding to.
   24. Hank G. Posted: August 17, 2017 at 02:17 AM (#5515079)
Current active career leader in “Adjusted OPS+”, at 158. That will go down, of course. At the same point in his career, Albert was at 170, and had 64 WAA.
   25. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:33 AM (#5515106)
Start a new streak today, Joey.

Current active career leader in “Adjusted OPS+”, at 158. That will go down, of course. At the same point in his career, Albert was at 170,


Trout is currently over 170. Votto started this year at 156. I know anything can happen over the next several years, but, Joey seems like he is going to decline more like Edgar Martinez, as opposed to Albert Pujols. And Edgar was putting up 150+ ops+ until he turned 39.

   26. TDF, FCL Posted: August 17, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5515258)
The one thing Edgar has that Votto (presumably) won't is a very committed media base in his home town. The Seattle media people love Edgar to death and consistently agitate for his HOF case. As do the Seattle fans. For voters that are on the fence about Edgar, there is a huge wave of positive arguments being made out there which might help tip the scales. Votto (most likely) won't get anything like that.
Read the papers, don't listen to the radio. Everyone who isn't related to Marty Brennaman properly talks up Votto at every chance.
   27. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: August 17, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5515320)
I have noticed that the "Votto for the HOF" talk has transitioned this season from "He started too late and won't compile the necessary numbers" to "He's probably going to get in".


I think "probably" is a bit strong. He's 33, has ~53 career WAR, and no traditional milestones appear to be within reach. If he keeps hitting like this, he'll have SABR guys campaigning for him. But if he declines steeply in coming years -- a strong possibility for a guy in his mid-30s -- he'll end up borderline, and low on the priority list for people who like to mount campaigns for under-recognized players like Raines and Blyleven.
   28. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: August 17, 2017 at 03:48 PM (#5515598)
New streak is at 1. Only 20 games to go! :-)
   29. QLE Posted: August 17, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5515686)
To address this possibility, fooling around with a favorite tool of mine:

At the moment, Votto was a WAR for his best ten years in MLB of 52.8.

On the one hand, this puts him above Killebrew (49.6), Murray (51.1), and Terry (51.5)- all of whom by my system are deserving HOFers.

The problem? It also puts him as roughly equal to Keith Hernandez (52.7), who isn't in and may never get in, and significantly below Todd Helton (55.8), whose performance when he comes between the BBWAA is not one I feel confident about.

As a result, he'd deserve to go in if the bus hits him- but I don't have faith that he will.

On the other hand, what would it take to make his claim more secure? If he has three more seasons worth of 5.5 WAR, his WAR10 goes up to 60.1 (in comparison, Cabrera is at 59.6, and the only players with a higher score currently are Gehrig, Pujols, Foxx, Mize, Bagwell, Brouthers, and Connor), and, for those obsessed with career totals, that would rise to 69.4 (in comparison, Cabrera, who I'd be shocked if he failed to get in, is at 69.7 now, and most of the folk at that level of performance are either in the HOF or are out for reasons not related to on-field activities).

The two obvious caveats: This will depend heavily on him continuing to perform so well (were any of us expecting Cabrera to hit the wall this year?), and it is also based on the assumption that whoever the BBWAA voters are will include a statistically-inclined bunch- this performance will aid his counting stats (as it should equal around five hundred more hits and eighty more home runs), but not to a level where those will scream "elect me" by themselves.
   30. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 17, 2017 at 05:18 PM (#5515712)

The problem? It also puts him as roughly equal to Keith Hernandez (52.7), who isn't in and may never get in


The voters who failed to elect Hernandez from 1996-2004 will bear almost no resemblance to those who will consider Votto in, at the earliest, 2023. It may be a 100% completely different voting body in fact.
   31. Baldrick Posted: August 17, 2017 at 05:35 PM (#5515727)
Votto and Todd Helton are definitely solid comps. Through 11 seasons, Helton was at 54.5 WAR (.332/.430/.583 - 144 OPS+), while Votto is at 52.9 WAR (.313/.427/.541 - 158 OPS+). Both high average, great OBP guys with good power but not world-class. Helton obviously was hitting in Coors at peak-Coors so those numbers have to be adjusted down, hence the OPS+ advantage. But Helton was a great fielder and had a full extra season of PAs in those 11 years.

Problem with Helton is that he added very little from that point on. If Votto has the same back end to his career that Helton had from 34 onward, he won't make the Hall either.
   32. TDF, FCL Posted: August 17, 2017 at 05:57 PM (#5515742)
The problem? It also puts him as roughly equal to Keith Hernandez (52.7), who isn't in and may never get in, and significantly below Todd Helton (55.8), whose performance when he comes between the BBWAA is not one I feel confident about.

As a result, he'd deserve to go in if the bus hits him- but I don't have faith that he will.
The other problem is that WAR10 is Votto's entire career; it excludes only his 89 PA cup of coffee in '07. It also includes two other seasons where he didn't qualify for the batting title.

It's true that at his age, the end can come quickly and brutally**; but it's also true that he doesn't need to be the current superstar version of himself to start looking much better on these type of lists. And Votto has been a much better hitter than either Hernandez or Helton - 414 Rbat in 5962 PA vs. 285 in 8553 (Hernandez) and 424 in 9453 (Helton) (playing in Colorado during the sillyball era Helton's OBP and SLG are each still lower than Votto's).

**And to your original point, no he probably doesn't voted in if he were hit by a bus.
   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 17, 2017 at 07:09 PM (#5515777)

Joey Votto already has 35 WAA. That's significantly more than Jeter ended up with, and he's already matched Jeters Peak WAA. If you look at the lists of great players, Votto's peak WAA rank is arguably HOF worthy already.

Do the voters really use WAA, though? I don't know how you are defining "peak WAA", but there are a fair number of guys who are above 35, in some cases substantially so, and not in the HOF. Willie Randolph, Reggie Smith, Lofton, Trammell, Whitaker, Grich, Larry Walker. Utley is there and it is highly likely he won't be elected.

I think that WAA attempts to quantify what the writers are often trying to capture with their votes, which is how dominant a player was, but as the above list shows, it looks like the writers are still going with their gut first and using the stats to justify it. That is gradually changing, and the tide may have turned by the time Votto's on the ballot, but hopefully by that time he'll have amassed a long enough career that he doesn't need to rely on WAA to get in.
   34. Hank G. Posted: August 18, 2017 at 07:27 PM (#5516529)

Current active career leader in “Adjusted OPS+”, at 158. That will go down, of course. At the same point in his career, Albert was at 170,



Trout is currently over 170. Votto started this year at 156.


Well, that’s embarrassing. I don’t know how I overlooked Trout, since I am always checking to see how he is doing.
   35. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 18, 2017 at 09:08 PM (#5516593)
I think that WAA attempts to quantify what the writers are often trying to capture with their votes, which is how dominant a player was, but as the above list shows, it looks like the writers are still going with their gut first and using the stats to justify it. That is gradually changing, and the tide may have turned by the time Votto's on the ballot, but hopefully by that time he'll have amassed a long enough career that he doesn't need to rely on WAA to get in.


There are 51 eligible players for the HOF who have between 30 and 40 WAA. 18 are not in. 2 of those are Palmeiro and Mcgwire, who are not relevant. So it's 16 of 49 not in, 1/3. Now, that's not to say the voters look at WAA, but that 2/3 of players that amass between 30 and 40 WAA amass the types of stats that voters look for.
   36. John DiFool2 Posted: August 18, 2017 at 10:25 PM (#5516671)
I think "probably" is a bit strong. He's 33, has ~53 career WAR, and no traditional milestones appear to be within reach. If he keeps hitting like this, he'll have SABR guys campaigning for him. But if he declines steeply in coming years -- a strong possibility for a guy in his mid-30s -- he'll end up borderline, and low on the priority list for people who like to mount campaigns for under-recognized players like Raines and Blyleven.


Recent Fangraphs article suggested that he has been "cheating" a bit:

You want to talk “harvesting,” this is your guy. He has totally sold out his liner and grounder authority, focusing on more of an uppercut swing to hit the baseball for distance. Very few hitters hit the ball harder as the launch angle increases; however, Votto’s average fly-ball velocity (92.3 mph) exceeds his average liner velocity (90.1 mph), which exceeds his average grounder velocity (79.4 mph). The vast majority of hitters hit their liners hardest of all. Most of the players with such a profile are nearing the end of their productive phase.


We shall see.

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