2013 Reds / Joey Votto is Perfect

Joey Votto on Hitting: “I chose not to make outs any more.”

As Dave noted, the best line of this terrific FanGraphs piece on Joey Votto is the headline quote up there. But there’s much more:

There came a time after his debut where Votto decided his approach wasn’t working. As he puts it, “I chose not to make outs any more.” He leveled his swing, chose to hit the ball to all parts of the field, focused on contact, patience, and line drives, and became one of the best hitters in baseball. This might not all be prescriptive, since not everyone has the combination of contact ability and power that he does, but it certainly worked for him. And the numbers — maybe not the home runs or RBI — have agreed with him every step of the way.

Go read the entire thing. Eno Sarris has gotten inside Votto’s head, and what he found was that Votto knows exactly what he’s doing at the plate. The more I learn about Joey Votto, the more impressed I become.

And the more I learn, the happier I am that he’s a Cincinnati Red.

13 thoughts on “Joey Votto on Hitting: “I chose not to make outs any more.”

    • @Steve Mancuso: His approach certainly does make me a lot happier about the long term contract. Obviously, his body needs to hold up, but I feel like Votto is much more likely to adjust well to the ravages of time than your typical major league star.

  1. And this is why BC ponied up the $$$ to make Joey V a $200MM man. I can’t imaging the Reds making that kind of investment on any other player.

    Without the knee injury last season, Joey V walks (no pun intended) away with his 2nd MVP in 3 years and leads the Reds to the promised land in 2012. Now the knee is healed, Joey V is healthy, it’s 2013, Choo and BP are setting the table in front of him and Ludwick and Bruce are backing him up.

    Part the Reds Sea, Joey V!!!

  2. Just imagine what he could do as a hitting coach. All of those uber talented but frustrating prospects? Lock them in a room with JV and at the end of the day they’ll be superstars. It’s that simple!

  3. He seems like the kind of guy who could be a great manager or GM some day. He knows the game so well, it’s scary. He and Hanigan are probably two of the most intelligent players in baseball, and both have managed success beyond their talents alone. It’d be nice if Bruce could do the same this year!

  4. My favorite line in the article: Jeff Sullivan famously noted that there have been more perfect games than Votto infield flies since 2009

    To which someone in the comments section replied, I hope the next pitcher to induce an infield fly from Votto celebrates like he just threw a perfect game.

    The thought of this happening makes me laugh.

      • @Shchi Cossack: I just love the thought of a pitcher getting a random out in the third inning and just going crazy. Throwing his glove in the air and running and jumping into his catchers arms. That would be great. For those of us in the know, we would realize it would be justified as inducing Votto into an infield fly is indeed more rare than a perfect game.

  5. The Reds are in the presence of greatness. I very much wonder what Dusty thinks about Votto’s philosophy, if he secretly wishes he wouldn’t look for as many walks (be aggressive man!) or tried to knock a few more out of the park (Hank Aaaron style).

    • @Matt WI: Both Dusty & Jacoby are intelligent individuals who realize when to leave well enough alone. I do know that Dusty & Jacoby tried to ‘fix’ Hanigan’s hitting a couple years ago and get more HR from him. That experiment failed miserably and I believe Hanigan finally just shucked their advice and guidance to focus on his own approach to hitting that he adapted in order to get through the minors and into the show.

  6. What a hitting philosophy to have. “I chose not to make outs anymore.” Short, sweet, and simple. Every kid from little leagues up to the college ranks should adopt this approach. The quintessential “Put the barrel of the bat on the ball.” Sweet.

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