Joey Votto

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Joey Votto
Joey Votto on June 25, 2011 (1).jpg
Votto in 2011
Cincinnati Reds – No. 19
First baseman
Born: (1983-09-10) September 10, 1983 (age 30)
Toronto, Ontario
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 4, 2007 for the Cincinnati Reds
Career statistics
(through July 14, 2014)
Batting average .310
Hits 1,055
Home runs 163
Runs batted in 553
OBP .417
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Joseph Daniel "Joey" Votto (born September 10, 1983) is a Canadian professional baseball first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball. In 2010, he won the National League MVP Award, the National League Hank Aaron Award, and the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's athlete of the year.[1]

Early life[edit]

Votto was born on September 10, 1983 to Joseph and Wendy Votto in Toronto, Ontario, and grew up in Etobicoke, a district in the west end of Toronto. His mother is a sommelier and restaurant manager. His father was a chef and a baseball fan who died at age 52 in 2008.[2] He is of Italian descent. As a child, Votto adorned his wall with a Ted Williams poster.[3]

He enrolled in high school at Richview Collegiate Institute in 1997. In high school, Votto also played basketball — playing point guard and once scoring 37 points in a game — and hockey.[4] He played for the Etobicoke Rangers baseball program.[5]

Early career[edit]

Votto was drafted out of high school in the second round of the 2002 MLB amateur draft by the Reds (44th overall), After his first two professional seasons with the Reds' rookie-level affiliates, Votto burst onto the scene in 2004 with the Class A Dayton Dragons, hitting 26 doubles and 14 home runs with a batting average of .302. He was promoted to the Class A Advanced Potomac and hit five more home runs in 20 games to end the season with 19.

Votto's consistency declined during 2005 campaign with Sarasota. While he still hit 19 home runs, he struck out 122 times and his batting average dropped nearly 50 points to .256.

Votto rebounded in 2006 with the best season of his minor league career. Playing with Class AA Chattanooga, he improved his batting average to .319 and hit 46 doubles and 22 home runs. He led the Southern League in batting average and total bases and was third in home runs and RBI. Votto was selected to play in the 2006 Futures Game on the World Team. He also played on both the Mid-Season and Post-Season Northern League All-Star teams, and was voted a minor league all-star by Baseball America. Votto culminated his season by winning the Northern League MVP award. During his five seasons in the minors, Votto carried Ted Williams' The Science of Hitting with him.[3]

Major leagues (2007–present)[edit]

2007 season[edit]

Votto started off the 2007 season playing in Triple-A for the Louisville Bats. He was called up on September 1, 2007. He made his Major League debut on September 4, 2007, striking out against Guillermo Mota of the New York Mets. In his second major league at bat Votto hit his first career home run. He went 3-for-5 and scored two runs as the Reds won the game, 7–0. On September 8, Votto went 1-for-3 with a home run and three runs batted in. His three RBIs were the only Reds' runs as they lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, 4–3. In his next game, he went 2-for-4. On September 14, Votto stole his first career base against the Brewers. Votto ended the season going 2-for-4 with a home run and five RBIs in the Cincinnati Reds' final game of the 2007 season.[6] Votto would finish the season batting .321 with 4 home runs and 17 runs batted in.

Votto in Spring Training, 2008

2008 season[edit]

Beginning with the 2008 season, Votto shared time platooning at first base with Scott Hatteberg until Manager Dusty Baker began playing Votto as the Reds' starting first baseman in early April. On April 15, Votto hit his first home run of the season off of Michael Wuertz. Votto drove in a career-high five runs against the Cubs two games later.

On May 7, Votto hit three home runs in a game against the Chicago Cubs. “I’m like a kid,” said Votto, a second-year player who had never hit more than one in a game. “I thought it was cool. It’s not a big part of my game.”[7]

Votto hit his first career pinch-hit home run against Cleveland's Cliff Lee, who would go on to win the AL Cy Young Award. On August 31, Votto had his first career four-hit game against the San Francisco Giants. He knocked in 4 runs in a 9–3 Reds victory.

On September 18, Votto and teammate Jay Bruce each homered twice. They became the fifth rookie teammates in the divisional-era to hit 20 home runs in the same season.[8]

He finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting to the Chicago Cubs' Geovany Soto.[9] Votto led all NL rookies in hitting (.297), hits (156), HR (24), total bases (266), multi-hit games (42), on-base percentage (.368) and slugging percentage (.506).[10]

He also broke the Reds' record for the most runs batted in by a rookie in a season. The previous record was held by National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson with 83 in 1956. Votto drove in 84 runs during the 2008 season.

2009 season[edit]

Votto played for Canada in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. In Canada's first game against the United States, Votto had four hits in five at-bats, one of which was a home run.[11]

Votto began the 2009 season strong as the outright starter at first base. In the second game of the season, Votto went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI in a loss to the New York Mets. In the next game against the Mets, Votto had another homer and four RBI. He had a six-game hitting streak from April 12–18. On April 23, he went 4-for-5 with a home run and two runs batted in against the Cubs.[12] Votto ended out with a .346 batting average, 3 home runs, and 20 runs batted in in the month of April.[13]

Votto opened May with a five-game hitting streak. In a May matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals, Votto had two homers and four RBI. He finished the month with five home runs and a .378 batting average. However, Votto was placed on the DL to open June after missing time in May due to personal issues. Prior to his return game during the 2009 season, he indicated he had been suffering from depression and anxiety issues as a result of the sudden death of his father in August 2008, and had sought treatment.[14] He had previously missed time because of dizziness related to an inner ear infection.

Votto made his return against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 23. In his third game back, Votto went 4-for-5 with a home run and four runs batted in.[12] After going hitless in his fourth game back, Votto had a 14-game hitting streak. During that stretch, Votto batted .389 with three home runs and 14 runs batted in. His hitting streak ended against the Mets on July 12 when he went 0-for-2.[12]

Votto was named the National League Player of the Week for September 21–27, 2009 after hitting 10 doubles in a five-game span, a feat not accomplished in 77 years since Hall of Fame outfielder Paul Waner of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1932.[15]

Despite missing 31 games overall, Votto finished the 2009 season among the National League leaders in batting average (.322), on-base percentage (.414) and slugging percentage (.567) and he hit 25 home runs.[10]

2010 season[edit]

Votto started the 2010 season by going 3-for-5 with a home run and a run batted in. By the end of April, Votto had four home runs and 12 runs batted in. His average was .275 but his on=base percentage was .400 due to 18 bases on balls.

Votto played better in the month of May. He batted .344 with six home runs and 21 runs batted in. However, he missed the last six games that month due to a sore neck. Votto would be back on June 1 in a game against the Cardinals. He went 4-for-5 with a home run and a run batted in. The Reds won the game to regain the NL Central lead.

Votto was not initially voted to the 2010 All-Star game in Anaheim, California, but made the roster via online fan voting through the National League's Final Vote. Votto was named on 13.7 million of the 26 million ballots submitted.[16] Votto went 0-for-2 in the game.

On August 25, Votto went 4-for-7 with two home runs and four RBI. Votto also drove in the tie-breaking run with asingle off Giants pitcher Barry Zito.[17] Votto made the cover of Sports Illustrated on the August 30, 2010 edition.

On September 11, Votto hit his first career walk-off home run off Pirates relief pitcher Justin Thomas.[citation needed]

For the season, Votto hit .324 with 113 RBIs, 106 runs scored and 37 homers, including a grand slam off Tommy Hanson of the Atlanta Braves on May 20. He finished the season leading the Major Leagues in On-Base Percentage (.424) and led the National League in Slugging Percentage (.600) and On-Base Plus Slugging (1.024). The Reds made the postseason but lost to the Phillies in the National League Divisional Series in a three-game sweep.[18] Votto struggled in the series, batting .091 with one run batted in.[10]

Votto won the 2010 Hank Aaron Award in the National League.[19]

He was announced as the 2010 NL MVP, coming within one vote of winning unanimously as Albert Pujols received the other first-place vote.[20] He was only the third Canadian to win the MVP award, after Larry Walker and Justin Morneau.[21] He became the first Reds player to win the National League MVP since Barry Larkin won it in 1995. "Not to be dramatic or anything, but after I was told, I couldn't help but cry because I know how much at some point this meant to me and would have meant to my (late) father," Votto remarked after being named MVP. He added, "I did some pretty good things, and most importantly, we won. We went to the playoffs -- it's been a long time since we'd been to the playoffs -- and I think those all together were the reason I won."[21]

2011 season[edit]

On January 16, it was announced that the Reds and Votto agreed to a three-year, $38 million deal. [22]

Votto homered in the Reds' first game of the 2011 season, a solo homer off Kameron Loe of the Brewers. Votto recorded his first four-hit game of the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks and raised his average to .455. By the end of April, Votto had a .370 batting average, four home runs, and 14 runs batted in. He posted a .500 on-base percentage. Votto began the season by reaching base in 27 consecutive games dating back to the previous season. The club record was set by Dave Collins with 34 in 1981.

On June 25, Votto hit his 100th career home run against Brian Matusz of the Orioles. He later added another home run in the game. That was also his first multi-homer game of the season. He also drove in five runs, his most in a game during the season.[23]

On July 3, Votto was voted in by the players for the 2011 All-Star Game as a reserve. Votto went 0-for-2 with a strikeout.[10]

On August 28, Votto hit a walk-off home run against the Nationals in the 14th inning. On September 24, Votto drove in two runs against the Pirates for his 100th and 101st RBI of the season, becoming the first Reds player to drive in 100 runs in back-to-back seasons since Dave Parker in 1985-1986.[24]

Votto had a chance to hit 30 home runs for the second straight season but went 0-for-3 in the last game of the season. He led the Reds in runs batted in and batting average and was second on the Reds in homers behind Jay Bruce.[25]

Votto finished with a .309 batting average, 29 home runs and 103 runs batted in. He also led the NL in doubles (40), bases on balls (110) and on-base percentage (.416).[10]

On November 1, Votto won his first Gold Glove Award. He finished sixth in the NL MVP voting.[10]

2012 season[edit]

On April 2, 2012, Votto signed a 10-year, $225 million contract extension with the Reds, running through the 2024 season.[26] The deal includes the two years that remained on Votto's previous contract and pushes the total worth of the contract to 12 years and $251.5 million, the longest active deal in baseball. The deal (including the one-year team option), is the fourth-largest deal in MLB history,[27] behind only Alex Rodriguez's contracts with New York (10 years, $275 million) and Texas (10 years, $252 million) and Albert Pujols' deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (10 years, $240 Million). It is the longest guaranteed contract in MLB history.[28] The contract made Votto the highest paid athlete from Canada.[27]

On May 13, Votto went 4 -for-5 with three home runs and six RBI, including a walk-off grand slam against the Washington Nationals in a 9-6 win. It was the first time in major league history that a player hit three home runs including a walk-off grand slam in a single game.[29]

On July 1, Votto was selected by the fans as a National League team starter in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.[30] At the time of his selection,he was hitting .350 with 14 home runs and 47 RBI.

On July 16, the Reds announced that Votto would need arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and was expected to miss three to four weeks.[31] He originally hurt the knee June 29 sliding into third base.[32] He left the next day before the bottom of the fifth inning and missed the next two games due to inflammation in the knee.[33][34] At the time surgery was announced, Votto was leading the NL in walks, doubles, OBP and extra-base hits. He was second in RISP average and third in slugging percentage.[34]

On September 5, Votto returned to the Reds' lineup in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies. In his first at bat since July 15, he lined a single off pitcher Roy Halladay in the first inning. He would finish the game by 2-for-3 with a base on balls.[35] After his return from the disabled list, Votto struggled with his power numbers. In 25 games, he hit eight doubles but no home runs and drove in seven runs. Votto still got on base at a high clip at .505, walking 28 times. In that span, he also batted over .316.[36]

Votto finished the season having played in 111 games, the fewest he has played in a season since becoming the Reds' starting first basemen in 2008. He had a .337 batting average, .474 on-base percentage and a .567 slugging percentage to go along with 14 home runs, 56 runs batted in and 44 doubles.[37] His 94 walks led the NL (18 of them were intentional, which led MLB).

2013 season[edit]

Votto before a game in April 2014.

In late February, Votto was voted by fans as the "Face of the MLB," a contest that pits the "Face" of every MLB team against each other and is voted on using Twitter. Votto received more votes than Joe Mauer, Jose Bautista, Derek Jeter, Andrew McCutchen and, Matt Kemp.

Votto played for Team Canada in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Votto homered on consecutive days from April 20–21 against the Marlins, making it the first time since September 10–11 of 2011 he homered in consecutive games.[38]

In July he was again voted as an all-star starter for the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It was his fourth all-star appearance, and in the game he went 0-for-2, making him a career 0-for-9 in all-star games.[39]

Player profile[edit]

Votto is also known for being a clutch hitter. Through June 9, 2014, Votto had a career .312 batting average, 163 home runs, and 542 runs batted in. Votto has been known to show great patience at the plate. He led the NL in base on balls with 110 in 2011 and did it again in 2012, with 94, despite missing 51 games. His career on-base percentage is .417.[10] He has led the NL in that category every year since 2010.[10]

Votto has been recognized for his defensive play as a first baseman. He led the league in assists for first basemen in 2008 with 136 and did it against in consecutive years from 2011-2012. He finished 5th in 2009 with 101 assists and second in 2010 with 128 assists.[10] In 2011, he also led all NL first basemen in putouts (1,341), and was third in fielding percentage (.996). That year, he won his first Gold Glove Award.

Personal life[edit]

Votto lives in Mount Adams, Cincinnati.[27] He has three brothers; Tyler, and twin brothers named Ryan and Paul who now attend Williams Parkway Sr. Public School in Brampton, Ontario. Votto's adopted mastiff-golden retriever mix is named "Maris," after former baseball player Roger Maris.[40] Votto is represented by sports agent Dan Lozano.[27]

Career awards and honors[edit]

Major League:

Minor League:

  • 2007 INT Post-Season All Star (Louisville)
  • 2007 INT Mid-Season All Star (Louisville)
  • 2007 INT Rookie of the Year (Louisville)
  • 2007 Baseball America Triple-A All Star (Louisville)
  • 2006 Baseball America Double-A All Star (Chattanooga)
  • 2006 SOU Most Valuable Player (Chattanooga)
  • 2006 SOU Mid-Season All Star (Chattanooga)
  • 2006 SOU Post-Season All Star (Chattanooga)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Votto wins Lou Marsh Award as Canada's athlete of the year". Globe and Mail (Toronto). December 15, 2010. Retrieved December 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/2009/06/23/votto-i-felt-i-was-going-to-die/
  3. ^ a b Verducci, Tom (July 17, 2012). "Votto's injury could lead to changes for Reds, NL Central race". SportsIllustrated.CNN.com. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  4. ^ The Star (Toronto) http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/2010/10/15/joey_votto_the_reason_richview_roots_for_red.html |url= missing title (help). 
  5. ^ Seguin, Chanelle (October 12, 2011). "Joey Votto a former Etobicoke Ranger". Humber Etcetera. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  6. ^ "Reds close out season with a victory". MLB.com. Retrieved September 8, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Reds ride four-homer second inning past Lieber, Cubs". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Votto, Bruce lead Reds' home run barrage; Brewers lose 14th September game". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  9. ^ 2008 NL Rookie of the Year Voting Baseballreference.com
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Joey Votto Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com (Baseball-Reference.com). Associated Press. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  11. ^ Dunn, McCann knock two-run homers as USA holds off Canada CBS Sports
  12. ^ a b c "Joey Votto 2009 Batting Gamelogs". Baseball-Reference.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Joey Votto 2009 Battling Splits". Baseball-Reference.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  14. ^ Canoe:'I thought I was going to die'
  15. ^ Votto earns NL Player of Week honor
  16. ^ Newman, Mark (July 8, 2010). "Votto, Swisher win tight Final Vote". MLB.com. Retrieved July 8, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Reds recover from blown nine-run lead to beat Giants in 12". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  18. ^ "2011 Cincinnati Reds Batting, Pitching, and Fielding Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Associated Press. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  19. ^ Ortiz, Jorge L. (October 31, 2010). "Jose Bautista and Joey Votto named recipients of Hank Aaron Award". USA Today. 
  20. ^ Votto wins NL MVP by overwhelming margin MLB.com
  21. ^ a b Ortiz, Jorge L. (November 22, 2012). "Reds slugger Joey Votto wins National League MVP". USA Today. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  22. ^ Reds reward MVP Votto with three-year deal MLB.com
  23. ^ "Joey Votto hits two homers as Reds outslug Orioles". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Josh Harrison, Pirates assure Reds of losing season publisher=ESPN Internet Ventures". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  25. ^ "2011 Cincinnati Reds Batting, Pitching, and Fielding Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Associated Press. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Joey Votto agrees to 10-year, $225 million deal with Reds". USA Today. April 2, 2012. 
  27. ^ a b c d Elliot, Bob (April 14, 2012). "Joey Votto: Legend in the making". Toronto Sun. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Joey Votto agrees to 10-year deal". ESPN.com. April 4, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  29. ^ Kay, Joe (05/13/12). "Joey Votto Hits Walk-Off Grand Slam Slam: Reds Star's 3 Home Runs Lifts Reds Past Nationals 9-6 (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. 
  30. ^ Sanchez, Jesse (July 1, 2012). "Rosters unveild for 83rd All-Star Game". MLB.com. Retrieved July 2, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto needs knee surgery, will miss 3-4 weeks". 
  32. ^ "Votto out 3-4 weeks for knee surgery". SportsIllustrated.CNN.com. AP. July 16, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  33. ^ Sheldon, Mark (June 30, 2012). "Latos keeps rolling with gem against Giants". MLB.com. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  34. ^ a b Fay, John (July 17, 2012). "Joey Votto to have knee surgery, miss 3-4 weeks". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Phillies back Roy Halladay with 2 homers, rout Reds". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Joey Votto 2012 Batting Splits". Baseball-Reference.com (Baseball-Reference.com). Associated Press. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  37. ^ http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/stats/_/id/28670/joey-votto
  38. ^ "Joey Votto homers again as Reds throttle Marlins". Espn.com. Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  39. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NLS/NLS201307160.shtml
  40. ^ Ortiz, Jorge (July 2, 2012). "Reds slugger Joey Votto learns balance and power". USA Today. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Sidney Crosby
Lou Marsh Trophy winner
2010
Succeeded by
Patrick Chan