Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto due for down season

(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /

Following up a season that saw Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto just miss out on the MVP, the first baseman is due for a regression.

Joey Votto has consistently been the second best offensive player in MLB since he joined the Cincinnati Reds full-time.  Early in his career the other elite players were Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols.  Now, he is second only to Mike Trout of the Los Angels Angels and is playing on an undervalued contract.

2018 is Votto’s age 35 season.  Most batter become more mistake focused as they age.  Votto, though, still appears to be in prime shape as a hitter and a first round fantasy lock.

In seven of Votto’s ten years as the starting first baseman, he played 150 or more games.  Only once has he not played at least 110 games.  This isn’t likely to continue.

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Whether by injury or via rest 145 games or less seems more reasonable.  That will cost Votto about fifty at-bats.  That will trickle down to the rest of his stats.

Aside from the age regression, Votto is also due for a particular stat regression.  He only struck out 82 times which was a career low for seasons in which he played the entire season.  He may be able to maintain his walk totals, but the strikeouts will change the rest of this stats.

Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto will see his power number go down in 2018.

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Votto has only his more than 30 home runs twice in his career.  He is not likely to do so again in 2018.  The number of games will hold him back.

He also did the Adam Dunn special in 2017, driving in 100 runs and walking 100 times.  There is little reason to expect Votto to do that again this season.  The runs will hold him back.

Votto also drove in over 100 runs for the third time in his career in 2018.  Despite the better team around him, Votto is not likely to replicate that.  He is too likely to take a walk when other batters would go for the RBI.

The question then is whether or not Votto can bat .300 again in 2018.  He is a .313 career batter, but eventually that number will fall.  This season is a likely dip from .320, but it may stay above .300.

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Votto will make a run at leading the National League in runs created again in 2018.  He is such a good player that few people will challenge him.  Unfortunately, for Reds’ fans it is more than likely that Votto is on the fast slide downhill.