Reconciling Disappointment, Part 5

 

Position: First Base

2011 Innings breakdown: Joey Votto - 97%

                                            Yonder Alonso - 1%

                                            Miguel Cairo - 1%

                                            Todd Frazier - 1%

                                            Ramon Hernandez - 1%

2011 Composite batting line (over 650 PA):

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

543

91

167

36

3

26

93

7

5

98

117

.308

.414

.529

.943

BABIP

Contact Rate

Walk Rate

Batting Eye

SBO

RC/G

.353

78.5%

15.1%

0.84

6.2%

7.48

2011 Composite NL average first baseman batting line (over 650 PA):

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

571

75

154

33

2

22

87

4

2

67

121

.270

.350

.451

.801

BABIP

Contact Rate

Walk Rate

Batting Eye

SBO

RC/G

.309

78.7%

10.3%

0.55

3.5%

5.37

2012 Contract status:

Votto - signed through 2013

Alonso - not yet arbitration eligible

Cairo - signed through 2012

Frazier - not yet arbitration eligible

Hernandez - free agent

Advanced minor league depth:

Neftali Soto - age 22, 909 OPS at AA, AAA

Daniel Dorn - age 26, 749 OPS at AAA

Chris Richburg - age 25, 741 OPS at A+

Relative win increase, 2011 vs. 2010: -1

Brief summary of 2011: Well, he was the NL MVP the year before.  Look, Votto is good.  Best player on the team, in fact; and there will as a rule be some fluctuation from year to year.  The bat clearly took a small turn for the worse, even after accounting for a league-wide shortage in runs, while the leather was a bit flashier, and in all it would be tough to put any blame on the disappointing '11 on Votto.  For now, I don't much care about his free agency desires.  He's one of the best players the franchise has ever employed, and he's in his prime. 

Way too early knee-jerk outlook for 2012: It would appear that we've probably seen Votto's career year, which means we're already in the decline phase, but I'm willing to bet that his is a slow one.  There's now enough data to suggest that 2010 was the outlier in terms of home run power, which means that 30 is the standard, and 40's probably out of the question.  The newly found age-of-the-pitcher won't help things on that front.  Similarly, the video game numbers (i.e. OPS > 1000) were likely a one-time occurrence.  These are absolute numbers, however, and the relative ones are the ones that really matter.  A 150 OPS+ is absolutely in Votto's wheelhouse, for next year and the year after.  I like Joey Votto.

Comparable industry: The mobile phone phenomenon over the last two or three decades has been a remarkable study.  What was once a novelty and a luxury item is now ubiquitous and a near-necessity.  Plus, the cool factor, as a simple telephone can also serve as a video player and gaming device and GPS and a personal shopper.  Et cetera.  In other words, what was clunky and overrated in the late 80s and early 90s became useful but limited in the late 90s and early part of the new millennium, then became something powerful and remarkable in the last several years.  Despite the advances, however, the modern day cell phone is not perfect.  The old model of land line technology still provides better voice-to-voice communication, and at a reduced cost.  Nonetheless, the modern day technology is quite impressive, indeed.

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