Jayson Stark of The Athletic wrote a piece on Tuesday where he handed out the 2010’s All-Decade Awards. Among those was naming the five best players of the 2010’s. Prepare to be shocked….. but Mike Trout was named the top player of the decade. The player that was second on that list, though, was Cincinnati Reds 1st baseman Joey Votto.

The stat of note from the article on Votto is an awesome one. Joey Votto walked 1046 times from 2010-2019. Only Carlos Santana was within 200 walks of that number for the decade. Only four other players were within 400 walks of that number. FOUR HUNDRED. Of course, Joey Votto did play for the entire decade, and some players didn’t – so arbitrary endpoints and all of that. Still, that’s an incredible stat.

Joseph Daniel Votto was one of only two Major Leaguers in the decade to hit at least .300, post at least a .400 on-base percentage, and slug at least .500. He hit .306/.428/.516 during the decade. Mike Trout was the other player. Trout led the way, by far, in wRC+ with a mark of 172. Votto was tied for second with Miguel Cabrera at 153 – but Votto did have an edge in games and plate appearances, so let’s cheat a little bit here at Redleg Nation and say he was the second best hitter of the decade.

I’ve said it a lot in the past, and I will say it again – WAR is a guide, and it is not a written in stone fact – but it’s a solid place to start at when looking at value. And according to Fangraphs version of WAR, Joey Votto was the third most valuable player of the decade with 48.1 WAR. That trailed San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey’s mark of 53.0, and of course Mike Trout – who topped the list at an absurd 73.4 despite playing in just 40 games for the first two years of the decade.

Just where did Joey Votto stack up in all of the major stat categories during the decade? Well, let’s find out.

Stat Total MLB Rank
PA 6150 7th
AVG .306 4th
OBP .428 1st
SLG .516 13th
OPS .944 3rd
H 1532 9th
2B 327 3rd
HR 231 18th
Runs 847 3rd
RBI 759 20th
BB 1046 1st
IBB 120 2nd
BB% 17% 1st
K/BB 0.96 1st
BABIP .349 3rd

Unsurprisingly, Joey Votto rates highly in both the counting stats as well as the rate states. Turns out that he’s been a heck of a baseball player in his career – most of which took place over the last decade. As noted in the article by Stark, “This guy has been way too underappreciated.”

26 Responses

  1. CFD3000

    It’s too bad there isn’t an official Player of the Decade award. Votto has played in a small market, with a lot of losing, and does get overlooked. But he’s one of the best Reds ever, arguably the best Reds hitter ever. Anything that bolsters his Hall of Fame credentials is welcome in my book. Of course, nothing would do more for his HoF case than a monster 2020 at the plate. What do you say Joey?

    Side note – I hear that Trout guy is pretty good too.

  2. LWblogger2

    Yes, we do have to consider the arbitrary endpoints. Still, Votto is one of the best overall hitters I’ve ever seen. He is terribly underappreciated by local fans and by a lot of local media personalities. A lot of fans would also like to point at his contract as the cause of all the Reds woes, which is way off base.

    Votto is declining, and seemingly the decline is steep, but everyone, including Reds front-office knew the contract could get ugly on the back end. Votto is also the kind of hitter that might take one or two of those back end years and make them worth it, by having a great year. I mean, has anyone looked around to see what guys are getting paid in the league?

    • VaRedsFan

      His decline wasn’t age related, it was approach related. For 1.5 years he (starting in 2018) he went from MVP runner up in a great season, to totally changing his approach in 2018, by bent arm swinging, inside out swinging, and check swinging in the very next year. Trying to hit every inside pitch to left field was not Votto from the year before.

      He FINALLY abandoned that halfway thru 2019 , and the numbers started improving to, at least, respectful.

  3. SultanofSwaff

    The .306 average is surprising…..he’s always seemed to be a .285 kind of guy. The power stats reinforce his HOF credentials, proving he is more than an OBP machine……just don’t wake up Marty from his nap to tell him. lol

    • GapperMustGo

      He’s hit under .300 only 4 times in his career… how short of a memory reds fans seem to have.

    • asinghoff99

      I think you’re operating off recency bias, as his last 2 seasons have seen him hit .284 and .261.

      Seven out of his ten seasons in the decade have seen him hit .305 and above.

  4. Michael Smith

    13th highest slugging %. Not bad for a guy that gets ripped for not hitting for enough power at his position by some fans.

    • Andy

      He was a double machine for the first 6 or 7 years. People put too much emphasis on home runs, which first basemen are supposed to hit.

  5. rgslone

    I was a “Big Red Machine” kid – which hooked me for life. And I’m a team fan over individual players. I’m not sure if I could pick an absolute all-time favorite Reds player, but Votto is certainly right there. He is hugely responsible for keeping me interested in the Reds.

    • Slicc50

      Mine would be Eric Davis. I started watching baseball because of Eric Davis. I used to try to do everything like #44 did. Slap the glove against my thigh when catching a flyball. Of course, his batting stance. Love Joey as well…..we are all going to miss him when he is gone. Hopefully the team has a couple good playoff runs in them for his last few seasons in MLB!

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Eric Davis and Vada Pinson for me.

    • Ryan Singer

      couldn’t agree more! Votto is one of the only reasons the Reds have been “must see” tv over the last decade – he has been fun to watch like when the Reds got Deion Sanders for a minute. When Votto is wearing that Reds cap on the day he’s inducted in the HOF I think all the micro-criticisms will be faded memories and even those who didn’t like him will be smiling as they finally appreciate what they had back then. Luckily, for most of us, we have been able to appreciate him as a player and a person in the moment.

  6. Scott C

    Joey Votto is one of the best Reds player ever. I have been watching baseball since 1961. I would have to say Frank Robinson was the best but Joey and Joe Morgan are right up there as well, followed by Eric Davis. There are a lot of others particularly any member of the BRM and Junior but his best days were in Seattle. We need to appreciate Joey while he is here.

  7. AirborneJayJay

    I don’t like this. I love it.
    Votto won one gold glove award in this decade.
    Votto had 5 All-Star games in this decade.
    Votto had NL MVP finishes in this decade of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th (twice), 7th and 14th.
    Reds fans are very privileged to have watched Votto now for 13 seasons. Many, though, don’t appreciate this accomplishment and what Votto has achieved over the years.
    The Reds had the second best player of the last decade. The Reds front office should be very ashamed of themselves for some of these teams they have surrounded Votto with over the last 10 seasons. They have wasted every season since the 2012 season for one reason or another. They have spent the past 6 seasons as a sub-.500 team.
    Joey Votto has had a fine career with the Reds. But he deserved to be on much better teams than what the Reds front office put out there.

  8. AirborneJayJay

    Brewers make a significant trade with SD. Brewers get 2B Luis Urias and LHP Eric Lauer. SD gets OF/CF Trent Grisham and RHP Zack Davies.
    For SD, does this mean they will move Taylor Trammell to LF or move him in a trade now?
    For Milwaukee, they just got better, than what they looked like without Grandal and Moustakas. It looks like Moustakas won’t be back in Milwaukee.
    Interesting trade from both perspectives. I hope this gets the hot stove percolating.

    • AirborneJayJay

      SD is signing free agent LHP Drew Pomeranz also. That takes him out as a possibility for the Reds bullpen/5th starter. Oh well, things are starting to roll.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Urias will play shortstop for Milwaukee, with Keston Hiura at second. They still need a third baseman with Moustakas a free agent. Currently the depth chart on their website lists Travis Shaw as both the starting first baseman and third baseman. Don’t forget they let Eric Thames go.

  9. TR

    Not an official honor but a well deserved one for Joey Votto. Homeruns are exciting but OBP wins games and winning takes care of underappreciated.

  10. Tommy Loves Joey

    He only ranked 20th on RBI’s, so he’s actually terrible and no good and, not to mention, he took time off for depression because his dad died. Jeez.

    Sorry sorry – I met Marty Brenneman earlier this year and he must have channeled me for a minute. I agree totally with the assessment.

    And here’s the thing I love about Joey – he’s the baseball nerd who made it.

  11. J

    But the RBIs! He’s obviously overpaid. RBIs are the only thing anyone should ever get paid to do. Everything else in baseball is easy and pointless.

  12. KDJ

    An interesting activity . . .
    Go to Baseball Reference and look at the 162 game averages for Votto compared to HOF legends George Brett and Joe Morgan.

    • Luke Carney

      Votto’s career numbers are nasty.

  13. AirborneJayJay

    The Reds trade INF/OF Brian O’Grady to the TB Rays. I hate to see that happen. Rays must have put a waiver claim in on him, so the Reds had a few days to try to trade him. The PTBNL or cash considerations.

  14. Old-school

    Being the best of an era compared to your peers should carry huge weight for HOF candidacy. JV can make it moot with a good 2020.

    • Michael Smith

      @old-school, imo he already did that with his 09-17 run.

  15. Luke Carney

    Votto has definitely been one of the most underrated players of this decade, despite being on the same level as Miggy. Too bad he’s fallen off dramatically. A hall of famer though, to be sure.