Nice profile of Reds prospect Joey Votto over at Reds.com:
Move ahead one more year, and Votto has returned to the prospect map with a vengeance. The left-handed 22-year old is back to his old form, terrorizing Southern League pitching with Double-A Chattanooga. Votto ranks in the league’s top three in each of the Triple Crown categories. While the reemergence may have surprised many scouts, Votto saw it coming all along.
“I was actually far more confident last year after the season than I was after the 2004 season,” said Votto. “Despite the numbers, I felt great and I was moving in the right direction.”
The Canada native will get a chance to showcase his talents, playing for the World Team at the 2006 XM Satellite-Radio All-Star Futures Game at PNC Park on July 9. Votto’s inclusion marks an important milestone in his climb up the prospect ranks.
“Of all the things I wanted to do this year, I really wanted to be a part of the Futures Game,” Votto said. “It was on my list of the three or four things I wanted to accomplish this season.”
Taking a more balanced approach and shortening his swing have been keys for Votto, who struggled against left-handed pitching last season.
I’m not going to lie; after last season, I was afraid that Votto would never be an everyday player in the major leagues. Frankly, that disappointed me, because I had high hopes for him.
Hopefully, Votto is ready to take a big step forward next season. If the Reds are insistent on leaving Adam Dunn in the outfield, Votto should have a place to play on the major league level eventually.