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Joey Votto could be the Next Justin Upton

Joey Votto is far from a prized draft pick, but his resurgence might be just around the corner. Grab him cheap while you can.

Don't erase his name off your list yet.
Don't erase his name off your list yet.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Upton is far from a draft day success story, but he has been at least showing some signs of redemption as of late. After a miserable first two month of .217, .264, .326, his June has been a solid .275, .348, .525 with 5 HR and 3 SB. If you snatched him cheap at the end of May, you are probably already smiling (I traded for him too, but I got him too early and way too expensive).

At this point, if you drafted Upton, you are not going to be profitable. Even after his somewhat great performance, his season average is still nothing close to his career numbers, and his short hot-streak won't change the fact that his skills are diminishing. Nevertheless, if you grabbed him cheap before June, you might be right on the money.

Upton's early season struggle mostly came from his staggering 37% K rate. He has been a strike-out prone for his entire career, but he reached another level this year. In June, however, his K-rate is down to 24%, which is right in line with his last three seasons' numbers. It's a big if, but if he is finally came out of his slump and ready to bring back his regular K-rate, he could be a fine contributor going forward.

It's probably too late to buy low on Upton, but we still have another candidate with an open window: Joey Votto. Just like Upton, Votto isn't going to turn in a profit for those who drafted him, but he is on a similar trajectory as Upton's. His current 25.1% K-rate is easily his career worst, and it's because he recorded 27% in his first two months of the season. In June, he brought his K-rate back down to 20%, which is right at his career level of 19%, and he is putting up .338, .482, .508 for the month. His resurgence isn't as obvious as Upton's, however, since he only hit 2 HR in that span.

At this point, we can't expect 32-year-old Votto to return to 6+ win player, but his prolonged plate discipline slump probably made him available cheap in many leagues. He is old, but his 22.4% HR/FB is above his career 18.9%, and his 5 SB proves that his power/speed tool isn't fading yet. Votto also has a very little chance of leaving Cincinnati unlike his other teammates, so he should be able to enjoy 113 HR Factor of the Great American Ballpark (tied for the highest in MLB with Coors). Make sure ask for his price before it's too late.

Steamer Rest of the Season Projection

1B Rank (Yahoo Eligible)