Go read this piece by Fangraphs' Eno Sarris. Right now. I'll wait.
We've run out of superlatives for how great Joey Votto is to have on our team.
I care about improving all of the facets of my game that can be repeatable and that age well.
You know what this sounds like to me? Somebody who is doing his damndest to make sure that he's worth the contract the Reds gave him. How many other long-contract players can you say that about?
What we're seeing this year is baseball's most cerebral player in a season where he isn't being hampered by injuries. Everything is coming together for Joey Votto just the way Joey Votto wants it, and he's proven himself to be one of the best hitters in the league since the All-Star break.
This was a big season for Votto, mostly due to how "un-big" the past couple had been. Injuries had taken their toll the past few seasons, and an injury-shortened 2012 made way to a banged-up 2013, before amassing only 272 PAs in 2014. A lot of doubters around the city were beginning to doubt whether Votto would ever be healthy again, and despite Joey's best efforts, there was only so much he could do with his brain without having the physical tools there.
As Sarris points out in the article, Votto's in a different sort of shape this year.
Votto: No, offseason work and some changes to diet and lifestyle. I feel great. I feel really good.
That work is showing on the field, and it's great to see. Long live Joey Votto.