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.