2013 Reds

Redleg Nation 2013 Preview – Joey Votto

Last year, I did something I hadn’t done before, I made it a point to discuss and project every position for the Reds. When I reviewed it at the end of the year, I think I’d done pretty well. So why not take another crack at it?

One change I’m making is that rather than predict overall output for each position – which includes the starters and bench players – I’m going to project the starter at each slot and then do the bench as a whole. You’ll see one of these every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until the season starts.

This year’s Reds team is the most stable in recent memory. Only a handful of marginal positions are up for grabs, and so I’m able to structure this in a more conventional way. We’ll start today with first base and Joey Votto and then we’ll move around the field. I’ll finish with catcher because I’m curious about the situation with Devin Mesoraco and I want to give that time to develop. After that, we’ll move on to the pitching staff.

If you want a sneak peak at what my numbers are going to look like (and counting stat projections), you can get a hold of the preseason guide some of us put together here. What you’ll get from these previews that isn’t there, is my in depth ramblings on each individual player. Okay, let’s get started.

Joey Votto
2012 Slash Line: .337/.474/.567
2013 Projection: .320/.450/.540

2012 WAR: 5.9
2013 Best Guess WAR: 7.5
Projected Difference: 2.6 WAR
2013 Floor: 5.0
2013 Ceiling: 10.0

Joey Votto. Ahhhh. Joey Votto. Let’s just all take a moment to think wistfully about the joy having Joey Votto on our favorite baseball team brings.

Done? Good. That was nice, wasn’t it? Now, what should we expect from J. Daniel? Well, if we want to start out being encouraged, we can note that the FanGraphs fans projection has him as the second best player in baseball, behind only Mike Trout, and one of only two players projected to get to 8.0 WAR. How do the other projection systems feel? Pretty much the same. They vary in how much they tend to regress a player to the mean, but everything I can find expects Votto to put up an MVP-caliber season this year. I don’t know about you, but I’m okay with that.

On the extreme upper end, we may want to remember that before he got hurt, Votto was on pace for the best season by a Red since Joe Morgan. That puts his potential in the rarefied 9-10 WAR threshold.

Of course, there’s the knee. We don’t know about the knee yet. In general, the projection systems don’t believe it will hold him back. Votto himself has generally seemed to agree, but it’s hard not to be a little skeptical given the power outage we saw when he came back last year. So I don’t see as much power as some of the projection systems, but I still think he puts up an excellent year, especially where OBA is concerned.

In the end, I think this may well be the best year Votto has had if he stays healthy and plays a full season. In fact, I’ll go ahead and say that I think he’ll win the MVP if he’s healthy.

I feel like I should have more to say about Votto, but I don’t. He’s probably the best hitter in baseball (him or Cabrera, at least). He might be the best player overall. Pitchers should fear him, and we should feel happy every time he comes to bat. When Joey Votto is on your team, every day has the potential to be a banner day.

Redleg Nation Season Preview Schedule

Joey Votto – 2/27
Brandon Phillips – 3/1
Todd Frazier – 3/4
Zack Cozart – 3/6
Ryan Ludwick – 3/8
Shin-Soo Choo – 3/11
Jay Bruce – 3/13
Ryan Hanigan & Catcher #2 – 3/15
Bench – 3/18
Johnny Cueto & Mat Latos – 3/20
Aroldis Chapman & Mike Leake – 3/22
Homer Bailey & Bronson Arroyo – 3/25
Bullpen – 3/27
Updates & Preview Wrap-Up – 3/29

25 thoughts on “Redleg Nation 2013 Preview – Joey Votto

  1. If Choo and Phillips get on base at around a .350 each, Votto will be the MVP. The way he can rack up the doubles will do nothing but put runs on the board for the Redlegs with the new help in front of him in the lineup.

  2. I have no doubt in my mind that if Joey doesn’t get hurt (or even if it was just handled properly) he would have won the MVP hands down last year. I see no reason that this year will be any different. As rfay points outs, with Choo and Phillips batting ahead of him all year, he will have an easier road to the MVP. All hail Joey MVP!

  3. It’ll be interesting to see if his approach differs markedly when he’s presented with MEN ON BASE in front of him.

    Knowing Joey like we do, I think his power numbers will exceed our expectations a bit simply because he loves to disprove the doubters.

  4. I think Joey Votto’s biggest problem this spring is that nobody seems willing to believe him about being healthy. I think the World Baseball Classic is his only hope to convince people that he’s healthy before April 1st. I mean, spring training games don’t matter, so who cares if he hits well.

    I’m excited for Votto for this year. I agree that he can build up lots of RBIs with Choo and Phillips hitting ahead of him. Albert Pujols won an MVP with Ludwick hitting behind him, and now maybe Joey Votto can do the same thing.

    • I think Joey Votto’s biggest problem this spring is that nobody seems willing to believe him about being healthy.I think the World Baseball Classic is his only hope to convince people that he’s healthy before April 1st.I mean, spring training games don’t matter, so who cares if he hits well.

      Who does he have to prove anything to? Dusty will put him in the 3 hole no matter what. The only people he’d have to prove it to would be the media. Then again, who cares what they think or say? I would like to see Joey with the team that pays him his paycheck instead of playing in some meaningless exhibition. The bottom line is Votto is the anchor and I think he can win MVP!!!

  5. I wrote a similar article about Votto on my blog, but decided to take it down because it wound up just saying, “Joey Votto is awesome.” I figured that was all that needed to be said.

  6. @Jason Linden: I liked what you did with your projections last season and look forward to reading your previews. They are also a reminder that I need to finish up my projections and my NL Central Position by Position rankings.

  7. @TC: A couple of weeks back, I also wrote something to that effect about Joey but it came off totally creepy. So I replaced Joey with Kristin and gave it to my fiance for Valentines Day. Talk about a 4-base knock!

  8. @RedManifesto: It’s a shame to see the post of the year so early in the season. Now I have nothing (except 20+ Votto HRs and a WS championship) to look forward to.

  9. 27 HR’s, 131 RBI’s, 103 R’s, 105 BB’s, .327 BA, and .465 OBA. All this adds up to MVP in 2013.

    • 27 HR’s, 131 RBI’s, 103 R’s, 105 BB’s, .327 BA, and .465 OBA.All this adds up to MVP in 2013.

      I think I need a cold shower.

  10. Appreciate the compliments, gentlemen. It’s all of you that makes this site the greatest forum for baseball talk out there, in my opinion. I’m just happy that I can interject some one-liners and blow off some creative steam every now and then. Can’t wait for the season!

  11. I would be not the least bit surprised to see Votto approach or eclipse 100 extra base hits this year. I’m not saying he will, but if it does happen y’all can point to the post when you’re buying me a beer.

  12. Yeah, just under half his hits last year (46%) were xtra base hits (doubles & HR’s, no triples) and that was with the bum knee at the end of the year. Perhaps we can expect at least 50% this year then? I do see his walk totals decreasing proportionally because we’ll see more men on base in the 1 & 2 hole than last year. It’s amazing we won 97 games with such ineptitude at the top of the order!

  13. Nice article on Joey, but maybe your optimism affected your math? 7.5 WAR is only 1.6 better than 5.9, not 2.6 as you state.

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