With Ken Griffey Jr. accumulating a record amount of votes in his election to the Hall of Fame Wednesday evening, many Reds fans are left wondering who is the next player who spent a large chunk of their career with the Reds that stands a chance at election to the Hall?

The answer is Joey Votto. And his chances at making the Hall of Fame are quite good.

As Steve noted on Wednesday, Votto’s career line of .311/.423/.534–Is that good?–in just over eight seasons of major league service time puts him within striking distance of an incredible club. Only 10 players in the history of the game have logged at least 5,000 plate appearances and hit .300/.400/.550: Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial, Manny Ramirez, Babe Ruth, Frank Thomas, Larry Walker, and Ted Williams. Only Walker and Ramirez are not Hall of Famers in that illustrious 10-man group. Walker was named on 15.5 percent of the ballots this year. Ramirez will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year.

While it’s unlikely Votto will ever hit for enough power to join that exclusive fraternity–he’s slugged over .550 three times in his career, but hasn’t reached that mark since 2012–Votto’s slash line, in addition to his prowess in a few other statistical categories, exemplifies the rare air he inhabits as a hitter.

The following table illustrates Votto’s rank all-time among players with at least 4,500 plate appearances:

Statistical Category Votto’s Career Total All-Time Rank
On-base Percentage (OBP) .423 13th
Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) 157 14th
On-base Plus Slugging (OPS) .957 18th
Walk Rate (BB%) 15.9 22nd

And what about first basemen with at least 4,500 plate appearances?

Statistical Category Votto’s Career Total All-Time Rank
On-base Percentage (OBP) .423 4th
Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) 157 6th
On-base Plus Slugging (OPS) .957 10th
Walk Rate (BB%) 15.9 8th

If Votto’s career ended today, he would stack up well with the greats. But, let’s examine where Votto needs to end up–based on Baseball-Reference’s averages for Hall of Fame hitters–to state his Hall of Fame case.

Votto Hall of Fame Average
Plate Appearances 4,757 9,032
Hits 1,226 2,402
Runs 656 1,326
Slash Line .311/.423/.534 .302/.376/.463
OPS .957 .839
bWAR 43 69

Assuming Votto plays out his current contract that takes him through the 2023 season–the Reds hold a $20 million team option on Votto for the 2024 season–Votto will be a Red through his age-39 campaign, and he will have ample time to make his case for the Hall of Fame. Will Votto be tempted to retire before the end of the contract? He’ll have 25 million good reasons to keep playing.

Votto’s last four healthy years have produced single-season bWAR totals of 7.6, 6.6, 6.3, and 6.9. That’s an average of 6.9 bWAR. If Votto delivers another three seasons anywhere in the 5.5-7 bWAR range and hovers around his career marks in both standard and unfamiliar statistics, he will have put himself in very, very good shape.

There are, of course, other factors (and statistics) that factor into one’s Hall of Fame case. The fact that Votto has one MVP under his belt and came very to close to winning another (he was third in this year’s vote) works in his favor. Votto also has four All-Star appearances, a Gold Glove, and a runner-up finish in the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year balloting working in his favor. He’s led the NL in on-base percentage and walks four times apiece.

Two things are working against Votto, the first of which is Father Time. Votto debuted as a Red in 2007, his age-23 season. Considering that Ken Griffey Jr. (and many other Hall of Famers) reached the majors by their late teens or by 21–for comparison’s sake, Jay Bruce was just over 21-years-old when he debuted in May 2008–Votto, a former second round pick, was a bit of a late-bloomer after spending much of 2002-07 in the minors.

Another potential headwind for Votto is his injury history. In 2012, Votto underwent two separate surgeries to his left knee. A quad injury in his left leg cost Votto nearly 100 games in 2014. But, Votto recovered well after each year, playing in 162 games in 2013 and in 158 contests last summer. Votto also plays a first base, a relatively low-stress position. Arguably, Votto’s greatest strength is his knowledge of the strike zone; that’s a non-physical attribute that will age very well. Furthermore, with baseball voters seemingly modernizing their line of thinking on voting and non-traditional statistics, Votto’s style of hitting should gain increasing esteem with time.

In conclusion, provided he can carry on near-peak form for around another three seasons or so, Joey Votto stands a good chance of having a Hall of Fame career. If Votto eventually gains induction into Cooperstown, the only question remaining will be whether he decides to rock a Reds or Canadian Mountie hat on his Hall of Fame plaque.