The Career Renaissance of Joey Votto

The Career Renaissance of Joey Votto

Nick Pedone
2 years ago
2 min read
The Career Renaissance of Joey Votto

Y’all, I’m fired up. I’ve about had it with people saying that Joey Votto isn’t a good player, and that he’s not worth his contract. As fans have gotten more educated about advanced metrics, Cincinnati fans have been able to acknowledge his Hall of Fame worthy career—but that’s not what I’m writing about today.  

I’m making the case that Joey Votto is a great player today.

Outcome Stats  

“BuT MiCaH” I hear you say, “VoTtO iSn’T gOoD aNyMoRe!” And I get it. 

Up until 2018, Votto was one of the best players in baseball, and there is a strong argument that he was the best hitter. However, as he has aged, he’s no longer the MVP candidate player he used to be. 

However, let’s be fair to Joey Votto by not comparing him to peak Joey Votto. Let’s just compare Votto to his peers. Combining the pandemic shortened 2020 season with the current 2021 season gives us a good look at the Joey Votto of today. In 444 plate appearances (roughly 60% of a normal season), Votto has a slash line of .246/.347/.460, good for an OPS of .807. That’s not putting him in the All-Star game, but it is far above the MLB average of .728.  

Expected Stats 

Okay, allow me to be a bit nerdy for a moment. Expected stats are a new advanced metric that measure the contact quality of a hitter. By looking at launch angle, exit velocity and player sprint speed, it’s possible to measure the expected production from a batted ball. 

So, with that in mind, what are Votto’s expected metrics, based off his contact quality? .287/.397/.569 good for an OPS of .966. 

Those kind of numbers put people in the All-Star game. 

Obviously there is a huge difference between contact quality and actual outcomes. An out is an out whether it is a robbed home run or an infield pop out. However, we can determine that Votto’s been relatively unlucky and has been dramatically underperforming his batted ball metrics. I’m also incredibly curious to see how Votto will continue producing, now that umpires are enforcing MLB rules regarding foreign substances on the ball. 


As a Cincinnati fan, I feel so grateful to be able to watch the career of Joey Votto. He is a generational talent, and it will be a long time before Reds fans sees another player like him. As he has aged, his adjustments at the plate have showcased his expertise and point to his prowess as a hitter. Players like Votto don’t come along every day, so I am going to watch every at bat while I still can.  

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