Cincinnati Reds: Joey Votto’s 300th home run cements Hall of Fame status

CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 30: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates his 300th career home run. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 30: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates his 300th career home run. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

If you were putting together a Mount Rushmore of Cincinnati Reds greats, Joey Votto would probably fall just short. After all, you cannot leave off Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, and Joe Morgan, right? You could even make the argument for Frank Robinson and Sparky Anderson to rank higher than Votto in terms of Reds lore.

However, Votto’s 300th home run during yesterday’s game cemented his standing as a future Hall of Famer. While Votto’s inclusion won’t be unanimous and he’s unlikely to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, he’ll eventually join the aforementioned Reds greats in Cooperstown following his retirement.

Joey Votto’s 300th HR make the Reds first baseman a lock for Cooperstown.

When it comes to who’s in and who’s out, numbers matter. Our friend Matt Wilkes, co-creator of Reds Content Plus (which is a great follow by the way), tweeted out an outstanding statistic following Votto’s 300th round tripper.

Wilkes discovered that 44 players in Major League Baseball history have eclipsed 400 doubles, 300 home runs, and 1,000 walks in their careers. Of the 44, only 14 have done so while playing for one team.

Votto is one of those 14 and 12 of the 13 are all in the Hall of Fame. Todd Helton is lone exception, and he may find his way into Cooperstown veery soon. Helton received 44.9% of the vote during his third year on the ballot, gaining over 15% of the vote from 2020 to 2021.

Helton has Votto beat in Silver Sluggers (4) and won the batting title in 2000. Th former Colorado Rockies first baseman also has three Gold Gloves on his resume while Votto has just one. However, Votto has an MVP (should have two) and one more All-Star appearance (6) than does Helton (5).

Joey Votto’s defense is good enough to include him in the Hall of Fame.

Joey Votto is not a defensive wizard at first base, but the 37-year-old can still hold his own. After Edgar Martinez, a career designated hitter, who has only 580 career starts playing the field, made the Hall of Fame in 2019, defensive metrics no longer hold as much weight.

Sure, Martinez’ Hall of Fame career has seven All-Star appearances, five Silver Sluggers, and two batting titles, but Votto’s 1,730 starts at first base represent seven seasons worth of time at first base that Martinez never saw on the field. Plus, Votto’s got a Gold Glove to his credit.

The way modern day analytics measure defensive statistics will also have an impact moving forward in how the baseball writers elect players to Cooperstown. Stats like outs above average and defensive runs saved will become the measuring stick for elite defensive players. Errors and fielding percentage will no longer carry the same clout as before.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto is a Hall of Famer; plain and simple.

It won’t be in his first year of eligibility, in fact, it shouldn’t be. But, Joey Votto belongs in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, period! Why this is still a discussion is beyond me. Votto’s approach at the plate changed the way thee game was played. The former second-round pick made the walk popular.

Votto, and future Hall of Famers Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera, set the standard for first basemen during their peak. Players like Paul Goldschmidt and Freddie Freeman are well on their way to becoming the next generation of great first baseman.

If St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who has a career WAR of 41.1, is getting so much attention at the tail-end of his career as a likely candidate to join the Hall of Fame, then Joey Votto (60.7 WAR) should as well.

Next. Reds Top 10 all-time leaders in doubles

Votto ranks first in walks (1,226), third in on-base percentage (.418), doubles (418), and home runs (300), fourth in OPS (.934), sixth in slugging (.516), seventh in hits (1,931) and games played (1,796) in Cincinnati Reds history.