To say Joey Votto had a dissapointing 2014 season would be an understatement. He only played in 62 games last season, and many of those he may have been playing injured. Votto ended up having a significant quadricep injury, and rather rushing him back in a lost season for the Cincinatti Reds he did not return at the end of the year.
His season was underwhelming to say the least. Especially considering his draft value in most leagues being a certain second round selection, and more than likely a first round selection in re-draft formats. Votto a career .300 hitter, fell 45 points short of his career numbers, and also nearly .150 points lower OPS than in his career.
I have never been someone who was enamored with Votto, but I would always consider him as an option, and a safe one at that the past three seasons. Last year was no exception, and although his season was dismal, I still have faith in Votto returning to form. I will of course explain more in this article, but also consider Votto my top candidate for bounce back player of the year on socalledfantasyexperts.com.
Here is the thing. This season my be the best time ever to buy in to Votto. His ADP has taken a beating so far thanks to his injury plagued and discouraging 2014 season. This is something I view as fantastic news for owners in Fantasy Basbeall Leagues. Especially those who draft early. Votto's current NFBC ADP is 76.34. Yep, that is late sixth or early seventh round folks. Not terrible for a player who was being drafted in the first 2 rounds just last year.
The knocks on Votto were a significant average dip and his power plummeting. However, if you look at his numbers from the brief 2014 season his Home Run numbers are actually consistent, a tad lower than his career average.
His OBP and SLG% are also categories that took a significant hit. Again, I tie this to the injury as well. His walks actually improved although his average took a hit. Perhaps he was more hesitant to swing hurt? Just guessing, but seems to be a potential explanation.
So the real question is what can we expect from Votto this season? A career year? Not likely, but a season back to his career baseline? Absolutely. If another player on the Reds, Jay Bruce can rebound as well that will only help Votto too by strengthening the lineup.
Projected 2015 per fangraphs.com
I am all in on Votto this season, especially if I miss out on the elite First Base options in drafts this year, or need a CI position. He has the track record and ability to put up top 5 First Base numbers. If he is sitting there for you after round five I would pounce like a cat "MEOW".