Joey Votto is an MVP candidate. His numbers versus the National League competition are stunning and some people, at least, have noticed. He probably won’t win, but he’ll get some votes for sure. And why? Well, he lead the league in walks, OBP, OPS, OPS+, and wRC+. He was fifth in homers and sixth in SLG. He was, in effect, the best hitter in the NL. He ends up 4th in WAR on FanGraphs and 2nd on BBRef.
His 1.032 OPS was the 46th highest total ever for a player his age or older.
I could go on and on and on, but perhaps the most impressive number is Votto’s 1.61 BB/K ratio. This was 0.56 better than second place Justin Turner, which was also as big as the gap between Turner and 65th place.
Add to that his influence on Eugenio Suarez and Zack Cozart and I honestly have a hard time imaging any other player who provided more Value (that’s the word we always argue about, right?) to his team this year.
But the tales of his excellence go even farther. A while ago I wrote an article about his status in Reds history, let’s take a moment to revisit that.
Here are the best 10-season stretches in Reds history by WAR:
- Johnny Bench – 59.9
- Frank Robinson – 59.7
- Joe Morgan – 57.2*
- Pete Rose – 56.8
- Joey Votto – 53.5
- Barry Larkin – 50.5
*In only 8 seasons.
Votto has only played 10 seasons and his rookie year was one of his worst, so don’t be surprised if he passes Rose at some point.
With the season concluded, Joey Votto officially has 3 of the top 10 OPS seasons in Reds history.
He has 5 of the top 10 OBP seasons in Reds history.
In Reds history, Joey Votto currently ranks –
1st in OBP and OPS
2nd in SLG and BB
5th in BA, 2B, and HR
6th in WAR according to Baseball-Reference
7th in WAR according to FanGraphs (or 6th if you remove Bid McPhee)
7th in XBH and Times on Base
9th in total bases
11th in R, H, and RBI
Now, remember, Votto has been besting his career averages for three seasons now. If he has two more seasons where he performs merely at his career averages, his Reds rankings will be –
1st in BB
3rd in XBH, HR, and 2B
4th in Total Bases and Times on Base
4th in bWAR and fWAR
5th in R
6th in RBI
7th in H
It is certainly conceivable that, by the end of his career Votto and Pete Rose will be the only players to lead the Reds in significant offensive counting stats (though Johnny Bench might also have a say in there).
And we haven’t even touched on baseball as a whole yet.
Joey Votto currently has the 9th highest OBP in the modern era. He is behind only Ted Williams and Barry Bonds since WWII.
He has the 35th best SLG in MLB history.
He has the 15th best OPS in MLB history.
He just lead the league in OBP for the sixth time. Here is the list of players to do that:
- Ty Cobb
- Rogers Honsby
- Babe Ruth
- Ted Williams
- Stan Musial
- Wade Boggs
- Barry Bonds
- Joey Votto
In the last five years, there have been seven instances of a player reaching base 300 times in a season. Three of those are Joey Votto.
In the last three years, Joey Votto has reached base 936 times. Paul Goldschmidt is second at 859.
Over the last three seasons, only Mike Trout (1.013) has a higher OPS than Joey Votto (1.006).
According to Baseball-Reference, the average Hall of Fame first baseman generates 42.7 WAR from his seven best seasons. Joey Votto has generated 45.6 WAR.
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.