Forecasting 2015: Joey Votto

The other day, Jesse gave us a look at Joey Votto and his 2014 season. Today, we’ll attempt to peer into the crystal ball and see what a potentially healthy Joey Votto could provide for the 2015 Cincinnati Reds.

Fangraphs has posted the early Steamer projections for the 2015 season, and as has been the case in the past, those projections aren’t flattering for the Redlegs. What may be of concern is that the offense doesn’t appear to get an “uptick” from having a hitter-friendly home. Here’s what these projections have for Votto in 2015.

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As we look at the projections for each player, we will add those to the above table. This way, we can keep all our eggs in one basket so to speak.

Of note is that Votto is projected to play in only 122 games. You could look at recent injury history and think that is why this holds true, but it isn’t. If you go the Fangraphs, no player Reds is projected to play more than 130 games. Just the nature of these projections. More on that in a few…

Obviously, what jumps out at you first is the batting average. Last season, Votto could only manage to post a BA of .255. What probably confounded fans even more was that Votto had posted five consecutive seasons of owning a BA over .300, and for those five seasons, his BA is .318.

So why the drop? I ask that not because of last season alone, but why the early projections have appeared to have lost confidence in Votto. Was that .255 a blip or are we seeing early signs of regression in the guy some refer to as baseball’s best pure hitter? Obviously, that’s an unknown at this point and 2015 will lend itself to aid in answering that question.

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  • The OBP rises above .400 once again as we all know Votto is not afraid to take a base on balls. The SLG also sees

    And on Votto and his SLG…some of what gave Votto a rather stout SLG was the fact he would hit a lot of doubles. If you look back at his yearly numbers, you will only find one season in which he has clubbed 30 or more home runs (2010, his MVP season). From 2008 to 2013, Votto hit a collective 220 doubles and the least of any single season was 30. You may not think about it much, but those can certainly aid a player’s SLG.

    But the season with those 30 doubles was 2013, his first full season back after the knee surgery. Could Votto be losing his base? If the smaller sample we have from 2014 gives us anything, that answer may be an excruciating yes.

    I’ve never been one to view Votto as a slugger even though many attach that label to him.

    While 2015 does appear to be a bit of a bounce back for Votto, the numbers Steamer has for his 2015 season are no where near what we have seen aside from 2014. Yes, they are “just projections”, but there are occasions where these do hold water.

    Will we ever see Votto regain his 2010 form? These projections emphatically say no. We as Reds fans hope for the opposite.