Why I was nervous about Joey Votto

Joey Votto has begun the season with an on base percentage above .500. To get on base over half the time and for Votto to maintain that pace over a full season would put him on a short list of players that includes Barry Bonds, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. For context, among active players, Votto is the career OBP leader at .419.

So why would I be scared as a fantasy owner if I had a player on my roster who was putting up truly remarkable numbers?

Hold on, I’m about the lay the horror on you. AAAAIIIIEEEEE!!

As an aside, did anyone really fall for my fake scream of terror? No? OK, I didn’t imagine so.  You shouldn’t, of course, because as a fantasy owned I’m obviously tickled pink to have Joey Votto.

But yet I bought low on Ike Davis so I could have him serve as a UTIL complement to Votto. Why?  Because I wanted a guy who actually swung the bat from time to time, that’s why.

Home runs and RBI are two of the most common fantasy categories and to hit the ball over the fence you need to take a swing at a pitch. And while Votto could certainly draw a bases loaded walk to “drive” in a run, I’d certainly prefer he cleared the bases from time to time and got his RBI the old fashioned way.

I won’t even try to lay on any more fake cries of agony, because we all know that Votto’s plate discipline and patience is what makes him the remarkable hitter that he is, and I wouldn’t ask him to change. As if I could! Do these guys even have fan clubs or a place to write letters anymore? Honestly, I don’t even think I own any stamps. If I could find one do you think I could get Votto to sign my card?!!? I’d keep it with my signed Mark Grace card. I have one of those.

As a Twins fan I have watched Joe Mauer border on the painfully passive at times. Game after game I’ve watched Joe come up to bat with a runner on base and instead of driving the ball into the gap, he’d work the count and emotionlessly take his place on first base. Being a hard out is what makes Joe Mauer a great player, but I’m not going to lie and say that I haven’t hoped he’d unload on a pitch from time to time.

I worried the same of Votto so I grabbed Ike on the cheap, knowing that he’ll strike out 130 times this season, but he’ll also add generously to my fantasy team’s home run and RBI totals. I like a slugger like Ike as complement to Votto.

Plus, even as this post sat unfinished as a draft for a few days, Votto came out and hit a couple bombs. Of course, his early season walk pace wasn’t sustainable and it was such a small sample size.

Come to think of it, I don’t know what I was so worried about.

Tags: Barry Bonds BB% Joe Mauer Joey Votto OBP Plate Discipline Walks

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