Joey Votto
Joey Votto
36-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
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$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.
Out of Friday's lineup
1BCincinnati Reds
September 27, 2019
Votto is not in the lineup for Friday's game at Pittsburgh.
Votto started the last eight contests but will head to the bench after going 0-for-10 with five strikeouts in the last two games. Alex Blandino receives the start at first base in the series opener.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Since 2017vs Left .801 590 60 16 64 3 .265 .390 .411
Since 2017vs Right .921 1348 192 47 150 9 .300 .421 .500
2019vs Left .656 176 16 1 10 2 .243 .347 .309
2019vs Right .814 432 63 14 37 3 .268 .361 .453
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
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2017Home .893 960 133 32 116 7 .284 .422 .471
Since 2017Away .876 978 119 31 98 5 .294 .402 .474
2019Home .762 301 43 4 18 3 .265 .382 .379
2019Away .773 307 36 11 29 2 .257 .332 .441
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
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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.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
89.0 mph
Hard Hit Rate
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Defensive Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Joey Votto
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Clay Link looks at appearances by position and makes note of multi-position eligibility and lost eligibility for 2020.
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Erik Halterman looks at the season's biggest risers and fallers in his farewell column. Few players outperformed their ADP as much as Kansas City's Jorge Soler this year.
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20 days ago
With the big pitching names set to work on a pitch count, Sasha Yodashkin thinks Eduardo Rodriguez should have no problem notching his 20th win versus the Orioles.
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21 days ago
Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright is in a solid spot with the Cubs trotting out a hodgepodge lineup absent of stars.
DraftKings MLB: Saturday Picks
21 days ago
Adam Wainwright is heating up at the perfect time and Mike Barner thinks that run will continue at home against the struggling Cubs.
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
Small changes in approach
1BCincinnati Reds
September 25, 2019
Votto has abandoned choking up on the bat and has been more upright in the batter's box over the last month of the season, Mark Sheldon of reports. He's batted .321 with three homers over the last 24 games.
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Back in starting nine
1BCincinnati Reds
September 17, 2019
Votto (illness) is starting at first base and batting second Tuesday against the Cubs.
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Battling illness
1BCincinnati Reds
September 16, 2019
Votto was scratched from the lineup Monday against the Cubs due to illness, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
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Scratched for undisclosed reasons
1BCincinnati Reds
September 16, 2019
Votto was scratched from the lineup ahead of Monday's game against the Cubs.
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Not starting Sunday
1BCincinnati Reds
September 15, 2019
Votto is out of the lineup for Sunday's game at Arizona.
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