Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto has taken some criticism this season for only knocking in 73 RBI heading into Saturday’s contest. Votto is supposed to be a major offensive threat on the team, someone who hits a surplus of home runs and RBI. However, his focus has been more on reaching base than anything else, which is exactly where it must be once the 2013 MLB playoffs begin.
“I’ve been probably asked more about my failings than my successes this year, which is kind of frustrating,” Votto said, according to Reds.com. “I think it’s a two-headed monster — it’s the lack of RBIs and also being compared to my previous self. I can understand people’s perspective. They hope for the best for me. They want me to play my very, very best for the ball club.”
Votto became the franchise leader in walks (135) and how many times a player has reached base (312) this season. He also ranks first in the National League in on-base percentage (.436).
Obviously, home runs and RBI are nice. With that being said, many people in Cincinnati would prefer to see the 30-year-old continue being productive just the way he has been this year. It clearly has worked out for the ball club as everyone has contributed in a different way. That is exactly how teams go deep into the playoffs. The fact that he has suited up for every game up to this point is also impressive.
There is no question Votto could be a huge threat in the postseason. His ability to hit the long ball, knock runners in and get on base consistently makes him a very dangerous opponent. It will be interesting to see if he will be able to have everything clicking at once when it matters most.