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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Joey Votto’s incredible journey to the Reds | MLB.com

Votto and the Reds, a love story.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 11, 2019 at 09:31 AM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joey votto, reds

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   1. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 11, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5850512)
Joey Votto: I was never really a highly-touted prospect. I didn’t get to face enough [top] guys to get an idea of where I stood. I remember thinking I was probably going to somewhere in the 10th or 20th round a month or two weeks before the Draft [and thought], "OK, that’s pretty good." If they had offered me $100,000 or $150,000, I would have been in shock and would have accepted that for sure.
   2. Master of the Horse Posted: June 11, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5850525)
Votto is a legit funny guy when he's playing well. When his offense sucks his interviews if he does them are pretty lame because you can tell he's really down on not hitting. And does Votto get any credit for being open about dealing with anxiety early in his career? Has any other baseball player been that open about a mental health issue?
   3. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 11, 2019 at 11:46 AM (#5850532)
Has any other baseball player been that open about a mental health issue?

Jimmy Piersall?
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 11, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5850533)
And does Votto get any credit for being open about dealing with anxiety early in his career? Has any other baseball player been that open about a mental health issue?
Greinke? How open was he about it?

And yes, Votto absolutely gets credit for his openness. As a society, we very much need to be able to discuss mental health issues openly, honestly and without shaming. Hats off to any prominent person who helps nudge things along.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: June 11, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5850549)
This is a good story. The two Reds scouts that discovered Votto (many orgs didn't even know he existed) decided to keep him under their hats because they were worried that if all the Reds scouts were seen watching him, the secret would get out, or even that Reds scouts would leak the information to other teams. They were successful in keeping him more or less secret - only a few orgs were interested in him as a top pick - but Jim Bowden was not happy with their decision, as most of the front office had no idea who he was. They took Votto in the second round, and the guys that discovered him were punished: one demoted, one fired.
   6. Master of the Horse Posted: June 11, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5850556)
5--Jim Bowden's articles on the Athletic are a joke and I read this and I am amazed this guy worked in major league baseball at any level much less senior leadership. What a clown
   7. PreservedFish Posted: June 11, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5850558)
It's amazing that they punished the scouts but still selected Votto. It's like, "you guys are geniuses but you didn't follow protocol. Sorry."
   8. winnipegwhip Posted: June 11, 2019 at 01:26 PM (#5850585)
Preserved and Master of the Horse:

I agree with #6 on Bowden. Whenever he is one of the talking heads on MLB Radio on XM the station gets turned elsewhere instantly.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: June 11, 2019 at 01:42 PM (#5850594)
Also, they only took him in the second because their draft budget got cut. They had been hot and heavy for Brian McCann with their 2nd pick, but decided they didn't have the cheddar for him. Had the Reds not drafted at the top of the 2nd round, it sounds like the Yankees would have taken Votto at the bottom.
   10. eric Posted: June 11, 2019 at 03:25 PM (#5850651)
So this seems as good a place as any to ask: is Votto going full (Angels) Pujols on us? That contract is starting to look albatrossy.
   11. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 11, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5850680)
So this seems as good a place as any to ask: is Votto going full (Angels) Pujols on us? That contract is starting to look albatrossy.


You just never know with Votto. He has hit .342 over the last 28 days (19 games), but, almost no power, and, when he does hit for power, no one is on-base. 13 of his 16 extra-base hits has come with no one on. Only 33 ba with RISP, he has 9 hits, but, only 8 rbi (1 of which came on a bases-loaded hbp). Weird ass season for the Reds so far. Great pitching, no hitting. Would have never guessed that in a million years. the no hitting has even infected their minors, as most of their best hitting prospects have been blah also.

edit: also, thirded on Bowden. Leatherpants is, and has always been, a tool.

You know he is lying when his lips move. - Pokey Reese
   12. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: June 11, 2019 at 04:28 PM (#5850695)
The remaining portion of Votto's contract may well be an albatross, but I still don't think the contract is an albatross when viewed in full. Pujols has only had one or two seasons in Anaheim where he played like an all-star. Votto had MVP-type seasons in 2015 and 2017 plus good/decent seasons in 2016 and 2018.

Through the first 5.5 seasons of Votto's deal, he has produced 24.6 WAR. Through 7.5 seasons in Anaheim, Pujols has produced 13.5 WAR.

Votto could continue his cliff dive and be worth nothing over the next 4.5 seasons. However, I would still say the Reds got what they paid for in the first five seasons.
   13. Master of the Horse Posted: June 11, 2019 at 04:41 PM (#5850702)
Votto has kind of a history the last few seasons of starting like super slow and then getting insanely hot. As in over .400 with power hot. Maybe as he ages this hot streak takes longer and longer to kick in until yeah, it never happens.
   14. RMc accompanies the Griffmen to Augusta Posted: June 11, 2019 at 08:46 PM (#5850766)
So...if Votto's done, no Hall for him?
   15. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: June 11, 2019 at 10:46 PM (#5850798)
So...if Votto's done, no Hall for him?

Votto led the NL with a .417 OBP (the 7th time he led in the last 9 seasons) albeit with a healthy drop in slugging

Votto has a little more than 200 hits and 25 HRs away from reaching 2000 & 300 and with those second milestones, his career numbers will be pretty similar to Edgar
   16. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 11, 2019 at 11:08 PM (#5850805)
Geri Ken has been pretty open about his anxiety issues. Khalil Greene was another guy although he was basically out of baseball at that point. This article mentions Greene, Votto, Greinke and few other guys who I had forgotten about.
   17. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: June 11, 2019 at 11:42 PM (#5850814)
If he's toast then it'll be tough. On the other hand, Votto's hall case was always going to be a weird and difficult one. Even if he's not close to finished, his hall case isn't going to be easy or straightforward on traditionalist grounds.

On the other hand, as #15 was saying, dude led the league in OBP _last year_; let's hold off on the obituaries for a while.
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:22 AM (#5850824)
David Freese just hit a home run, which reminds me that he discussed dealing with some anxiety/mental health issues at some point, didn’t he?
   19. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: June 12, 2019 at 09:10 AM (#5850848)
Votto really just needs to add a few average seasons to round out his HOF case. He's got an MVP and two other top 3 finishes (with all three years at 7 WAR) and then another three years around 6 WAR. His WAR7 is 46, which is 11th for 1B. Outisde of that, you've got another four years in the 3-5 WAR range. Just a few more 2-4 WAR type years will push him over 60 total and should give his career enough heft (and at this point, I'd be pretty happy with another few average seasons).

Advanced stats are obviously doing the heavy lifting for his case, but I think they will be the major component of the HOF discourse by the time Votto is on the ballot. Helton will be an interesting test case for Votto. Different types of players, but pretty similar as far as peak and career value.
   20. Perry Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:00 AM (#5850864)
David Freese just hit a home run, which reminds me that he discussed dealing with some anxiety/mental health issues at some point, didn’t he?


IIRC he had issues with alcohol, although of course there might have been related/underlying mental health stuff.
   21. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:05 AM (#5850868)

Huh, "Geri Ken" is supposed to be "Greinke" in #16. Damned autocorrect.
   22. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5850871)
On the other hand, as #15 was saying, dude led the league in OBP _last year_; let's hold off on the obituaries for a while.


Since May 24th, he is hitting .393/.426/.518. Let's not bury him yet.

After the game on May 29th, 2016, he was hitting .207/.330/.367. He finished at .326/.434/.550.

After the game on May 22nd, 2019, he was hitting .208/.318/.333. He is already up to .254/.344/.379. Maybe history is repeating itself. :-)
   23. The Duke Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5850872)
Without looking at numbers, I would have said he was a hall of fame slam dunk. He seems like he has been in the top 10-15 players for a long time and has an odd type of charisma that should help.

That said, playing in a backwater like Cincy, playing for bad teams/ not having much post-season experience and having this late career drop off will challenge him.

I hope he gets in
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:09 AM (#5850874)
Huh, "Geri Ken" is supposed to be "Greinke" in #16. Damned autocorrect.

WTF is "Geri Ken"? Why is that in the auto-correct dictionary?
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:09 AM (#5850875)
Without looking at numbers, I would have said he was a hall of fame slam dunk. He seems like he has been in the top 10-15 players for a long time and has an odd type of charisma that should help.


Only 7000 PA. It's a really tough row to hoe with that little PT.
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:13 AM (#5850878)
Only 7000 PA. It's a really tough row to hoe with that little PT.


Given he's signed through at least 2023, I'm pretty confident he'll make it to 8,000.

   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5850880)
Given he's signed through at least 2023, I'm pretty confident he'll make it to 8,000.

:-)

The discussion was what if he's toast. 1000 terrible PA won't help him.

Most short career HoFers are either real old-timers, catchers, or War/segregation credit based.
   28. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5850882)
Given he's signed through at least 2023, I'm pretty confident he'll make it to 8,000.


for sure. As poor as his numbers are right now, he has still been one of the Reds best hitters... ugh. Plus, he is still an average or better defensive first baseman.
   29. TomH Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5850888)
Leading the league in OBP 7 times seems like a key ingredient. Would the HOF fail to elect a 7-time batting champ if his career were only 7000 PA?

Players who lead in OBP more years than Joey Votto:
Williams, Bonds, Ruth, Hornsby (Ty Cobb tied him; ain't that surprising, that Cobb had 12 batting titles and only 7 OBP?)

Kinda nice when you're in with that group :)
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5850893)
The discussion was what if he's toast.


There's a range of thoughts being presented, as well as a range of ways the rest of his career could play out as not the Joey Votto we've seen.


If he puts up a few more seasons like this one, he's going to add to his counting stats, at the expense of some of his rate stats. Overall, it probably helps him with the voters would be hesitant to support him, while not harming his case with his base.

If he has the experiences the very rare Alomar Dive, then nothing he does from here forward is likely to help his case.

But in either case, he's not going to be a 7,000 PA guy unless his career comes to a sudden halt (which would be better for his Hall case than the second option).

   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5850898)
8500 is still a very short career for a HoFer. The only guys with <8500 PA in the Hall who debuted after 1960 are Piazza, and Puckett.

Larry Walker is the poster boy here. The voters are super tough on anyone who doesn't play forever.
   32. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5850911)
Larry Walker is the poster boy here. The voters are super tough on anyone who doesn't play forever.


Walker is a bit different though, because his low PA totals are because of in-season durability issues (only 2 seasons over 600 PA). Votto has 5 seasons with more PA than Walker's highest. Votto's low PA is due to a little bit of a late start (due more to Reds front office incompetence more than to Joey's milb performance), missing 50ish games in what would have been his 2nd MVP season (2012) and then missing 100 games in 2014.

   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5850946)
WTF is "Geri Ken"? Why is that in the auto-correct dictionary?

Geri and Ken are both first names, even if the first one is a less common spelling.

Votto has 58.8 WAR and 37.7 WAA today. If he continues at this level for a few seasons, he'll add to his WAR a bit and his WAA will go down or won't change.

Those totals look pretty similar to Jim Edmonds, who did surprisingly (to me, anyway) poorly with the BBWAA. I would expect Votto to do a little better given the MVP award and the shifting electorate, but he's not a shoe-in by any means. I would normally expect a 1B to do better than a CF with similar value stats, but that's because most 1B with this value profile have gaudier counting numbers (McGwire or McCovey, for example). Votto's HOF Monitor and HOF Standards look much more like Edmonds (or Keith Hernandez) than those other guys. (And yes, I know McGwire's not in the HOF. But he would be if not for PEDs.)

There are 54 batters with 50-70 WAR and 30-45 career WAA. 28 are in the HOF and 26 are out. To snapper's point a number of the "in" guys are folks who get war credit or the like, and a number of the "out" guys are steroid guys or not yet eligible. But it's still probably a 50/50 proposition at best unless he adds to his credentials with some average or better seasons.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: June 12, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5850967)
Those totals look pretty similar to Jim Edmonds, who did surprisingly (to me, anyway) poorly with the BBWAA.


Edmonds entered a ballot swamp. He wasn't one of the ten best players on the ballot by either SABR or BBWAA standards. There was just no excuse for any type of voter to pencil him in.

If nothing else, Votto won't have that problem.
   35. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 12, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5850972)
Edmonds entered a ballot swamp. He wasn't one of the ten best players on the ballot by either SABR or BBWAA standards. There was just no excuse for any type of voter to pencil him in.

If nothing else, Votto won't have that problem.


Votto also has the the MVP, 2 other top 3 MVP finishes and 3 other top 10s. He has led the NL in OB% 7 times, times on base and walks 5 times, OPS and OPS+ twice. Slugging and doubles once. Jim Edmonds never led the league in anything offensively.
   36. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5851012)
Jim Edmonds never led the league in anything offensively.

And yet, he was consistently the most offensive player in the league.
   37. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5851016)
Votto also has the the MVP, 2 other top 3 MVP finishes and 3 other top 10s. He has led the NL in OB% 7 times, times on base and walks 5 times, OPS and OPS+ twice. Slugging and doubles once. Jim Edmonds never led the league in anything offensively.

And yet they still both have a HOF Monitor of 88.* Anyway, I hope you're right. The voters are getting better. But I don't think I've ever heard a writer explain his vote based on the number of times a player led the league in walks or times on base.

Votto just doesn't look like the typical 1B that the voters go for. He has never led the league in a triple crown stat, he's only hit 30 HRs twice, and has a career high of 113 RBIs. There are explanations for all of that, but it relies on taking a non-superficial look at the numbers. He's a guy who's going to rely on a sabermetric case to make the HOF.

* Edmonds is underrated, but he won 8 Gold Gloves, had two top-5 MVP finishes, and made 4 All-Star teams.
   38. The Duke Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5851025)
I’m a huge cardinals fan and Votto has a much better case than Edmonds. How many first basemen have been better than Votto in this era ? Pujols, Helton, Teixera, Goldschmidt, Adrian Gonzalez, who else?

Clearly Pujols is best but i think votto has a good case for second best unless I am missing someone
   39. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5851053)
And yet they still both have a HOF Monitor of 88.*


you get 6 points for leading the league in BA, 0 for OBP. Meh. It is not the best stat to base HOF worthiness on.

* Edmonds is underrated, but he won 8 Gold Gloves, had two top-5 MVP finishes, and made 4 All-Star teams.


Even though I do not like Jim Edmonds at all, this is true and I think he should be a HOFer.

   40. GregD Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:14 PM (#5851060)
you get 6 points for leading the league in BA, 0 for OBP. Meh. It is not the best stat to base HOF worthiness on.
The Monitor doesn't track worthiness but likelihood. It is unproven whether leading in OBP (without leading in other categories) will help someone get into the HOF. That's all the Monitor suggests
   41. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:30 PM (#5851070)
Clearly Pujols is best but i think votto has a good case for second best unless I am missing someone

You're probably right. And Edmonds is somewhere between the 3rd to 5th best CF of his contemporaries depending on how you look at it. Griffey and Beltran were better, and you can make an argument for Lofton and Andruw as well. Of course, the fact that Lofton and Andruw have received limited support indicates that being top X at your position doesn't necessarily get you into the Hall, unless X = 1 or maybe 2.

The Monitor doesn't track worthiness but likelihood. It is unproven whether leading in OBP (without leading in other categories) will help someone get into the HOF. That's all the Monitor suggests

Yes and that's all I was saying.

If I had a ballot, I would vote for both Edmonds and Votto, in case that wasn't clear.
   42. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5851072)
Since we started discussing whether or not Votto is finished, he has hit 1.000/1.000/4.000 (HR in first inning today). Let's keep up the discussion! :-)
   43. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5851103)
aaaannd, now Joey is out of the game, with back tightness. Sucks getting old.
   44. Master of the Horse Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:53 PM (#5851109)
Votto does not enough credit for his on field trolling of opposing fans. His 'Hey Phillies fan here is a ball oh wait no ball for you' is GREAT

Baseball needs more Joey Vottos and fewer (maybe none) Brian McCanns
   45. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: June 12, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5851120)
Baseball needs more Joey Vottos and fewer (maybe none) Brian McCanns


Its really amazing to me how that reputation has stuck with McCann. You never heard a word about McCann and unwritten rules until Gomez. He had 2 incidents with him in 2013, a year in which Carlos Gomez had issues with two other teams I might add, and I haven't heard about anything since.

edit: Had to add I forgot about Fernandez. In fairness, he did apologize later saying he hadn't considered that it was his first HR.
   46. The Duke Posted: June 12, 2019 at 04:50 PM (#5851216)
Jay Jaffe has a very detailed HOF article at fangraphs on Votto up which dovetails nicely with this conversation and has similar conclusion to the comments here. My takeaway though is that votto May be in a material decline phase which is going to hurt him counting stat wise as well as optically with voters. He really needs Helton to go in
   47. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:30 PM (#5851281)
I don't like the Reds, get to see a lot of there games based on my locale, but love Votto, even more because Brenneman rides him any chance he gets. His biggest crime was not being Brandon Philips, Home Bailey and any number of other Reds.
If I ever meet Brenneman I guarantee my lone excited utterance will be, Thom, because of you I love Joey Votto.

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