Joey Votto was close. He was oh, so close. In arguably his best season as a Cincinnati Red, the first baseman was just 2 votes shy of notching his second Most Valuable Player award, barely losing out to Marlins’ outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. This is the third time that Votto has finished in the top 3 in MVP voting in his career, winning the award in 2010 and getting third in 2015.
While both players had outstanding seasons, and Stanton was certainly deserving of the award, it is hard not to feel a little frustrated as Reds fans. Votto led the league in walks (134), OBP (.454), OPS (1.032), and OPS+ (168), had more doubles than Stanton, had a higher batting average, and struck out nearly half as many times as Stanton. While Stanton’s league-leading 59 dingers and .631 SLG were also impressive, Votto was consistently the better hitter all season. To make matters worse, two voters had Votto 5th on their ballot.
While this is a disappointment for Votto and the rest of the Reds’ fan base, it doesn’t take away from the incredible season that he had. The good news is that March is only a few months away, and we get to watch Joey do this all over again.