As seen in the comments below, here’s ESPN’s Buster Olney:

Saw something the other day that I’d never seen before, as the Reds prepped for a spring game. Infielders take ground balls regularly during batting practice, standing at their position as a coach whacks fungoes at them from alongside a batting cage. Joey Votto, the first baseman for the Reds, took some ground balls standing at his usual spot — but then, as the drill progressed, he began to take grounders after driving off the first-base bag, in the way that he would do if he were holding runners.

Practicing that particular movement makes all the sense in the world, given that a lot of a first baseman’s work is done while holding runners — but I’d never seen it before. I asked colleague Peter Gammons if he had seen it, and he mentioned that Kevin Youkilis and Mark Kotsay do the same thing.

It’s the kind of attention to detail for which Votto is already renowned in the Reds’ camp.

The guy’s just a pro, and he’s going to be better than any of us had hoped. It’ll be interesting to see how much of a step forward Votto takes this season as a leader on this club.

8 Responses

  1. mhopp

    Joey Votto is the best over all player on this team when you combine all it takes to play in the majors. I noticed a great improvement in his defense over last season. The guy works hard, I think the Reds should sign him to a long contract NOW.

    On another note…what does everyone think about Josh Roeneckie? He seems to be doing well this spring training and I’m wondering if there’s room for him to make the team right out of camp…thoughts?

  2. per14

    Joey Votto will probably be my favorite player before too long.

    It is a shock that Gammons names two other 1Bman with Red Sox ties when asked this question? It’s probably just a reflex for him.

  3. brublejr

    Votto is just plain fun to watch play the game. He is the best player on the team, and I am glad he is a Red. Now it is time to lock him up, he is too valuable in a lineup of swing and miss type guys.

  4. Bill Lack

    I really like Votto too. First time I saw him (Sarasota), even in the midst of a bad year (the “take a strike first” era), you could tell he was a hitter. Nice to see he really works on other parts of his game also.

    I don’t think Roenicke has a chance of making this team out of Florida, everyone seems to be fighting for one spot and it looks to me like it has to be a LH. But that’s not to say he can’t help them this year.

  5. RiverCity Redleg

    The only bullpen spot I see open is the long relief spot. That’s pretty much between Masset and Bailey, or maybe Ramon Ramirez once he gets in and starts throwing.

  6. Bill Lack

    I don’t think, with his injury history, that Bray’s a sure thing…I think he’ll probably get it; but think that Herrera and maybe even Viola still are in the hunt for that last spot. The long relief role is Masset or Bailey, Ramirez killed his chance when he went to the WBC.

  7. RiverCity Redleg

    I agree…if he’s not 100% (which he hasn’t shown to be) herrera could grab that spot. But if he’s healthy, it is bray’s spot. Either way, we both agree that roenicke has little to no chance of making the 25 man out of ST. However, I am a big fan of his and think he will contribute this year. I can see him being the closer in a couple of years.

  8. Bill Lack

    I haven’t seen Roenicke, but he has progressed through the system quickly; but he’s not a kid. I think he’s 26, will be 27 this year.