The Cincinnati Reds’ perennial National League MVP candidate, Joey Votto, won the team honor unanimously.
The Cincinnati Reds watched Joey Votto have an excellent second half of the season, battling for the batting title. By leading the offense, Votto earned the Ernie Lombardi Award as the Reds’ 2016 MVP. He was the first MLB player to bat .400 after the All-Star break since 2004.
Votto had an interesting 2016. Through May he only batted .213. By the time the trade deadline had come around, the Reds were taking offers for the perennial MVP candidate.
When no one met their asking price, they kept him. Now Votto says he wants to continue to stay in Cincinnati. Every year since they signed him to his extension, they have checked in with him regarding the following season.
Votto ended up the season with a nice stat line. He led the NL in OBP. He was also second in OPS and walks with 108.
In 2017 it will be interesting to see where the Reds end up batting Votto to start the season. It appears that he will batting second between center fielder Billy Hamilton and third baseman Eugenio Suarez, but he and Suarez could be flipped. In any case, there is every sign that Votto will be the core of the Reds’ offense for years to come.
Other players besides Votto earned honors for good seasons on and off of the field in 2016.
Dan Straily won the Johnny Vander Meer Most Outstanding Pitcher Award unanimously as well. He led the Reds in stirkeouts and wins, despite allowing home runs at a historic rate. Straily went 14-8 over 31 starts for the Reds in 2016.
The Joe Nuxhall Good Guy Award went to catcher Tucker Barnhart. Barnhart had extended duty in 2016 behind the plate due to injuries to Devin Mesoraco. The Cincinnati Reds’ writers voted on these three awards.
Recently added to the forty man roster, Aristides Aquino earned the Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award as the minor league player of the year. He led all Reds minor leaguers in home runs and RBIs. He also led the Florida State League in triples, total bases and extra-base hits.
The Pitcher of the Year was Reds’ number two prospect Amir Garrett. Garrett is going into camp expecting to compete for the a spot in the Reds’ starting rotation. He made 23 starts between Double-A and Triple-A in 2016.
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Pensacola right-handed reliever, Barrett Astin, won the minor league community service award winner. He joined the forty man roster after a nice showing in the Arizona Fall League. He has an outside chance to make it as a middle reliever out of camp.