Marc Lancaster has this interesting note:
Interesting name on the Reds’ travel roster for today’s game at Legends Field — first-base prospect Joey Votto.
I talked to him for a little while in the clubhouse before batting practice (read more in Monday’s Post). This is his first time with the big-league team for a game and he seemed a bit nervous, but you could see some confidence there. If I was him, I’d feel pretty good about the fact that I was in camp for two days and I’d already been invited to play in one of these games.
From talking with Tim Naehring during my visit to the Instructional League last fall, I know the Reds are very, very high on this kid. He’s only 21 and his numbers last year were extremely impressive, particularly that .413 on-base percentage. He’ll probably start this year in Sarasota or Chattanooga, but I think a lot of people in the organization are hoping he’ll take the reins from Sean Casey at some point down the road.
The Reds should be high on him; he’s an excellent hitting prospect, and I think he’s likely to be a better major leaguer than Edwin Encarnacion.
Votto actually got into the game today as a pinch-hitter, but didn’t get a hit. If he’s playing in Chattanooga this year, I’ll get over there to watch him play.
Oh, I will…complete with pictures, if possible. I’m looking forward to seeing Votto and Encarnacion this year…and whomever else is in AA.
Unless there’s a huge change in Reds philosophy, Votto will probably start the season in Sarasota. The Reds tend to start their guys at the level they last conquered and then move them up as the season progresses. I suspect he will go from Sarasota to Dayton sometime around when May meets June…I don’t know if he’ll make it to Chattanooga this year or not. I suspect he won’t.