Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto vs Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout

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

The Cincinnati Reds have the best hitter in the National League, but not the best in baseball.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto is arguably the second best hitter in all of baseball.  Over the past several years he has separated himself from Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals as the best hitter in the National League.

To put it in perspective, Votto is 240th in all-time career WAR.  Harper isn’t even in the top 1,000 yet.  Goldschmidt is 647, but Votto is pulling away in WAR.

In 2017 Votto was second in runs created in all of MLB to Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies.  Goldschmidt was sixth and Harper wasn’t even in the top ten.  Harper gets a ton credit for being great, but he has plenty of flaws in his offensive game.

What’s interesting about comparing Votto to Mike Trout is that they play a completely different game.  Votto is all about OBP and runs created.  Trout, however, is about OPS and traditional stats.

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Trout led the American League in OBP, slugging, and OPS last season.  That is an impressive feat to be sure.  He also led the AL in WPA (Win Probability Added).

Joey Votto is trying to carry the Cincinnati Reds into the playoffs, but Mike Trout has shown us that baseball doesn’t work that way.

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Trout is 234th all-time in WAR.  However, he is eight years younger than Votto.  He also has played four fewer years than Votto.  By the time Trout retires, he will pass Votto.

In comparing the two, it stands out that Trout was about four year younger than Votto when he made his debut.  That will make all of the career long stats more impressive.  Trout also has better slugging numbers.

Where Trout and Votto come together as the best hitters in baseball are win probability stats.

Trout leads the AL in WPA and Votto leads the NL and is undervalued.  There is a similar stat called situational wins added.  For his career Votto is at 48 and Trout is at 37, which places them third and fifth among active players.

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In the end Trout and Votto are mirror images of each other in the truest sense of the word mirror.  Votto bats left-handed, chokes up on the bat, and broke into the majors at a later age than most high school draftees.  By comparison, Trout is a right-handed free swinging, uber athlete, whose only real competition for the best hitter in the game is the Reds’ first baseman.