Joey Votto: Ready to be Crowned the Best First Baseman in Baseball
Brendan Henderson: Joey Votto, the 28-year-old first basemen from Ontario, Canada is arguably the best first baseman in baseball. Votto has “been in the shadow” of Albert Pujols the last couple of years when Pujols was in St. Louis. Many thought Pujols was the best first baseman in the NL Central and in all of baseball. I don’t think that is the case now. With Albert Pujols out west and in the AL, I believe Votto is the best first baseman in not only the NL Central, but in all of baseball. I watch every Reds game and Joey Votto has proved to me enough times that he is the best at what he does without-a-doubt in the Big Leagues.
Joey Votto is batting .317 this year with six home runs and 25 RBIs. Joey Votto has the 24th best batting average in the MLB. He is 23rd in RBIs and is 1st in the MLB in doubles with 17. Votto led the MLB last year in doubles with 40. This isn’t the only year in Votto’s career that he has done superbly at the plate; Votto has a career batting average of .313 with 426 RBIs and 125 home runs, he is in his sixth MLB season and fifth full season in the Big Leagues.
Overall, Votto is just a GREAT hitter; he may not give you a base hit or a home run every at-bat but he battles every time he goes up there. Votto has a career on-base percentage of .408, he led the league in OBP in 2010 and 2011. Votto is also the best in the game, in my opinion, in laying off bad pitches, which adds to why he draws so many walks. Joey drew 110 walks last year, which led all of baseball. He has also drawn 35 walks in 37 games this season, which is also leading the league. To me, Joey Votto is the best batter in baseball. He isn’t the best “hitter”, but rather he is the best “batter” because of how often he draws walks and gets on base.
Joey Votto is also one of the finest-fielding first basemen in the MLB. Votto seems like he lives on the diamond, as he always knows what he is going to do if the ball comes his way. You always see Votto making an excellent play that most first basemen wouldn’t even try to make. You can tell that he takes pride in his fielding; Joey Votto had a fielding percentage of 0.996 with only six errors last year. This year he has a 0.994 fielding percentage with two errors.
Joey Votto is also very durable; you can count on Joey playing every day. He MAY get one or two off days over the season, as he just plays and plays. Votto only sat out one game last year and he has started all 38 games this season for the Reds. During a full season, the least amount of games Joey played in was 131 back in 2009.
Joey Votto is also a true team captain. You can see it in how he plays, and he is just that type of player who knows what his and his teammates jobs are. Joey Votto is learning to speak Spanish so he can communicate with Spanish-speaking teammates. If that isn’t a sign of a team-leader I don’t know what is. Joey Votto had this to say about him learning Spanish, “It was an interest. I’m continuing to learn,” Votto said. “It’s a fun hobby to learn. It’s nice to be able to communicate with your teammates.”
Dusty Baker had this to say about Votto learning Spanish, “It took three years of high school with my mother’s hand around my throat,” Baker said. “I didn’t appreciate it until I went to winter ball. I was thanking my mom, especially when I was the only [American] guy on the team that could talk to the pretty little girls. I was 19-years old at that point. I didn’t have any clue how beneficial it would be until later on in my life.”
Overall, I believe Joey Votto is the best first baseman in baseball and I think he will continue to be in the years to come. What I like best is that the Reds have Votto under contract through 2023. That basically means Votto will be a Red for life and I am very excited about that. Joey Votto is just that kind of player that I and every other baseball should really enjoy watching. It’s an honor to get to watch him play every night. Part of the pleasure of having the Reds as your hometown team.
***Today’s feature was prepared by Brendan Henderson, MLB reports Intern Candidate. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Brendan on Twitter (@HenduBlog)***
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