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Joey Votto

David Ortiz's inclusion guarantees Joey Votto is first-ballot Hall of Famer

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto celebrates.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto celebrates. / Emilee Chinn/GettyImages
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Over the last few years, Cincinnati Reds fans have heard the constant debate of whether or not Joey Votto is a Hall of Famer. After yesterday's election of David Ortiz to the Baseball Hall of Fame, that debate can be put to rest. Not only is Votto a Hall of Famer, he should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Last year's renaissance season was enough for me to assume that Votto would eventually find his way to Cooperstown. But after yesterday's reveal showed that Ortiz received 77.9% of the baseball writers' approval, I have little doubt that Votto will get in during his first year on the ballot.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Let's put the overall stats of both Joey Votto and David Ortiz side-by-side. For his career, Votto has hit .302/.416/.520 with 331 home runs and 1,065 RBIs. Ortiz slashed .286/.380/.552 with 541 round trippers and 1,768 runs batted in.

Obviously Votto can gain some in both the home run and RBI department, but he won't catch Ortiz. With just two years remaining on his current contract, even if Votto matches his stellar performance from last season, he'd fall 138 homers short and 505 RBIs off Ortiz's pace. But, while numbers are part of the equation, there's more to it than just that.

Votto's 64.6 bWAR already outpaces the 55.3 bWAR of Ortiz. Votto also has a higher career-OPS+ (148) than the newly elected Hall of Famer (141). And while Ortiz played first base on occasion, Votto has 13,817 more innings in the field than the former Red Sox DH. Votto also has a Gold Glove to his name.

Several skeptics will point to David Ortiz's seven Silver Sluggers and note that Joey Votto has none. While that's true, Votto has been robbed of that honor on several occasions. Most recently, Freddie Freeman took home the Silver Slugger last season despite Votto having a higher OPS+ and wRC+. Matt Wilkes of Reds Content Plus has made the argument, that Votto should have five Silver Sluggers by now.

Votto has six All-Star nods while Ortiz has 10. Votto won the NL MVP in 2010 and has six Top 6 finishes. Ortiz never took home an MVP Award, but also had six Top 6 finishes. Oh yeah, let's not forget that Votto was robbed of his second NL MVP in 2017 when Giancarlo Stanton took home the award despite the Reds first baseman have a higher bWAR, on-base percentage, and OPS.

Ortiz led the American League once in home runs and on-base percentage and twice in RBIs and walks. Votto led the National League in walks on five separate occasions and six times had the highest on-base percentage in the league. Votto also led the NL twice in OPS.

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This is not meant in any way to take away from the honor that David Ortiz received yesterday. Big Papi had a phenomenal major league career. But all I've heard over the last few years is that Joey Votto is a borderline Hall of Fame candidate. Ortiz's election to Cooperstown on the first ballot shatters that argument. Joey Votto is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and that's a hill I'm prepared to die on.

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