Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto pointed to his ability to hit the ball hard and where he wants to on a consistent basis as his greatest strength last week.
“If I want to hit fly balls all the time, I can,” Votto said. “If I want to hit line drives all the time, I can.”
The numbers prove that. According to FanGraphs.com, Votto has popped out on the infield only 16 times in his career and not at all in 2018. Jeremy Frank, of NGBaseball.com, brought this stat to everyone’s attention this week on Twitter.
Votto has popped out in the infield only seven times since 2010, and according to Frank, the average player with the same number of plate appearances (5,341) would have popped up in the infield 127 times.
Votto and the Reds return to action Friday in their first game after the All-Star break, playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park. Votto leads the National League with a .422 on-base percentage. He’s hitting .289 with nine home runs and 55 RBIs.
This could be my favorite stat, ever...— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) July 20, 2018
Joey Votto pop ups by year:
2010 - 0
2011 - 1
2012 - 1
2013 - 1
2014 - 1
2015 - 2
2016 - 0
2017 - 1
2018 - 0
Since 2010, Votto has popped it up 7 times. With the same amount of PA, the MLB average player would have popped it up 127 times.
#Reds Joey Votto has 6,563 career plate appearances.— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) July 20, 2018
He has never popped out to the catcher, pitcher, or first basemen.
Pop ups (infield fly balls) since 2010:— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) July 20, 2018
8 Manny Ramirez (in 337 PA)
7 Ken Griffey Jr (in 108 PA)
7 Ivan Rodriguez (in 558 PA)
7 Joey Votto (in 5341 PA)
Griffey last played in 2010; Manny and Pudge last played in 2011.