Joey Votto, the $225 Million firstbaseman for the Cincinnati Reds, has had a great career so far in his short time in MLB. He has several awards to his name already. Those awards include Most Valuable Player, Gold Glove and Hank Aaron Award. However, I submit to you that the 2012 season is playing out to be Joey Votto’s most productive. I will go even further and say that Votto is the most important player to his team.
Let’s look at the statistics. Joey Votto ranks first in the National League in base-on-balls (46), slugging percentage (.617), on-base percentage (.478) (consequently, on-base plus slugging percentage (1.096)) and, finally, doubles (22). Votto ranks 4th in batting average with .350, and that is on the rise. Lastly, for the season, Joey Votto ranks 9th in RBI (35) and is tied for 14th in homeruns (9).
Those numbers make him a solid contender for MVP again this season; however, it is the fact that he is practically carrying the load for the Cincinnati Reds that makes him the most important player for his team. On a team that is languishing just above .200 with runners on, Votto comes in at .397. Put those runners in scoring position and Joey Votto ratchets it up more to .405 average. Take away Votto’s numbers and the Reds would be well below .200 average in those situations. Heck, take Votto away from the Reds and they wouldn’t be anywhere near leading the division and have a record of 30-24.
Just look at Joey Votto’s most recent work. He is riding an 11 game hitting streak right now. (That matches the highest for all Reds this season.) In the last 7 games, Votto is hitting at a .667 clip. Who is hotter in the league, I ask you?
To finish off my hypothesis, consider these two interesting and amazing facts. Joey Votto went the entire season of 2011 and fouled out 1 time – once. For this season, Votto has not popped out to an infielder even once. I’m not sure what you can make of those last two statistics, but it tells me that when Votto makes contact with the ball, it is solid contact.
I have no doubt that when awards are being handed out at the end of the 2012 season, Joey Votto will be in serious consideration for MVP again. However, there is no doubt that the Cincinnati Reds would be totally lost without him in the line-up. That makes him totally worth the money they are contracted to pay him.