Bryce Harper walks a lot. A comical amount, really. From 2015-2017, Harper walked a ridiculous 300 times, meaning he averaged a cool hundo per season.
That’s a ton of walking. Joey Votto walked right past that amount.
That three year window saw Votto walk an absurd 385 times, meaning you can tack on nearly 30 extra walks per year to Harper’s total. Naturally, that 385 mark was the most in all MLB in that span, far besting fellow stars Paul Goldschmidt (322) and Mike Trout (302), too.
We’ve highlighted Joey’s walkability already this week, however, noting that it’s the type of prowess that should be celebrated long into the future. What we’re circling back on today is a little bit of reinforcement of Joey’s other tremendous abilities, specifically for those folks who choose to believe that all Votto does is walk.
After bucking the knee/quad pain that sapped his power and the bulk of his playing time during the 2014 season, Votto returned to his Hall of Fame caliber self midway through the 2015 season, embarking on a three-year run of excellence that ranks among the best such stretches in Cincinnati Reds history.
And when he did it, he did it by doing far more than just walking. In fact, he hit the snot out of the ball, too.
Profuse walking aside, Votto konked 531 hits across that trio of seasons, tied for the 10th most out of the 232 qualified MLB hitters in that time. Tied with Eric Hosmer, one behind Manny Machado, ahead of Goldschmidt, Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor, etc.
His .320 average in that span was the best in the NL, second only to Jose Altuve among that set of MLB players. The .557 slugging percentage during that stretch ranked him 9th in the game, ahead of noted sluggers Freddie Freeman, Goldschmidt, Edwin Encarnacion, Miguel Cabrera, and Bryant.
Hopefully it’s intuitive, but it’s worth pointing out that Votto’s 531 hits were by far the most of any Red in that time. He led the team in single-season hits in two of those three years, too.
Yes, Joey Votto walks a lot. Yes, Joey Votto hits a lot, too, and it’s high time he got more credit for what somehow has become an overlooked aspect of his offensive profile.