This is the first of Red Reporter's player by player look at the 2015 Cincinnati Reds. We'll profile every player who got time for the Reds this year, and will imagine their tenure with the Reds going forward.
By the numbers
695 PA, .314/.459/.541, 29 HR, 80 RBI, 172 OPS+
There were plenty of questions about Joey Votto's health coming into the season, and he answered them with authority. His 1.000 OPS obviously led the team, and playing 158 of the 162 games showed that he was healthy enough to shoulder the offensive load. He led the team in all 3 slash categories, and would likely have led in more fields if he had more players getting on base in front of him.
How'd he do?
Joey was the best player on the Reds this season, period. He was the Reds' starting first baseman for the entire season, and maintained his position as one of the best hitters in the National League.
Votto's season was also a vast improvement over his last two seasons. His nagging knee injury changed his approach for the past two years, and he was healthy and in better shape than he maybe ever has been on the baseball field.
He came out of the gate hot as could be in April, OPSing 1.069 through the month. He came back to earth in May, even giving some of his doubters fodder for ignorance, but found his stride in June and July and never really looked back.
Speaking of July, Joey Votto's July was one of the best months in team history. He hit .405/.549/.667 in the month, the 18th best month in team history and up there with the likes of Robinson, Perez, Bench, and Kluszewski. Factor in the fact that the Reds were in the middle of a fight to stay relevant so that they wouldn't have to trade guys like Cueto and Leake away, and you have an absolutely monumental month.
He was fine for the rest of the year, and was still passionate enough at the end of the season that he got into this epic argument with home plate umpire Bill Welke. Hell yeah, Joey.
Joey Votto is under contract until 2024, so don't expect him to give up his spot at 1B anytime soon. Not that the Reds would want him to, of course.
As far as a trade goes, the odds of it happening to Votto is slim to none. He's still owed plenty of money, and it'd be hard to find a suitor for his contract, even if he's having seasons where he's playing like he's worth it. Still, there's always a chance that this regime could be blown away by an offer, and would probably welcome any opportunity to get some money off of their books. This front office is notoriously cheap, and if there's someone that comes along who values Votto's analytic approach more than the Reds do, anything could happen. Never rule it out, but the chance of it happening is well less than 1%.
Chance of making the 2016 Reds roster: 99.9%