If you haven’t seen it yet, C. Trent Rosecrans has a great story on Joey Votto that was published today. It’s a must-read if you, like every intelligent human being, are a fan of Joseph Daniel Votto:

Leon Roberts had a standard list of questions he liked to ask young players when he was the roving hitting instructor for the Reds. It was the early 2000s, the tail end of baseball’s steroid era, and the answers unsurprisingly reflected the times.

Who do you think about when you’re hitting? “Barry Bonds,” they’d say. Who is your favorite hitter? “Mark McGwire.” What type of hitter do you want to be? “A slugger, like Sammy Sosa.”

But one player, an 18-year-old catcher, surprised Roberts with a different reply. It was 2002 and that player was Joey Votto.

“The first thing he brings up is Ted Williams, who is one of my heroes and someone I studied and had talked to a couple of times,” Roberts recalled. “I thought, this kid has a pretty good base to start with if he’s got Ted Williams at the top of his list.”

I don’t have anything to add; just wanted to make sure the Nation didn’t miss this. There’s much, much more, and it’s certainly worth your time today. Read the entire thing here. Good work, Trent.

15 Responses

  1. David

    Votto has a lot of good/great qualities as a baseball player. But I think the most important SINGLE one is that he is a hard worker; a grinder. So was Pete Rose.
    There are a lot of guys in the Bigs with a lot of talent, but they don’t work as hard as Joey.

    And the hard work comes from within, it is a personal choice to be this way. Without his dedication and hard work, he is just another guy that plays first base. Joey worked hard to become the player he is today.
    Hats off to Joey, because he has the heart of a champion.

  2. Jeffrey Copeland

    Fantastic article. Love this quote: Roberts said. “There’s only really two things a batter does – if a pitcher pitches to him and throws strikes, he should hit the ball hard somewhere. If the pitcher doesn’t pitch to him, can’t pitch to him or is too scared to pitch to him, then you just accept your walk. You don’t look for walks, you just accept them.”

    That’s where I think people don’t understand Votto. He would rather put the ball on the bat and give it a rip. If the pitcher won’t give him the pitch to do that, he will accept his walk. The discipline it takes to not go out and try to make a bad pitch into a hittable pitch is very rare. Votto has that discipline. GOAT.

    • David

      I think beyond that, he fights the pitcher to GET a pitch that he can drive somewhere. He will fight off bad pitches, and protect the plate until either the pitcher gives in and puts something in the good hitting zone, or gives up and walks him.
      That comes from discipline in a million hours of hitting, and that is just hard work.

    • VaRedsFan

      This has always been my opinion of his thinking too LW. I’m from the camp that I don’t mind him taking pitcher’s pitches for strikes. But it does drive me a little crazy when he takes pitches down the heart of the plate, especially with men on. Sure, hitters are fooled all the time, so that may be it. Maybe he is guessing a pitch and location. I think he also falls prey to his own selectiveness. When there is a base open, he probably knows he isn’t going to get that perfect pitch, and is fooled when it comes down the middle

  3. Scotly50

    Votto’s work ethic, re. batting, is unquestioned. But come on to compare him to Williams and then say Votto is the greatest of all time is a stretch even for his most ardent fan.

    Williams played 21 years and AVERAGED .344 at the plate, 130 RBI a year, with only 50 strikeouts a year, OBP .425, and it goes on and on. Votto in his best year hasn’t done what Williams averaged in 21 years.

    GOAT Votto, hope this was said in jest.

    • Chad Dotson

      Yes, it was hyperbole. I love me some Joey Votto, but I’m not seriously going to claim he’s the greatest hitter of all time.

      • Indy Red Man

        I love him too but what if he played in Petco? He loves driving the ball over or off the LF wall in GABP but alot of those wouldn’t even make the track in SD or LA. The opposite might be true too though? If he played in Houston or Boston he might hit .340 every year? He’s probably the greatest Reds hitter of all-time but lets not go crazy!

      • Jeffrey Copeland

        Some really sensitive people reading this site.

      • Steve

        Joey makes us love the game more because he takes his job so seriously. Plus he could have gone elsewhere for even more money and yet remained dedicated and loyal to the city and its fans. He is truly an exceptional talent that we will really miss in a few years.

      • Chuck Schick

        I’m a fan, but I’m pretty sure the 225 million is why he’s here and not “loyalty.” He was offered a market rate deal before he was eligible for UFA and he accepted.

  4. cfd3000

    Great article – thanks for the tip Chad. Votto is not the GOAT. There can only be one of those of the thousands to have played at MLB, so that’s no knock. But if he stays healthy I’m confident he’s on his way to Cooperstown, and that means he is one of the GOAT’s. And in my eyes the GOOT – Greatest of Our Time. He’s been a joy to watch and I intend to savor the next four or seven or however many years. And if some of the kids around him mature into all stars too, think how much fun that could be!

  5. Chad Dotson

    Can you imagine sending your one and only Gold Glove trophy to someone else? What a selfless act.

    That thing would have been on my mantle.

  6. Chad Dotson

    I’m going to be saying this all year long. Enjoy every single at-bat. We’re witnessing something that we may never see again, a truly elite hitter in a Reds uniform.

  7. IndyRedMan

    Vance Worley just got released on March 29. Why haven’t we signed him already? He had a 2.85 era w/17 starts for the Bucs in 2014 and 3.53 with 86 ip with the O’s last year. He looks like Steven Strasburg compared to Arroyo. Rookie had a 7.50 at Lville last year…kind of thinking it might not be pretty with him either? A guy like him could potentially help out a lot more then a guy like Gennett.

  8. IndyRedMan

    That was a moonshot but I’m more impressed with the oppo HRs he’s been hitting because that’s the way to really take advantage in GABP!