4. Joey Votto – 2010
We all know who Joey Votto is now, but who was Votto before 2010? The young slugging first baseman finished second to Geovany Soto of the Cubs in the 2008 Rookie of the Year voting. Votto was already showing tremendous consistency by hitting 24 homers in 2008 followed by 25 round-trippers in 2009. Amazingly, he drove in 84 runs each season prior to winning the MVP.
What did Votto do to take home the hardware in 2010? He only led the league in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS while establishing career highs with 37 homers and 113 RBI’s. Votto also made the first of his six NL All-Star teams.
Did we mention that Votto also led the Reds to their first Central Division title and playoff appearance in 15 years? Yes, in the same season that Joey Votto took home the MVP trophy, Jay Bruce sent all of Reds Country home smiling after a walk-off home run in the ninth inning on September 28th sent the Redlegs to the postseason.
Where did Votto’s career go following the 2010 season? He established his reputation as being one of the best hitters of his generation. Votto has led the NL in OBP seven times, base on balls five times and OPS twice.
Only Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, and Ty Cobb have led the league in OBP more times than Votto. He also has five other top 10 MVP finishes. Inconceivably, he has never captured a Silver Slugger award. Reds fans thought that my change this year, but it was not to be.