What Joey Votto has done during the 2021 season has been quite impressive. Is another NL MVP really a possibility for the Cincinnati Reds first baseman? The numbers would suggest that the answer is yes.
Votto hit his 26th home run last night versus the Philadelphia Phillies and sits alone in second-place behind Fernando Tatis Jr. who leads the league with 31 long balls. With several of the top stars in the National League either on the injured list or having below-average seasons (we’re looking at you, Mookie Betts), Votto has a legitimate chance to take home his second NL MVP.
Most Reds fans would argue that Joey Votto should already have his second NL MVP Award after the six-time All-Star was robbed of the trophy in 2017 when the writers inexplicably rewarded Giancarlo Stanton as the National League’s Most Valuable Player. How does Votto stack up against the competition?
How does Reds first baseman Joey Votto stack up against the competition?
There should not even be a question about whether or not Joey Votto is in the MVP hunt; he is! The question now becomes, how does the 37-year-old stack up against the very best in the National League?
First, we can now officially dismiss Jacob deGrom from the MVP conversation. The New York Mets starter has been out of action since July 7th and two-time Cy Young Award-winner only has 15 starts on the season. deGrom, when healthy, is the best pitcher in the NL, though I’d argue that a pitcher has no business winning the MVP. Moving on!
Ronald Acuña Jr. may well have been on his way to the NL MVP this season, but a devastating knee injury has sidelined the 23-year-old for the remainder of the 2021 season. Despite being on the 60-day IL, Acuña still leads the NL in slugging.
Bryce Harper is another name to keep an eye on. Harper won the NL MVP during his age-22 season back in 2015 and is having another fabulous campaign. The left-handed slugger is hitting nearly .300 on the season, ranks second in the league in on-base percentage.
Honestly, the only player in the National League who even holds a candle to Joey Votto at the moment is the odds-on favorite to take home the MVP Award this season; San Diego Padres’ All-Star Fernando Tatis Jr.
Tatis Jr., who’s currently on the IL, has played 87 games this season; the exact same number as Votto. Tatis Jr. leads Votto in doubles, home runs, stolen bases, batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS. Votto has the upper hand in terms of RBIs, walks, on-base percentage, and has 16 fewer strikeouts on the season.
This is a two-horse race between Tatis Jr. and Votto. If Tatis Jr. fails to return to the lineup anytime soon, there’s a chance that Joseph Daniel Votto could overtake the Padres’ shortstop and take home the hardware.