Reds: Joey Votto’s power surge is key to 5-game winning streak

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 04: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after a double play to end the game. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 04: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after a double play to end the game. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

At 37 years old, Joey Votto is having his best season since he nearly won the NL MVP in 2017, and he’s leading the way during the Cincinnati Reds‘ 5-game winning streak. If Votto can maintain this level of intensity and production, the Reds will be a force over the second half of the 2021 season.

Votto has been oft-criticized over the past few seasons, and with good reason. The former MVP had lost a step, and his gargantuan salary ruffled the feathers of some fans throughout Reds Country. This season, however, feels different.

Joey Votto is leading the charge for the 2021 Cincinnati Reds.

Baseball Savant has become an interesting follow for a lot of stat heads, and Joey Votto found the website interesting over the offseason. This season, Votto is lighting up his player page, as the six-time All-Star is among the Top 10% in the league in average exit velocity, max exit velocity, xwOBA, and xSLG. In short, Votto’s power is back.

The left-handed hitting slugger made the conscience decision this past offseason to stop crouching in the batters’ box and stood more upright. This new and improved stance was very similar to what we’ve seen from Votto in the past. Whether it’s a new batting stance, new mindset, or he presence of productive players around him, Joey Votto is producing this season.

A bout with COVID-19 and a broken thumb has limited the future Hall of Famer to just 54 games this season. But Votto hasn’t let his absence affect his production. Since his return from the IL on June 8th, Votto is hitting .300/.388/.533 with a wRC+ of 150. That is vintage Joey Votto. Votto hasn’t put up numbers like that during a season since the aforementioned 2017 campaign.

Even Votto’s numbers over the course of the entire season are trending in the right direction. His batting average is sitting at .258, which is in line with where the Reds first baseman was in 2019, but the .474 slugging percentage is Votto’s highest mark since 2017 (.578).

Joey Votto’s production has fueled the Reds 5-game winning streak.

Joey Votto went 0-for-5 in the Cincinnati Reds’ come from behind, walk-off victory versus the San Diego Padres on Thursday night at Great American Ball Park. But, against the Chicago Cubs, Votto showed that he still bangs.

Over the past four games, Votto has slashed .500/.667/1.000 with a double, a home run, and three RBIs. Votto has also drawn three walks during those four games; something we surprisingly haven’t seen much from Votto in 2021. His walk-rate of 9.7% is the lowest since he broke into the league in 2008.

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Joey Votto is a man on a mission, and the entire Cincinnati Reds team seems hungry to help the former MVP get back to the postseason. After last night’s victory, the Reds are only six games back of the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers, and have seven straight games versus the Beer Makers between now and next weekend.