Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals Killer #2: Joey Votto. Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Figures that more than one of the most dangerous hitters against the St. Louis Cardinals play in the division. No one with 50 or more at-bats against Redbird pitching was more lethal than the Cincinnati Reds first baseman. Only Washington Nationals Ryan Zimmerman has a higher OPS than Votto’s 1.234.
A lot of that had to do with the 24 free passes, the bulk of which I’m guessing were on purpose. Because no one else in that lineup — not Jay Bruce, that’s for sure — was capable of driving him in. Cincinnati’s 640 runs scored ranked 26th among all big league teams. That’s just inexcusable when you play home games at Great American Ballpark. According to ESPN’s number crunchers, it’s one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the game.
Votto will likely keep badgering Cardinal pitching for the rest of his career, because he’s one of the most cerebral hitters in baseball. He is excellent at making adjustments within at bats and has the best eye in the game. His 143 free passes led all of baseball. You can’t sleep on him, either. Votto swiped 11 bags this year, 4 of which came against the Cardinals, believe it or not.
Next: Ryan Zimmerman