Kyle Schwarber is a Cincinnati-area kid who grew up a Reds fan. He’s also a member of the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs, one of the most exciting young hitters to emerge on the big league scene in recent years.

He’s also a big fan of Joey Votto, and specifically, he’s a fan of Votto’s approach at the plate. In the video linked below (click on the MLB image; is screwy and won’t let us embed the video), Schwarber talks about his admiration for Votto and how he tries to model his own approach on Votto’s.

[mlbvideo id=”1211871783″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at

Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. Schwarber is a smart kid. I hope his lack of a true defensive position doesn’t hurt his career.

    On a side note, Rizzo winning the Silver Slugger over Votto is yet another example of how the people involved with baseball on a daily basis (most of them, at least) are clueless about the evaluation of baseball. It’s an interesting dichotomy, really.

    Votto’s higher batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage was beaten out by like 12 RBI and 3 HR. That’s the only explanation I see.

    I guess they think it’s worth it to trade about 35 outs for the partial credit of 12 runs. Sigh.

    I still think Votto is going to go down as one of (if not THE) the most underrated hitters in the history of baseball.

    .320/.446/.545… those are his numbers over the last 2 calendar years. The only person even in the conversation for best hitter over Votto is Mike Trout. No one else is close over the past 2 calendar years. Yet, Votto has 0 Silver Sluggers and 0 All-Star appearances. It’s pretty funny, really, how clueless people are about Votto’s dominance.

    Ok, I’ll get off my soap box now!

    Happy Veteran’s Day to all the vets out there. I’m proud to live in a country where brave people such as yourselves serve us in such a manner.

    • Agree 100%, Patrick, and I suspect that the WS ring has as much to do with it as those 12 rbi’s.

    • Patrick I agree completely, but I will have to add Goldschmidt to the list. His last 2 calendar years almost mimic his triple slash line. (.309/.437/.523 vs .307/.416/.532)

      • Sure, he’s close, too! A fine hitter, who had a slightly off year this year, overall.

  2. Just have to share my disappointment with MLBs awards. Here’s a message I’m trying to send to them, but it’s to long for their “Contact Us” option.

    Greetings sir/ma’am,

    As a fan of a small market team, I sit here as another MLB awards season unfolds. From what I can see, the credibility of the sport of baseball has taken a significant hit. Here are just two reasons why I believe the selection of 2016 player awards has tarnished MLB:

    1. How does Rizzo possibly earn a Silver Slugger in light of how Joey Votto’s offensive stats totally overwhelm Rizzo’s stats? Even Freddie Freeman had a much better offensive year than Rizzo. I’m looking at Average, Slugging, OPS, and WAR, but this is clear when you look at practically any statistic. The only stat Rizzo has a reasonable edge on Votto is with RBIs…and clearly this is a reflection of the offensive capabilities of the respective teams they are on, not a reflection of their performance at the plate. In fact, if you compare RISP, Votto wins again with a .356 vs. Rizzo’s .341. The choice of Rizzo as the 1B Silver Slugger is preposterous, and it tarnishes the reputation of Major League Baseball.

    2. How does Inciarte win a Gold Glove over Billy Hamilton? Let’s compare the two on Fangraphs, beginning with the Standard tab. Inciarte has a 1-point edge in Fielding Percentage and three more assists. Therefore, Inciarte has a slight edge. On the Advanced tab we begin to see Hamilton separating from the field of center fielders wrt DRS, UZR, and Def. Sure, Inciarte has a higher ARM rating, but that rating is incorporated in the overall Advanced tab which Hamilton is rated higher in. With respect to range, there is no comparison. In fact, you could argue that Hamilton’s range puts him in a completely different category…his range inserts more play opportunities and therefore more opportunities for error. Despite that, Hamilton and Inciarte had the same number of errors. But, let’s move over to the Inside Edge Fielding tab. Take a look at how the two players performed when the likelihood of catching the ball was rated at 0-10%. Inciarte made 1-of-10 catches, or 10%. Hamilton made 8-of-15, or 53%. This is an amazing realization: Hamilton caught eight balls that had a 0-10% likelihood of being caught. What makes it even more obvious that Hamilton is in a class by himself is that all center fielders, not named Hamilton, made only five of those unbelievable catches. Hamilton – 8, Rest of the top CFs in MLB – 5, Inciarte – 1.

    We know that playing time should be a factor. But, while Hamilton missed a portion of the season, so did Ramos. Yet, Ramos won a significant award despite his loss of playing time. In fact, Hamilton played a significant portion of the season, and while doing so the level of his play astonished fans and opposing teams in such a way that there can be no comparison between Hamilton and Inciarte. Ultimately, the choice is clear that Hamilton is the better Center Fielder, and there is little doubt that a vast majority of baseball fans would prefer to watch Hamilton in center field over Inciarte. Inciarte is a very good center fielder. Billy Hamilton is a center fielder unlike any we have seen potentially in the history of MLB.

    The reason I bring this to your attention is that I believe any sport that hopes to gain and sustain a strong fan base must take the necessary steps to ensure there is credibility in the sport. This credibility is measured in many ways, including with respect to keeping PEDs out of the sport, ensuring the rules makes sense and are upheld (e.g., instant replay), making sure the officiating is unbiased and consistent (e.g., instant replay), and being objective when rewarding the performance of those involved, including awards for players, managers, coaching staff, and umpires, among others.

    Yes, I am a Reds fan and the few examples I’ve provided showcased my Reds players. But, the objective data is there and it is irrefutable. Please, let’s continue to strengthen the sport of baseball by raising the credibility of the post-season awards. As of 2016, that credibility has been significantly damaged. And, for me at least, the choice of award recipients has tarnished the sport of baseball. It brings to question why I should continue to follow this sport. We already must deal with incongruities when considering the uneven playing field wrt team payrolls, so please don’t allow player awards to also be grossly biased such.

    Thank you,

    John Kitchens
    MLB and Reds fan from Oregon

    • Very passionate post, here! I tend to agree with your sentiment.

      Inciarte, while having a very good year in the field, seems to have been buoyed up by the fact that he played 100 more innings than Billy in CF. That’s it. Hamilton made fewer OOZ (out-of-zone) plays, but my research suggests a vast majority of those plays are routine in nature. This is why, despite the difference in the OOZ counting stat, Hamilton provided roughly double the value based on range that Inciarte did. If these OOZ plays were truly difficult in nature, it would be shown in the RngR portion of UZR. Furthermore, counting up the Inside Edge classification for all plays, then comparing to Inciarte’s OOZ figure, shows that some of his OOZ plays had to be routine, regardless of differences in classification methodology.

      Really, there’s no logical reason I can see why Inciarte won the award, given the data available to us. Even controlling for the 100 extra innings, Hamilton provided more value in both DRS and UZR.

      The only thing I can think of is “eye test.” Hamilton lost to an inferior defender because more of the voters saw Inciarte make plays that appeared to be difficult.

      Not that we should be that upset… the tastefully-named Derek Jeter won tons of GGs and is the least-valuable defender in MLB history.

    • Might want to add in an addendum for Kris Bryant losing a Silver Slugger to Nolan Arenado… he’s a fine, fine player, but .294/.362/.570 at Coors Field is pretty…a little above average.

  3. Cubs season, coupled with rizzo’s better start and JV’s bad start put him in a hole with the voters that he couldn’t dig out of…Stinks but thats the way these things go.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at


2016 Reds