Team MVP – Joey Votto
Jun 29, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) looks on during the ninth inning of the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The Cincinnati Reds defeated the San Francisco Giants 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
As much as I think first baseman Joey Votto will continue to struggle with his balky legs the rest of his career and that he is on the fringes of his decline phase, Votto has something to prove in 2015. Before 2014, Votto had been one of the top handful of hitters in the game for at least five years, even if he took criticism for being too patient and not capitalizing on his power potential.
It’s hard to argue with a career .950 OPS, though it’s true that Votto’s power has tanked in recent seasons, with his slugging percentage dropping from .600 in 2010 to .409 in 2015.
He may never smack 35 home runs in a season again, but we’ve never seen Votto motivated by a chip on his shoulder, but that’s what we’ll get in 2015. The sting of criticism should be enough extra fire to prompt one more great season from Votto if he can keep his appendages attached.
And, a productive Votto is easily the Reds’ MVP.
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