If things weren’t already going well for Cincinnati Reds‘ first baseman Joey Votto, they are now. This month’s edition of ESPN The Magazine features a story written by ESPN’s baseball analyst Buster Olney about Votto and his approach at the plate among other things.
Here is an excerpt from Olney’s story via ESPN 1530′s radio show host Mo Egger:
“Votto studies pitchers vigorously, watching videotape and reading scouting reports to diagnose what they are likely to throw in every situation, something that, say, Jeter is loath to do. Just as important, Votto studies the location pitchers favor, which virtually no one else in the game does. His perspective changes as he goes deeper into an at-bat. “I start off at the very beginning of the at-bat with the highest expectation of success with whatever pitch is available to me … and then I shrink it down as the strikes dwindle,” he says, meaning he will do as much damage as the count allows. “I get one strike and I shrink down my expectations and my swing slightly.”
Folks, I have to admit– this is awesome. For as well as the Reds have done in the past, they seemingly have been forgotten about by ESPN and other national sports stations. The fact the Reds are starting to creep up into the national spotlight is a good sign that not only this team is starting to turn things around from the brutal 2000-2010 seasons the Reds had, but the media outlets are starting to give them the much-due credit this team deserves.
Votto is the main reason for this. His tireless approach to the game, the studying of film and the ability to predict pitches has made him into one of the best hitters baseball has to offer. Votto was on pace to smash records in the 2012 season before his injury set him back. Now that he is fully healthy, Votto looks to continue his terror against MLB pitching.
Follow Brad Stiene on Twitter @bs_rant1.