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Joey Votto: Canadian for Awesome

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I've been browsing through the data trying to find hope for Brandon Phillips and Edwin Encarnacion and all I was finding is despair.  So, to cheer myself up, I decided to check out how totally super fantastic Joey Votto has been.  Let me tell you, he's been really totally super humongously fantastic!

Let's start with the basics:

  • He's 2nd in the NL in batting average at .378.  The last Reds hitter to bat over .350 in April was Sean Casey, who hit .414 in April of 2004.
  • He's 9th in the NL in OBP (.439) and 6th in Slugging (.622).  The only player that ranks ahead of him both categories is Albert Pujols (.457/.681), though he's only 8th in the league in OPS (1.061).
  • He's second in the league in hits (28), doubles (9), and RBI (20).
  • Somehow, he's only been intentionally walked once.  Even more strange is the fact that he's had a higher percentages of pitches thrown in the strike zone to him (48.9%) than any other Reds regular besides Ramon Hernandez (52.0%).  Keep challenging him, opposing pitchers!  Please!
  • He leads the Majors in RBI Percentage (i.e. the percentage of base runners driven in) at 34%.

How's he doing it?  Mainly by hitting everything hard and by using the entire field.

Votto 2009 Spray Chart

As you can see, Votto is hardly pulling anything to right field.  When he does, it's usually only the ground, with a few pop ups.  The more impressive thing though is that the majority of what he is hitting is going to the outfield, and when it gets to the outfield, it's basically a hit.  Some of this is luck, but Votto is definitely hitting the ball hard (28% line drive rate is top 10 in the league).

So, huzzah for Joey!  You're the only reason for hope when the Reds come to bat right now.  Keep it up!