The 2013 season looks to be another that Joey Votto will finish with a batting average above .300. As long as all things go well down the stretch Votto will continue to march towards a successful return from his shortened 2012 season. The Cincinnati Reds are surely pleased with that progress but they need more from their slugging first baseman down the stretch towards the MLB Postseason. Votto has the ability to be a game, series or season changer for this team but they haven’t seen that side of him very frequently since 2011. They need him producing like that again right now.
After a 2010 season that saw Votto knock in 113 RBI he followed with 29 homers and 103 RBI in 2011. His 2012 season only consisted of 111 games and he struggled to get 14 homers and 56 RBI. This year he has just barely surpassed his 2012 total but has done it in 122 games which suggest he is on a similar pace to last season. The Reds do not need that pace right now. I respect Votto’s comeback and he is hitting very well right now as he has all season long. Run production is what will help the Reds improve their standing in the playoff picture and Votto is the guy that has the tools to step up. Therefore, he should.
His last ten games have seen a respectable .282 batting average but has only driven in 5 RBI and managed only one homer. That is what needs to change. They need the batting average up but not nearly as bad as they need his RBI total to jump. From now through the end of the season, Votto needs to be the guy that knocks in scoring position base-runners. If the Reds get that from him, their surge towards the front will continue in spite of the little issues that pop up along the way.