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.
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.”