Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Why Joey Votto Should Be Criticized

Alright, so since this is my first article on this site I cannot wait to show all of you readers out there what kind of a cynical writer that I am. So for my first article, I am going to take on the ridiculous fact vs. opinion case that Joey Votto actually had a good season. So to start off, anyone in their right mind who thinks Joey Votto had a “good” season, obviously does not know baseball as well as they think they do. So, without further adieu, let me break this down.

Batting Average

Mr. Votto this past season batted .305. Yes I understand that it is a plus .300 average and that it is quite an accomplishment, but for Joey Votto, not so much. In fact, this was the lowest average he has had since his first full season in the league (2008) at .297.

Now for all you people who don’t know baseball as well as you think you do, and for those people who believe he should win MVP, why not take a look at his average when he won MVP. When Votto won MVP in 2010 he batted .324, a good 19 points higher than this past season.

So in terms of batting average, this season was a disappointment.

Runs Batted In

Now the biggest argument that I have heard this year consists of two very ignorant comments.

1) RBI’s are not that important.

2) He was not paid to drive them in.

Both of those comments above are absolutely ridiculous. So to prove my point, how about we take a look at the guys who are paid 200+ million dollars and their RBI numbers.

Alex Rodriguez – Besides PED’s this machine was known for hitting home runs and driving in runs.  In his last full season (2010, 130+ games) he drove in 122 runs.

Mark Teixeira – In his last full season (130+ games) he drove in 111 runs

Prince Fielder – In 6 of his last seven seasons he has driven in 100+ runs

My point being each of these guys signed at least a 180 million dollar deal and are still more productive than Votto. You are paid the big bucks to drive in runs, not to walk. I bet when Castellini was signing a check for 225 million dollars he wasn’t thinking about walks.

Runners In Scoring Position

As a big name, highly-paid player, typically you, as a player, get clutch or important hits. Joey Votto did not. This past season Votto had 134 At-Bats with Runners in Scoring Position. He had a batting average of .291, which is lower than his regular season average overall, and drove in 50 Runs. Now since there are people trying to give him the MVP award, let’s compare him to someone who most likely will win the award, Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera with Runners in Scoring position had 156  at-bats, drove in 99 runs, and hit .397.

My point being this past season for Joey Votto was a disaster. I don’t care if people believe walks are the way to go. Walks do not drive in runs. Joey Votto was not a lead off hitter. Joey Votto is a No. 3 hitter. $225,000,000 should be to drive in runs. I don’t see many lead off hitters making that money.

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Tags: Alex Rodriguez Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto Mark Teixeira Miguel Cabrera Prince Fielder

  • JoshBresser

    I’ve yet to see a competent argument as to why RBIs are a useful metric for determining individual performance when they’re clearly a team stat. Enlighten me?

  • Josh Bresser

    I’ve yet to see a competent argument as to why RBIs are a useful metric for determining individual performance when they’re clearly a team stat. Enlighten me?

    • Josh Bresser

      Still waiting.

  • Crouses

    You should have deleted this blog when you realized that Miguel Cabrera had 156 more at-bats with RISP than Votto. If those numbers are correct, then what does that tell you? Why don’t we just start talking about Shaq being one of the great free throw shooters since he is 19th on the all time FT made list.

    • Josh Bresser

      Coincidence that Brandon Phillips, in his “good run producing” season (at least in this guy’s mind), led baseball in ABs with RISP? Therein lies the problem with RBIs.

    • Mercurio

      He did not have 156 more at bats. He had 22. Read again.

  • Ron Fulton

    If that moron Baker would have batted him second, where he belongs, they would be raving about his season, Don;t blame Joey, blame Baker.

  • Ryan Ritchey

    First off, the stat you need to look at instead of average is on-base percentage. Where did he finish in that category? Oh that’s right. FIRST! I have to agree with @joshbresser:disqus on this one. RBI is not a statistic to look to when trying to prove if someone is valuable or not. You are a person that believes Brandon Phillips had a great season, i can see that. Well how did Phillips drive in those runs? Oh thats right again, Votto’s walks put him on base to be driven in. Lastly, with runners in scoring position, Votto was pitched around. He is a feared hitter, Phillips or anybody else in the Reds lineup is not. Your argument is misleading in a lot of ways.

  • Third Stream

    Are you a Cards fan? I haven’t read an article with this amount of bias in a while. A few things I find troubling with your information: Cabrera had 156 more plate opportunities with RISP than Votto – this comparison should not even be made given the difference in sample size; by your logic, only highly-paid players should be responsible for RBIs – what about hitters like Mauer and Crawford, and of course…pitchers? One convenient statistic you left out were runs Votto himself scored, which was 101-good for 5th in the league. What about infield flies, GDPs, and pop outs? You leave a lot to be desired in this article and I hope I represent the majority of readers’ opinions when I ask you to provide a follow-up article providing an exhaustive information, not one which represents the stats a middle school baseball coach uses. If you’re going to attack one of the best hitters in baseball, you yourself should bring your A game.

    • Mercurio

      If you read the article again. He had 156 At-Bats. Not 156 More at bats. He had 22 More at-bats and drove in 99 more runs.

      • Crouses

        Thank you for correcting your original article. I think you meant to say he drove in 99 runs, not 99 more runs. Regardless, I think your issue is more with statistical analysis in baseball as opposed to Joey Votto. Why compare him to Cabrera as opposed to Fielder? Fielder actually made more money in 2013 and he is a 1B. He also hit .287 with RISP for what that is worth.

      • Third Stream

        That’s the only thing you’re going to comment on?

  • RedsFan91

    Not sure where to begin here so I guess I’ll take it by section.

    1. Batting average

    Just because his BA was 19 points below his career-high is a pretty weak argument for saying his season was a disappointment. He was 10th in the NL and had little to no lineup protection around him. While it wasn’t his career best, it was still by all measures an “elite” number. In addition, OBP should surely be taken into consideration here. Michael Cuddyer led the NL with a .331 BA, but Votto’s .435 OBP percentage was still 26 points higher than his. In fact he led the NL in that category. Getting on base in baseball is valuable no matter how you do it and if you would honestly rather Votto hit for a better average but have his OBP take a hit, then I think you are the one with a kiddie-pool shallow knowledge of baseball.

    2. RBIs

    RBIs are probably the most overused statistic in baseball, but Joey Votto was paid (in part) to drive runs in. More specifically he was paid to CREATE runs. If only there was a way to measure that. But wait…there is. It’s conveniently called Runs Created. Even better Joey Votto led the entire national league with 132 of them. Not too shabby.

    The stat is much more comprehensive than RBIs because of its holistic approach. Walks may not drive in runs but they do help create them, which in the end is how you win baseball games.

    3. Runners in scoring position.

    If you are honestly going to tell me that a .291 average with RISP is disastrous then perhaps it’s not worth having this debate. .291 is still an elite number.

    Could Joey Votto have had a better season? Probably. But he was far from the problem. If anything he was another victim of the team’s true problems like a lack of right-handed bats and an increasingly porous bullpen.

    You write with a lot of personality and bravado. That’s good. But your arguments are weak and you don’t do a good job defending your positions.

    • johnvrouse

      Well said.. How many quality pitches does he actually see a game, also?

      • beeker

        If you define “quality” as down-and-away or in-on-the-hands, then I would say most of them.

    • Josh Bresser


  • beeker

    Welcome to the family, Tyler.

    I understand what you are driving at, but it seems overstated. The guy can’t be #1 in every category every year. It seems sort of like arguing that Sofia Vergara isn’t hot because she is over 40 and isn’t blonde. May be true, but you gotta know when you’ve got it pretty damn good.

  • Andrew

    This is the biggest joke of an article I’ve ever written. I hope this is not a sign of things to come, because this was a disgrace. To all sports writers and to Joey Votto.

    His 73 RBI is not indicitive that he had a lousy year. Nor is his .305 BA (Seriously, you’re raking on a .300 hitter? Not to mention you failed to mention his .435 OBP!) RBIs are important, but they are also an awful stat to use when determining how good a hitter is.

    If there is one area I am concerned about it’s Votto’s drop in power. His .491 SLG was his lowest in years especially after a year where he had two knee surgeries. But to think that the Reds are actually trying to make Joey Votto abandon his impressive approach is exactly the mindset that has prevented them from advancing in the playoffs each of their last 3 trips.

    I would not ask Votto to change anything, especially if he’s actually INCAPABLE of reaching for pitches outside the zone! Has anyone even thought of that? I doubt it.

  • Ron Fulton

    Tyler your full of crap. If that idiot Baker would have put him in the two hole, where he belongs the guy would have been an MVP candidate. He led the league in obp, walks, hit .300 to all fields. If that is not a prototype 2 hole hitter. I don’t know what is. Joey is a line drive hitter (dictated by his swing) not a home run hitter like Bruce (dictated by his swing) He would have many more RBI’s batting second because the Reds second hitter either hit inti a force out or a dp last year. Baker and Jocketty cost us the pennant last year, Baker’s mismanagement and Jocketty’s failure to replace Ludwick. That’s the bottom line,