Joey Votto has been one of those on again, off again great players. He clearly has talent, but consistency has been an issue with him, whether it be due to injury or something else. Last season, he missed about 2/3rds of the playing time he would have seen and he had a slow start to this season.
Now that Cincinnati has begun to rebuild, Votto finds himself in an interesting position. He’s the best hitter on the Reds, and the team is taking shape with him at the forefront. Even if Votto has a few bad games or a few bad weeks, he remains consistent. He’s one of those players that besides being hot and cold is smart enough to know that that’s how the game goes. You have good days and you have bad days. He is mature, one of the more mature players out there, and has a good head for the game. He does what he needs to do to put himself in the best position for success for the game even when he’s not playing. He’s been known to say things about how he can control the 21 hours he’s not on the field more than the 3 hours he is. And doing that gives him a better chance for success during those 3 hours. It’s a very professional attitude in a game where it’s easy to be hotheaded. It’s the kind of feature that management looks for when making a long term commitment with a player.
Whether you’re a Reds fan or not, you have to admire a team like this. They are sitting at 4th in the NL Central Division, a pretty weak division, and they haven’t had a great season in a very long time. But, they’ve just come to terms with Votto recently about a long term contract. He’s making $20 million a year, and has nine years left to go. It shows that the Reds are willing to invest in their talent, and it shows that their talent sees something that they are willing to invest in themselves. Votto could have gone somewhere else, but he chose to stay where he was. He knew there’d be no rings this season or probably next, but there’s obviously something that he sees for down the road. That’s a healthy team atmosphere.
Votto used to be a highly worthy draft choice for your daily fantasy baseball team. Is he still? The Reds might be struggling this year, but Votto is on his way up. He’s batting .305, which is a far cry from what he’s capable of, and has 21 homeruns. The .305 is low for his potential, and the 21 homers will improve as the season progresses. So, the answer to the above question is a big yes. But only if you are not inconveniencing other aspects of your team to get him. Votto has a ton of potential still, and will improve. And as the Reds get stronger around him, this only becomes more and more likely to happen sooner.
Votto will turn 32 this year. He already has an MVP award under his belt, and his prime speed days are behind him. He’s a grownup now in a game where young players see lots of hype. Just look at Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. However, Votto has experience, a drive to succeed, and an attitude that creates a feeling of the same in his teammates. And now that he’s healthy and his career is stable, it looks like his numbers will finally start to reflect what he’s capable of. The rest of 2015 and 2016 will be fun to watch Votto in.