Votto Garners NL Aaron Award


During a pregame ceremony last evening, the Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto received the Hank Aaron Award. The award is presented annually to the best offensive player in each league. Toronto’s Jose Bautista was the AL recipient.

With this honor comes an omen for Votto, a possibly good one at that.

With Votto receiving the Aaron, it could almost guarantee him the NL MVP. How’s that? There’s an excellent opinion on that from Troy Renck from the Denver Post.

"Cincinnati’s Joey Votto received the Aaron prize Sunday, selected by a small committee of Hall of Famers and a large throng of online fans. As Votto stood at the dais smiling, it drove home a point that will be proved in a few weeks: The press likes Votto, players love CarGo……Truth is, writers break down the numbers. And in an era when every number is retrievable through a search engine, it is much easier to assess a player’s value. What undermines Gonzalez, more than anything else, are his home-road splits. He finished with 34 home runs and 117 RBIs, with 26 and 76 at Coors Field.That invites bias against him. It doesn’t help that Votto had better numbers on the road (19, 57) than at Great American Ballpark (18, 56)."

While Renck may seem like he’s backing his “guy” Carlos Gonzalez for the Aaron, he’s is in favor of Votto winning the NL MVP based off one primary thing.

"Truthfully, I think CarGo deserved the Aaron award over Votto. It rewards the best offensive season. It’s about individual performance, and Gonzalez was better. That said, Votto is more worthy of the NL MVP because it is a reflection of the team’s record. The Reds made the playoffs. They did nothing once there, but they made it. The Rockies didn’t.That will be reflected on the BBWAA ballots."

I’m not in total agreement on CarGo winning the Aaron. I’m not going to pull the old home-road splits either. They speak for themselves, but I will use stats.

In the three main numbers (average, HR and RBI), CarGo did top Votto in two of those (average and RBI). In those categories, Votto was second. CarGo also scored more runs and stole more bases. Votto hit more homers. But Votto also drew over twice as many walks upping his on-base percentage to almost 50 points higher (.424 to .376) than CarGo. Votto was slightly ahead in slugging (.600 to .598). Add this one. Votto was one of two players (count ’em, two) in the NL to post an OPS over 1.000 with a 1.024. The only other player to do so was Albert Pujols (1.011). Gonzalez had an OPS of .974. One other stat, CarGo had 40 more at-bats. He stills wins the batting crown over Votto, but would he have had more RBI if the ABs were equal? Oh, it can go the other way, too. We’ll never really know.

I got Votto’s back. I’m sure all Reds fans do, too.