Joey Votto

"Votto" redirects here. For other people with the surname, see Votto (surname).
Joey Votto

Cincinnati Reds – No. 19
First baseman
Born: (1983-09-10) September 10, 1983
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 4, 2007, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
(through October 2, 2016)
Batting average .313
Hits 1,406
Home runs 221
Runs batted in 730
Stolen bases 67
OBP .425
Career highlights and awards

Joseph Daniel "Joey" Votto (born September 10, 1983) is a Canadian professional baseball first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut with the Reds in 2007.

Votto is a four-time MLB All-Star and a six-time Tip O'Neill Award winner. In 2010, he won the National League (NL) MVP Award, the NL Hank Aaron Award, and the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's athlete of the year.[1]

Early life

Votto was born on September 10, 1983 to Wendy (Howell) and Joseph Votto[2] in Toronto, Ontario, and grew up in Etobicoke, a district in the west end of Toronto. His mother is a sommelier and restaurant manager. His father was a chef and a baseball fan who died at age 52 in 2008.[3] He is of Italian descent. As a child, he adorned his wall with a Ted Williams poster.[4]

Votto enrolled in high school at Richview Collegiate Institute in 1997. In high school, he also played basketball — playing point guard and once scoring 37 points in a game — and hockey.[5] He played for the Etobicoke Rangers baseball program.[6] Votto signed a National Letter of Intent to play college baseball for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers after high school.[7]

Professional career

Minor leagues

Votto was drafted out of high school in the second round of the 2002 MLB amateur draft by the Reds (44th overall), After his first two professional seasons with the Reds' rookie-level affiliates, he burst onto the scene in 2004 with the Class A Dayton Dragons, hitting 26 doubles and 14 home runs with a batting average of .302. He was promoted to the Class A-Advanced Potomac and hit five more home runs in 20 games to end the season with 19. During his time in the minor leagues, Votto made appearances in the outfield and as a catcher, aside from first base.

Votto's consistency declined during 2005 campaign with Sarasota. While he still hit 19 home runs, he struck out 122 times and his batting average dropped nearly 50 points to .256.

Votto rebounded in 2006 with the best season of his minor league career. Playing with Class AA Chattanooga, he improved his batting average to .319 and hit 46 doubles and 22 home runs. He led the Southern League in batting average and total bases and was third in home runs and RBI. He was selected to play in the 2006 Futures Game on the World Team. He was named to both the Mid-Season and Post-Season Southern League All-Star teams, and was voted a minor league all-star by Baseball America. He culminated his season by winning the Southern League Most Valuable Player Award. During his five seasons in the minors, Votto carried Ted Williams' The Science of Hitting with him.[4]

Cincinnati Reds

2007 season

Votto started off the 2007 season playing in Triple-A for the Louisville Bats. He was called up on September 1, 2007. He made his Major League debut on September 4, 2007, striking out against Guillermo Mota of the New York Mets. In his second major league at-bat, he hit his first career home run. He went 3-for-5 and scored two runs as the Reds won the game, 7–0. On September 8, he went 1-for-3 with a home run and three runs batted in. His three RBIs were the only Reds' runs as they lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, 4–3. In his next game, he went 2-for-4. On September 14, he stole his first career base against the Brewers. He ended the season going 2-for-4 with a home run and five RBIs in the Cincinnati Reds' final game of the 2007 season.[8] He would finish the season batting .321 with 4 home runs and 17 runs batted in.

Votto in Spring training, 2008

2008 season

Beginning with the 2008 season, Votto shared time platooning at first base with Scott Hatteberg until Manager Dusty Baker began playing Votto as the Reds' starting first baseman in early April. On April 15, he hit his first home run of the season off of Michael Wuertz. He drove in a career-high five runs against the Cubs two games later.

On May 7, Votto hit three home runs in a game against the Chicago Cubs. "I'm like a kid", said Votto, a second-year player who had never hit more than one in a game. "I thought it was cool. It's not a big part of my game."[9]

Votto hit his first career pinch-hit home run against Cleveland's Cliff Lee, who would go on to win the AL Cy Young Award. On August 31, Votto had his first career four-hit game against the San Francisco Giants. He knocked in 4 runs in a 9–3 Reds victory.

On September 18, Votto and teammate Jay Bruce each homered twice. They became the fifth rookie teammates in the divisional-era to hit 20 home runs in the same season.[10]

Votto finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting to the Chicago Cubs' Geovany Soto.[11] He led all NL rookies in hitting (.297), hits (156), HR (24), total bases (266), multi-hit games (42), on-base percentage (.368) and slugging percentage (.506).[12]

Votto also broke the Reds' record for the most runs batted in by a rookie in a season. The previous record was held by National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson with 83 in 1956. Votto drove in 84 runs during the 2008 season.

2009 season

Votto played for Canada in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. In Canada's first game against the United States, he had four hits in five at-bats, one of which was a home run.[13]

Votto began the 2009 season strong as the outright starter at first base. In the second game of the season, he went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI in a loss to the New York Mets. In the next game against the Mets, he had another homer and four RBI. He had a six-game hitting streak from April 12–18. On April 23, he went 4-for-5 with a home run and two runs batted in against the Cubs.[14] He ended out with a .346 batting average, 3 home runs, and 20 runs batted in in the month of April.[15]

Votto opened May with a five-game hitting streak. In a May matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals, he had two homers and four RBI. He finished the month with five home runs and a .378 batting average. However, he was placed on the DL to open June after missing time in May due to personal issues. Prior to his return game during the 2009 season, he indicated he had been suffering from depression and anxiety issues as a result of the sudden death of his father in August 2008 and had sought treatment.[16] He had previously missed time because of dizziness related to an inner ear infection.

Votto made his return against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 23. In his third game back, he went 4-for-5 with a home run and four runs batted in.[14] After going hitless in his fourth game back, he had a 14-game hitting streak. During that stretch, he batted .389 with three home runs and 14 runs batted in. His hitting streak ended against the Mets on July 12 when he went 0-for-2.[14]

Votto was named the National League Player of the Week for September 21–27, 2009 after hitting 10 doubles in a five-game span, a feat not accomplished in 77 years since Hall of Fame outfielder Paul Waner of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1932.[17]

Despite missing 31 games overall, Votto finished the 2009 season among the National League leaders in batting average (.322), on-base percentage (.414) and slugging percentage (.567) and he hit 25 home runs.[12]

2010 season: NL MVP

Votto started the 2010 season by going 3-for-5 with a home run and a run batted in. By the end of April, he had four home runs and 12 runs batted in. His average was .275 but his on-base percentage was .400 due to 18 bases on balls.

Votto played better in the month of May. He batted .344 with six home runs and 21 runs batted in. However, he missed the last six games that month due to a sore neck. He would be back on June 1 in a game against the Cardinals. He went 4-for-5 with a home run and a run batted in. The Reds won the game to regain the NL Central lead.

Votto was not initially voted to the 2010 All-Star game in Anaheim, California, but made the roster via online fan voting through the National League's Final Vote. He was named on 13.7 million of the 26 million ballots submitted.[18] Votto went 0-for-2 in the game.

On August 25, Votto went 4-for-7 with two home runs and four RBI. He also drove in the tie-breaking run with a single off Giants pitcher Barry Zito.[19] Votto made the cover of Sports Illustrated on the August 30, 2010 edition.

On September 11, Votto hit his first career walk-off home run off Pirates relief pitcher Justin Thomas.

For the season, Votto hit .324 with 113 RBIs, 106 runs scored and 37 homers, including a grand slam off Tommy Hanson of the Atlanta Braves on May 20. He finished the season leading the Major Leagues in On-Base Percentage (.424) and led the National League in Slugging Percentage (.600) and On-Base Plus Slugging (1.024). The Reds made the postseason but lost to the Phillies in the National League Divisional Series in a three-game sweep.[20] Votto struggled in the series, batting .091 with one run batted in.[12]

Votto won the 2010 Hank Aaron Award in the National League.[21]

Votto was announced as the 2010 NL MVP, coming within one vote of winning unanimously as Albert Pujols received the other first-place vote.[22] He was only the third Canadian to win the MVP award, after Larry Walker and Justin Morneau.[23] He became the first Reds player to win the National League MVP since Barry Larkin won it in 1995. "Not to be dramatic or anything, but after I was told, I couldn't help but cry because I know how much at some point this meant to me and would have meant to my (late) father", Votto remarked after being named MVP. He added, "I did some pretty good things, and most importantly, we won. We went to the playoffs – it's been a long time since we'd been to the playoffs – and I think those all together were the reason I won."[23]

2011 season

Votto (right) and Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, 2011

On January 16, it was announced that the Reds and Votto agreed to a three-year, $38 million deal. [24]

Votto homered in the Reds' first game of the 2011 season, a solo homer off Kameron Loe of the Brewers. He recorded his first four-hit game of the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks and raised his average to .455. By the end of April, he had a .370 batting average, four home runs, and 14 runs batted in. He posted a .500 on-base percentage. He began the season by reaching base in 27 consecutive games dating back to the previous season. The club record was set by Dave Collins with 34 in 1981.

On June 25, Votto hit his 100th career home run against Brian Matusz of the Orioles. He later added another home run in the game. That was also his first multi-homer game of the season. He also drove in five runs, his most in a game during the season.[25] On July 3, Votto was voted in by the players for the 2011 All-Star Game as a reserve. He went 0-for-2 with a strikeout.[12]

On August 28, Votto hit a walk-off home run against the Nationals in the 14th inning. On September 24, he drove in two runs against the Pirates for his 100th and 101st RBI of the season, becoming the first Reds player to drive in 100 runs in back-to-back seasons since Dave Parker in 1985–1986.[26]

Votto finished the season with a .309 batting average, 29 home runs, and 103 RBIs. He also led the NL in doubles (40), bases on balls (110) and on-base percentage (.416).[12] On November 1, Votto won his first Gold Glove Award. He finished sixth in the NL MVP voting.[12]

2012 season

On April 2, 2012, Votto signed a 10-year, $225 million contract extension with the Reds, running through the 2024 season.[27] The deal includes the two years that remained on his previous contract and pushes the total worth of the contract to 12 years and $251.5 million, the longest active deal in baseball. The deal (including the one-year team option), is the fifth-largest deal in MLB history,[28] behind only Giancarlo Stanton's contract with the Miami Marlins (13 years, $325 million), Alex Rodriguez's contracts with New York (10 years, $275 million) and Texas (10 years, $252 million) and Albert Pujols' deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (10 years, $240 million). It is the longest guaranteed contract in MLB history.[29] The contract made Votto the highest paid athlete from Canada.[28]

On May 13, Votto went 4 -for-5 with three home runs and six RBI, including a walk-off grand slam against the Washington Nationals in a 9–6 win. It was the first time in major league history that a player hit three home runs including a walk-off grand slam in a single game.[30]

On July 1, Votto was selected by the fans as a National League team starter in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.[31] At the time of his selection, he was hitting .350 with 14 home runs and 47 RBI.

On July 16, the Reds announced that Votto would need arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and was expected to miss three to four weeks.[32] He originally hurt the knee June 29 sliding into third base.[33] He left the next day before the bottom of the fifth inning and missed the next two games due to inflammation in the knee.[34][35] At the time surgery was announced, he was leading the NL in walks, doubles, OBP and extra-base hits. He was second in RISP average and third in slugging percentage.[35]

On September 5, Votto returned to the Reds' lineup in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies. In his first at-bat since July 15, he lined a single off pitcher Roy Halladay in the first inning. He would finish the game by 2-for-3 with a base on balls.[36] After his return from the disabled list, he struggled with his power numbers. In 25 games, he hit eight doubles but no home runs and drove in seven runs. He still got on base at a high clip at .505, walking 28 times. In that span, he also batted over .316.[37]

Votto finished the season having played in 111 games, the fewest he has played in a season since becoming the Reds' starting first basemen in 2008. He had a .337 batting average, .474 on-base percentage, and a .567 slugging percentage to go along with 14 home runs, 56 runs batted in and 44 doubles.[38] His 94 walks led the NL (18 of them were intentional, which led MLB).

2013 season

In late February, Votto was voted by fans as the "Face of the MLB", a contest that pits the "Face" of every MLB team against each other and is voted on using Twitter. He received more votes than Joe Mauer, Jose Bautista, Derek Jeter, Andrew McCutchen and Matt Kemp.

Votto played for Team Canada in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Votto homered on consecutive days from April 20–21 against the Marlins, making it the first time since September 10–11 of 2011 he homered in consecutive games.[39]

In July, he was again voted as an All-Star starter for the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It was his fourth All-Star appearance, and in the game he went 0-for-2, making him a career 0-for-9 in All-Star Games.[40]

Votto before a game in April 2014

2014 season

On May 21, 2014, Votto was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left quadriceps. He returned on June 10 but went back on the DL with the same injury on July 8 and didn't make it back before the end of the season. In 62 games played, he hit a career-low .255 with a .390 on-base percentage, .409 slugging percentage, 6 home runs, 47 walks, and 23 runs batted in.

2015 season

On May 6, 2015, Votto was ejected following a strikeout where he threw his helmet down in frustration. Speculation claimed that prior to his ejection, he had choice words with Gerrit Cole during his at-bat. After getting ejected, Votto appeared to have bumped Chris Conroy. It was only his 5th career ejection and his first one since 2010. He later received a one-game suspension for this act which he served when the Reds played the Chicago White Sox.[41]

On June 9, Votto hit three home runs in a single game for the third time in his career in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies, a feat last accomplished by a Red by Johnny Bench.[42] On August 2, Votto was ejected following a bench-clearing brawl between the Reds and the Pirates.[43] On September 10, Votto was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. It was the third time of the season that Votto was ejected, coincidentally all three times have been against the Pittsburgh Pirates.[44] On September 11, MLB suspended Votto 2 games with an option to appeal.[45] On October 2, Votto tied a Reds record set by Pete Rose in 1978 when he got on base for his 48th straight game.[46] In 158 games of 2015, Votto had an MLB-leading 143 walks, a .314 batting average, 29 home runs, and 80 RBI.

Following the season, Votto was awarded his fifth Tip O'Neill Award.[47] He also finished third in the National League MVP voting behind Bryce Harper and Paul Goldschmidt.

2016 season

Votto grabbing shirt of fan who interrupted Votto's attempt to catch a foul ball

After an abysmal start to the 2016 season, hitting a season-low .213 on May 31, Votto became the first player in MLB since Ichiro Suzuki in 2004 to hit .400 after the All-Star Break. Votto hit .408/.490/.668 in the second half. Votto's .326 season average was the second-best of his career, behind only his 2012 season, where he hit .337.[48] Votto hit 29 home runs, second only to his 2010 MVP season.[48] Votto finished the season with a .326/.435/.550 line with 108 walks, 29 home runs, and 97 RBI, playing 158 games for the second straight season.

Player profile

Votto is known for being a clutch hitter. Through June 9, 2014, he had a career .312 batting average, 163 home runs, and 542 runs batted in. He has been known to show great patience at the plate. He led the NL in base on balls with 110 in 2011 and did it again in 2012, with 94, despite missing 51 games. His career on-base percentage is .425.[12] He led the NL in that category from 2010-13 and 2016, while finishing second in 2015, one point behind Bryce Harper's .460 OBP.[12]

Votto has been recognized for his defensive play as a first baseman. He led the league in assists (with 136) for first basemen in 2008, a feat he repeated in consecutive seasons in 2011 and 2012. He finished 5th in 2009 with 101 assists and second in 2010 with 128 assists.[12] In 2011, he also led all NL first basemen in putouts (1,341), and was third in fielding percentage (.996). That year, he won his first Gold Glove Award.

Personal life

Votto lives in Mount Adams, Cincinnati.[28] He has three brothers; Tyler, and twin brothers named Ryan and Paul who now attend North Park Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario. Votto's adopted mastiff-golden retriever mix is named "Maris", after former baseball player Roger Maris.[49] Votto is represented by sports agent Dan Lozano.[28]

Career awards and honors

Major League:

Minor League:

  • 2007 INT Post-Season All Star (Louisville)
  • 2007 INT Mid-Season All Star (Louisville)
  • 2007 INT Rookie of the Year (Louisville)
  • 2007 Baseball America Triple-A All Star (Louisville)
  • 2006 Baseball America Double-A All Star (Chattanooga)
  • 2006 SOU Most Valuable Player (Chattanooga)
  • 2006 SOU Mid-Season All Star (Chattanooga)
  • 2006 SOU Post-Season All Star (Chattanooga)

See also


  1. "Votto wins Lou Marsh Award as Canada's athlete of the year". Globe and Mail. Toronto. December 15, 2010. Retrieved December 15, 2010.
  2. "Joseph Votto". The Windsor Star. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  3. Sheldon, Mark (June 23, 2009). "Votto: 'I felt I was going to die'".
  4. 1 2 Verducci, Tom (July 17, 2012). "Votto's injury could lead to changes for Reds, NL Central race". Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  5. Morgan Campbell (October 15, 2015). "Joey Votto: The reason Richview roots for red".
  6. Seguin, Chanelle (October 12, 2011). "Joey Votto a former Etobicoke Ranger". Humber Etcetera. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  7. Puskar, Gene J. (June 27, 2015). "Former CCU recruits Matz, Votto to square off in Mets-Reds game". Myrtle Beach Online. Sun News. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  8. "Reds close out season with a victory". Retrieved September 8, 2008.
  9. "Reds ride four-homer second inning past Lieber, Cubs". Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  10. "Votto, Bruce lead Reds' home run barrage; Brewers lose 14th September game". Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  11. 2008 NL Rookie of the Year Voting
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Joey Votto Statistics and History". Associated Press. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  13. Dunn, McCann knock two-run homers as USA holds off Canada CBS Sports
  14. 1 2 3 "Joey Votto 2009 Batting Gamelogs". Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  15. "Joey Votto 2009 Battling Splits". Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  16. Canoe inc. "'I thought I was going to die'".
  17. "Votto earns NL Player of Week honor". Cincinnati Reds.
  18. Newman, Mark (July 8, 2010). "Votto, Swisher win tight Final Vote". Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  19. "Reds recover from blown nine-run lead to beat Giants in 12". Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  20. "2011 Cincinnati Reds Batting, Pitching, and Fielding Statistics". Associated Press. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  21. Ortiz, Jorge L. (October 31, 2010). "Jose Bautista and Joey Votto named recipients of Hank Aaron Award". USA Today.
  22. Votto wins NL MVP by overwhelming margin
  23. 1 2 Ortiz, Jorge L. (November 22, 2012). "Reds slugger Joey Votto wins National League MVP". USA Today. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  24. Reds reward MVP Votto with three-year deal
  25. "Joey Votto hits two homers as Reds outslug Orioles". Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  26. "Josh Harrison, Pirates assure Reds of losing season". Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  27. "Joey Votto agrees to 10-year, $225 million deal with Reds". USA Today. April 2, 2012.
  28. 1 2 3 4 Elliot, Bob (April 14, 2012). "Joey Votto: Legend in the making". Toronto Sun. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  29. "Joey Votto agrees to 10-year deal". April 4, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  30. Kay, Joe (May 13, 2012). "Joey Votto Hits Walk-Off Grand Slam Slam: Reds Star's 3 Home Runs Lifts Reds Past Nationals 9–6 (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post.
  31. Sanchez, Jesse (July 1, 2012). "Rosters unveild for 83rd All-Star Game". Retrieved July 2, 2012.
  32. "Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto needs knee surgery, will miss 3–4 weeks".
  33. "Votto out 3–4 weeks for knee surgery". AP. July 16, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  34. Sheldon, Mark (June 30, 2012). "Latos keeps rolling with gem against Giants". Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  35. 1 2 Fay, John (July 17, 2012). "Joey Votto to have knee surgery, miss 3–4 weeks". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  36. "Phillies back Roy Halladay with 2 homers, rout Reds". Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  37. "Joey Votto 2012 Batting Splits". Associated Press. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  38. "Joey Votto Stats".
  39. "Joey Votto homers again as Reds throttle Marlins". Associated Press. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  40. "All-Star Games: Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 8:00PM, Citi Field".
  41. Snyder, Matt. "Votto ejected, bumps umpire.". CBS Sports. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  42. Kay, Joe (June 9, 2015). "Votto blasts three home runs in same game". Fox Sports. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  43. "WATCH: Benches clear in Blue Jays-Royals, Pirates-Reds games". Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  44. "Reds' Joey Votto completely loses it after getting ejected in Pirates game – For The Win". For The Win. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  45. Sheldon, Mark. "Votto suspended 2 games, will appeal.". MLB. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  46. "Joey Votto ties Pete Rose's Reds mark with 48 straight games on base". Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  47. "Toronto-born Reds first baseman wins Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame award". CTV News. The Canadian Press. December 4, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  48. 1 2 "Joey Votto Stats, Fantasy & News". Cincinnati Reds. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  49. Ortiz, Jorge (July 2, 2012). "Reds slugger Joey Votto learns balance and power". USA Today. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
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