Tonight we’ll find out if the Baseball Writers of America voted Joey Votto the National League MVP. Votto is one of three announced finalists, with Giancarlo Stanton (the favorite based on conventional wisdom) and Paul Goldschmidt. The MLB Network award show begins at 6 p.m. ET.

Votto was named NL MVP in 2010. He finished 7th in the voting last year, finished 6th in 2011 and 2013, and 3rd in 2015.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, and a really terrific sportswriter, made a strong and balanced case in his column today for Votto winning his second MVP. Here is Passan’s conclusion:

So we’re left with a player who clearly was the best offensively in the league and wondering whether his fielding and running demerits do enough to spoil his candidacy. Whether a hitter who walked 134 times and struck out just 83, in an era where hitters are striking out more than ever, should not win an award because his teammates gave up more runs, home runs and walks than their 14 NL counterparts. Whether the best player in the league can win an award that exists to honor the best player in the league.

The answers all lead to an identical conclusion: Joey Votto deserves to win NL MVP. If only the 30 voters saw it the same way.

Read the entire Passan article.

There’s no way to fully measure a player’s value to his team. In the case of the 2017 Reds, it would be interesting to add in Votto’s influence on Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez’s strong offensive seasons.

Also, twelve years of Joey Votto at Redleg Nation, back to the beginning:

Joey Votto Might Actually Be Perfect – Jason Linden (10.3.17)

The Greatness of Joey Votto – Jason Linden (7.13.17)

Vottomatic v3.0 – Patrick Jeter (5.17.17)

Revel in the Majesty of Joey Votto’s Perfection – Chad Dotson (2.26.17)

Joey Votto, Deviant – Patrick Jeter (2.12.16)

Incredible Facts About Joey Votto’s Historic Season – Nick Kirby (10.8.15)

Joey Votto, All Choked Up – Mike Maffie (9.25.15)

Joey Votto’s Astoundingly Good Second Half – Nick Doran (9.9.15)

What to Expect: Joey Votto – Steve Mancuso (3.9.15)

Votto’s Injury, Adding Insult – Steve Mancuso (8.15.14)

More Joey Votto Superlatives – Jason Linden (6.19.12)

Joey Votto Wins National League MVP – Chad Dotson (11.22.10)

How Good Was Joey Votto in 2010? – Chad Dotson (10.19.10)

Joey Votto Signs – Chad Dotson (1.29.08)

Joey Votto’s Debut – Chad Dotson (9.5.07)

Free Joey Votto – Chad Dotson (8.3.07)

Votto, Bruce Shine in Futures Game – Bill Lack (7.9.07)

Joey Votto = My Favorite Minor League Player – Chris Wilson (6.17.06)

Joey Votto Makes the Trip – Chad Dotson (3.6.05) – where Chad predicts that Votto will be a better major leaguer than Edwin Encarnacion

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 17 Comments

  1. Votto has my vote, if I had one. The question is, have the BBWAA voters evolved out of the HR/RBI dark ages and appreciate an all around player?

  2. Votto will get hosed again.
    Cincinnati almost always gets hosed in the awards.
    Votto should have won the silver slugger.
    Goldschmidt will win it.

  3. I’m biased of course but I agree that Votto SHOULD win it. The only thing that gives me hope is that when he won in 2010 he also did not win a Silver Slugger award (I know, mind boggling). But in 2010 the Reds were a playoff team – 2017 not so much. If the writers insist on an MVP from a playoff team, it’s Goldschmidt. If they’re okay with an MVP from a losing team, then sadly I think Stanton has the glamour factor to overshadow Votto’s overall body of work. I think he finishes 3rd again.

  4. And let me give a shout out to Chad, Steve, and everyone else at RLN for the easy access you provide to the RLN archives. Those links to old Votto stories were fantastic. Amazing to think that Scott Hatteberg and Jeff Conine were somehow blocking Votto at first base back in the day. Even Hatteberg, always a class act, knew it was ridiculous to hold Votto back. Thanks for those links Steve. Awesome.

  5. It’s fine that Passan is a homer for Votto, but that is not a balanced piece of writing. At all.

    Goldschmidt is barely mentioned after the first paragraph, and he is the winner (Stanton had an unreal 2nd half, but wasn’t even as dangerous as teammate Realmuto in the 1st half).

    Trout’s 2016 win as justification for Votto, when he posted 9.2 WAR vs. Votto’s 6.6 in 2017, is just grasping at straws.

    Goldschmidt tied Votto for HRs, had 20 more RBIs and more XBHs, despite playing 7 fewer games. His numbers hold up well enough.

    Most importantly, by a mile….93 wins and playoffs for Arizona vs. ……we all know.

    Votto’s time for MVP will come when the Reds make their next playoff appearance. The media love a “feel good” story, and it is custom-made with Votto…the future Hall of Famer who stayed during a prolonged playoff drought.

    Just not this year.

    • That’s what I’m expecting as well. I think it matters to enough voters that Votto’s team was terrible and finished last. Is that fair when gauging Votto’s value? Probably not. But winning is the name of the game and Votto’s team didn’t.

      I will disagree however and say that it is pretty clear that Votto’s numbers blow away Goldschmidt’s. The slash lines, wRC+ and wOBA aren’t even close and I think voters are sophisticated enough to at least recognize that those numbers are more important than RBIs.

      That said, I still think he finishes third and the race is between Stanton and Goldschmidt. Goldy was the only player on a winning team and he was a well rounded player and that will matter to some voters and Stanton’s power numbers were clearly better than everyone else and that matter to others. It seems like there is going to be a large distribution of MVP votes among NL players this year and I think the race will be close but it probably goes: Goldschmidt, then Stanton, then Votto.

    • You say Realmuto was better than Stanton in the 1st half…

      Guess who wasn’t the best hitter for Arizona in the 2nd half (when they’d “need” him by your logic)… Goldy wasn’t. A man named JD Martinez was.

      So, if you’re going to make an argument, try not to contradict yourself.

  6. David Schoenfield has a nice article ….kinda….at espn…..wasting the Ted Williams of our generation.

  7. So I don’t know how to find this but can anybody help me out?
    What percentage of ABs did Votto & Stanton have with runners on?
    Also How many of each’s Home runs were solo shots?

    Thanks. Go VOTTO!!

    • Votto had 403 base runners, and he scored 66 of them for a rate of 16%. I think they must not count sacrifice RBIs… because that seems low…

      Stanton had 405 base runners, and he scored 75 of them for a rate of 19%.

      So, Stanton was more efficient at driving in runners if that’s what you were getting at.

  8. I also will find it interesting if Altuve and Stanton both win. Stanton and Judge had basically the same season, where Altuve and Votto mimic each other (votto more BB%, Altuve more SBs).

    Cant wait to see some bias, if any, will surface.

  9. I nailed that prediction!

  10. I’ll be very, very surprised if Votto wins the MVP.

  11. Bummer

  12. Wow. What two knuckleheads thought there were four players in the NL better than Votto in 2017? So close. So disappointed. Still, one more bullet in the hall of fame voting arsenal.

  13. The 2 (censored)holes who put Votto 5th should never be allowed to vote again! They must hate Joey. That’s just crazy, man.

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


Joey Votto is Perfect


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