Joey Votto
Joey Votto
35-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Cincinnati Reds
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Votto led the NL with a .417 OBP, but barely out-slugged his OBP, coming in at .419 with only 12 homers. He lost 39 runs and 33 RBI despite an improved lineup around him. That dropoff was particularly acute after he got hit by a Ryan Madson fastball on the knee on Aug. 4 -- he had to go on the DL and hit just three homers over 201 subsequent plate appearances. But even before that incident, Votto was hitting .289/.422/.442 over 422 first-half plate appearances. He turned 35 in September and it's fair to question how much of his power decline is attributable to age and not injury. Two positive signs: his 41.0 Hard% was the best mark of his entire career and his groundball rate was still under 40%. After carrying a second-round price tag last season, he had an NFBC ADP of 77.6 in the month of December. That's a pretty nice discount for someone who is a safe bet to prop up a fantasy team's batting average and is one year removed from hitting 36 home runs. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a 10-year, $225 million contract extension with the Reds in April of 2012. Contract includes $20 million team option ($7 million buyout) for 2024.
Heads to bench
1BCincinnati Reds
September 23, 2018
Votto is not in the lineup Sunday in Miami.
Votto sits for the second time this month. He's hit a solid .290/.405/.464 in September. Tucker Barnhart will move out to first base in his absence, with Curt Casali catching.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .864 596 63 20 76 5 .287 .404 .460
Since 2016vs Right .995 1411 211 57 188 10 .321 .449 .545
2018vs Left .758 217 21 5 26 1 .260 .382 .376
2018vs Right .880 406 46 7 41 1 .298 .436 .444
2017vs Left .988 197 23 10 28 0 .292 .437 .552
2017vs Right 1.048 510 83 26 72 5 .331 .461 .588
2016vs Left .861 182 19 5 22 4 .314 .396 .465
2016vs Right 1.033 495 82 24 75 4 .330 .448 .584
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
Since 2016Home .960 996 147 44 155 9 .300 .437 .523
Since 2016Away .950 1011 127 33 109 6 .322 .435 .515
2018Home .808 315 35 8 40 1 .258 .403 .405
2018Away .866 308 32 4 27 1 .311 .432 .434
2017Home 1.096 344 55 20 58 3 .328 .474 .623
2017Away .973 363 51 16 42 2 .313 .435 .537
2016Home .967 337 57 16 57 5 .310 .430 .536
2016Away 1.002 340 44 13 40 3 .340 .438 .564
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Stat Review
How does Joey Votto compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Joey Votto
The Z Files: What Is a Projection?
68 days ago
Todd Zola examines the philosophy behind player projections, and looks at why having a projected stat line for Anthony Rendon doesn't necessarily help you judge whether he's a good fit for the roster you're constructing.
The Z Files: Historical Top 200
74 days ago
Todd Zola takes a look at the end-of-season top-200 performers over the last five years and thinks Charlie Blackmon's being discounted too heavily in early drafts given his track record.
Collette Calls: Breaking Down Joey Votto
104 days ago
Jason Collette investigates Joey Votto, who had more than 600 plate appearances but hit a career-low 12 home runs. What's up with Votto?
Oak’s Corner: 2019 Targets
117 days ago
For his final column of the season, Scott Jenstad looks at players he’ll be targeting in the Spring of 2019, including Tommy Pham, who’s had a so-so 2018, but has flourished in his last 33 games, hitting .360 with seven homers.
The Z Files: Confession Time
117 days ago
Todd Zola looks back at a couple of tough years in showcase leagues and wonders if he's been relying too heavily on projected breakouts from young players like Luis Castillo.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Votto improbably keeps finding ways to improve, even at age 33. In 2017 he finished second in NL MVP voting, narrowly losing to Giancarlo Stanton following a .320/.454/.578 season. Votto struck out a career-low 11.7 percent of the time after making that a point of emphasis in the offseason. As long as he remains healthy, and he played every inning of 2017, you can take a .300 BA and .400 OBP to the bank, and with the Reds' offense on the rise, perhaps his counting stats will come along for the ride. The bigger question is how early do you take him? First base is such a deep position, and his stolen bases continue to decline -- chances are he'll land in the second round in mixed leagues even with his remarkable consistency. Don't worry about a potential trade away from the Reds -- he has a complete no-trade clause and has consistently expressed a desire to stay in Cincinnati.
Votto was a little slow to heat up in 2016, but once he did, he was the hottest star in the baseball universe. After batting .229 and .200 in April and May, respectively, Votto went on to post these marks in the subsequent four months: .319, .413, .394, .395. He easily led all qualifying hitters in average (.408), on-base percentage (.490) and slugging (.668) during the second half of the season, walking 15 more times than he struck out after the All-Star break while adding 15 homers. Now that he's two full seasons removed from the quad issues that led to the only down year of his career, Votto is firmly back among the safest options in fantasy baseball. His success isn't lineup-dependent either, as evidenced by his stellar counting stats in 2016 despite a lackluster supporting cast. There will be younger, sexier options in the first two rounds of drafts, but few can provide the peace of mind that Votto does.
After seeing Votto limp through the 2014 season, hampered by a distal quadriceps strain that he never shook, he rebounded with a fury in 2015. Once again he was able to generate power from his legs, resulting in 29 homers and a .227 ISO. He drew a career-high 143 walks. Yet to hear some Cincinnati commentators, Votto somehow fell short because he only knocked in 80 runs - that commentary is woefully short-sighted, ignoring all the disaster in front of him in the form of Billy Hamilton and Jason Bourgeois. While the names in front of him might change for the better, those behind him are likely to get worse. The Reds have already traded away Todd Frazier, and more trades could be in the offing as they continue their overhaul. Votto might walk 150 times this year and drive in 70.
Every year RotoWire's top injury analyst Jeff Stotts cautions readers about how a distal quadriceps strain can linger for a player, particularly if he tries to come back too soon. In 2015, all he'll have to do is point to Votto's 2014 season. Votto was limited to 62 games with the injury between two DL stints, with a 23-game stretch in between where he failed to homer even once. Not only did Votto fail to produce as he once regularly did, but because of overly optimistic timetables, his owners held onto him for far too long during his second DL trip before he was finally declared out for the season. In a format with a limited bench and no DL spots like the NFBC, that can be deadly. The big question going forward is what sort of player will Votto be once he finally returns at full strength -- is it reasonable to expect him to hit .300-plus with 20 homers any longer, or will the power fail to return? At least you will be able to find out in 2015 at a discounted rate, unlike the Reds, who are still on the hook for at least nine more years plus a club option for a 10th year.
Votto was a lightning rod for criticism among Reds fans and the local media, but for all the wrong reasons. Way too much bandwidth was spent on discussing his walk rate - as if having a .435 OBP could ever be construed as a negative! But it is true that at times he failed in high profile situations, most notably with the bases loaded. He did struggled defensively in the first half of the season. And most importantly, his power was down - his ISO dropped from .230 to .186. That last factor, combined with the absolutely horrid No. 2 hitters in front of him most of the year contributed to a steep decline in RBI, which has a tangible impact on his fantasy value. He's still an elite player in real life, but in our game those shortcomings knock him out of the first round in traditional formats.
June 24 - that was the last time Joey Votto homered during the 2012 season. He injured his knee five days later while sliding into third base in San Francisco, and that purportedly minor injury ended up being a lot more serious than expected. He eventually needed two procedures and was left with very little time to go on a minor league rehab assignment before returning in September. It was pretty clear in September and in the playoffs that he wasn't back to his full self. While he's still an amazing hitter in real life, some of Votto's fantasy value gets diminished in leagues that don't use on-base percentage, as he's not a pure power hitter. His career fly ball rate is 34.4%, and he hasn't sniffed the 40 percent average since 2009. Thus, his ultimate homer upside is diminished. That flaw however also makes him a better bet to hit for high average. But because of this knee injury, the days of Votto getting double-digits in stolen bases is probably long gone.
For a power hitter, Votto doesn't hit a lot of flyballs (34.8 percent in 2010, 33.4 percent in 2011). The difference between his 37-homer 2010 season and his 29-homer season last year was that his HR/FB percentage dropped from an absurdly-high 25 percent in 2010 to a merely high 18.2 percent in 2011. However, he also lowered his groundball rate in 2011, turning more of those into line drives, so there is some hope that he ultimately will hit more flyballs, taking advantage of his settings at the Great American Ball Park. Otherwise, it's all systems go for Votto - expect many more high-average, high-OBP seasons hitting the middle of the Reds order. He's still good for 7-to-10 stolen bases in a given season, too.
Votto's counting stats were able to catch up with his already great rate stats in 2010, leading up to his NL MVP award. Just think how many RBI he'd be able to tally if the Reds were capable of putting a decent leadoff man in front of him - Reds leadoff hitters were among the bottom five in baseball in both batting average and on-base percentage. At age 27, Votto is in the prime of his career, so a repeat of his 2010 power numbers is probable. The one aspect that might not repeat, however, is his 16 stolen bases.
Votto's high-profile bout with depression in dealing with his father's death shed a lot of light on the topic and how it pertains to sports. The Reds were actually fairly progressive in allowing him to get the proper treatment and recovery, and while it's hard to forever declare him past that issue, he was able to at least deal with it adequately enough to allow him to play. Once he got on the field, Votto took the next step up to put himself among the elite first basemen in the game. In a league that has Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard, Votto might not get too many All-Star appearances, but he's going to be a steady producer for the foreseeable future. His excellent batting eye makes him that much more valuable in leagues that account for OBP.
Votto began the year having to split time with Scott Hatteberg at first base but ended the year as the Reds' best hitter. He and fellow rookie Jay Bruce will form the core of the new Reds lineup, along with Brandon Phillips. It'll be up to the Reds to make sure to surround them with enough quality hitters to build a decent offense, but Votto will do his part. There's some talk that he'll eventually be moved off first base to make room for Yonder Alonso, but that conversation won't likely happen in earnest until 2010.
After a strong September trial, Reds fans had just one question about Votto: What took so long to call him up? Sure, Scott Hatteberg had a nice season, but the Reds were quite clearly playing out the string by midseason, and Votto could have used the extra time to adjust to the majors. Chances are that he'll be the Opening Day starter at first base, but be aware that the Reds exercised their 2008 option on Hatteberg, and that new manager Dusty Baker isn't exactly renowned for playing the young prospect over the proven veteran.
Votto needed to have a big year at Double-A Chattanooga to continue his development, and he delivered, winning the Southern League's MVP Award. He's always had the raw power that drew the Reds towards him in the first place, but he refined that power while moving up a level. Scott Hatteberg will begin the year as the starting first baseman for the Reds, but don't be surprised if you see Votto's name in the lineup at that spot by September.
Votto is still a little behind the curve developmentally, having not yet mastered high-A ball despite turning 22 in September. He continues to impress scouts with his raw power, but he hasn't yet completely translated that batting practice power into performance in game situations. Still, besides Jay Bruce, he's the Reds' best power prospect, perhaps underscoring the problems the team will face in the future.
Votto needed a good year at low Single-A Dayton to remain a legitimate prospect and he responded in kind. Votto, a Canadian, was a second-round pick by the Reds in 2002 and took a little extra time getting used to the jump in competition. He's one of the few power prospects in the Reds system.
More Fantasy News
Swats 12th homer
1BCincinnati Reds
September 15, 2018
Votto went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in Friday's 3-2 loss to the Cubs.
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Heads to bench
1BCincinnati Reds
September 11, 2018
Votto is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Dodgers, Mark Sheldon of reports.
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Doubles, plates two vs. Dodgers
1BCincinnati Reds
September 10, 2018
Votto went 1-for-4 with a double, two RBI, a walk and a run scored Monday in the win over Los Angeles.
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Homers again in loss
1BCincinnati Reds
September 9, 2018
Votto went 1-for-4 with a three-run home run in Sunday's 7-6 loss to the Padres.
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Blasts grand slam
1BCincinnati Reds
September 8, 2018
Votto went 1-for-2 with a walk and a grand slam in Saturday's win over the Padres.
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