Votto Has an Impressive June
With the Reds 2-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, the sun has set on the month of June. Entering Saturday’s game, Joey Votto was hitting .404 with an OBP of .500 for the month. He finished 0-3, Saturday, before leaving the game with inflammation in his left knee. The Reds removed him as a precautionary measure.
Still, it was one of the best months of Joey Votto‘s career. After hitting .392 and posting an OPS of 1.181, Votto is among the players favored to win the NL Player of the Month. It isn’t the first time Votto has contended for the award. Votto made his major league debut in September, 2007. Since then, he’s accrued 28 months of Major League service. The following table illustrates the six best single-month performances of Votto’s young career:
Joey Votto‘s Best Single-Month Performances
How good was Votto this month?
For comparison, I analyzed the statistics of every Cincinnati Red to win the NL Player of the Month since 1958. A Reds player has won the award thirty-two times since its inception. Pete Rose and George Foster each won the award five times in a Reds uniform. Eric Davis won it four times. Joe Morgan won it three times. Jay Bruce is the only current Red to win the NL Player of the Month. He won it in May, 2011. How does Votto’s June performance stack up?
Best Single-Month Performances Since 1958
I scored the performances using a simple formula: Production Score = (Runs + RBI’s) x OPS.
Using that formula, Votto’s month of June ranks 19th among the NL Player of the Month winning Reds performances since 1958. Despite not winning the NL Player of the month, Votto’s August 2011 ranks 15th on the list. Despite a higher OPS, Votto was edged out by Dan Uggla in August, 2011 for NL Player of the Month.
Greatest Months in Reds History
Frank Robinson was responsible for the greatest single-month in Reds history. In July, 1961, Robinson hit 13 homeruns, scored 31 runs, drove in 34 runs, hit .409 and posted an OPS of 1.353. Robinson’s production score was 14 points higher than the next highest challenger (Eric Davis /May, 1987). The Reds were 18-12 during Robinson’s hot spell, in his sixth major league season. Robinson finished the 1961 season with 117 R, 124 RBI, 37 HR, .323 BA, and a 1.015 OPS. He won the NL MVP Award in that season.
Eric Davis put together an incredible month of May in 1987, his fourth major league season. Davis hit 12 homeruns, scored 23 runs, drove in 36 runs, hit .323 and posted an OPS of 1.246 in May, 1987. The Reds were 12-10 over this period. Despite missing 32 games, Davis finished the 1987 season with 120 R, 100 RBI, 37 HR, .293 BA and an OPS of .991. He also stole 50 bases. It was his most productive season in a Red uniform.
George Foster had a huge month in June, 1977. Foster hit 9 homeruns, scored 30 runs, drove in 38 runs, hit .333 and posted an OPS of 1.023. Amazingly, the Reds were 11-18 in June, 1977. Foster finished the season with 124 R, 149 RBI, 52 homeruns, .320 BA, and an OPS of 1.013. Foster won the NL MVP Award in 1977.
It is interesting to note that Votto put together consecutive stand-out months in May and June. During that time, the Reds were 32-23.
Votto’s consistency has been remarkable, throughout his career. Votto has failed to hit .280 over the course of a calendar month only five times.
Whether Votto wins the NL Player of the Month or not, his importance to the Reds cannot be understated. Fortunately, Votto’s injury is not considered to be serious. “Last night sliding into third base, I jammed it a little bit,” Votto said. “Today, I tried to play through it and it started acting up.”
Votto will likely get the day off Sunday. “We’ll have to see,” Votto said. “I certainly didn’t feel good. I don’t see why this should linger. There is nothing structural. It’s an instance where last night… it happens sliding sometimes. Today with the short turnaround, it lingered a little bit. I will be fine.”
Let’s hope so.
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