- Marcus Hartman
Joey Votto’s season is over, but the Cincinnati Reds first baseman’s 2017 camptain will be remembered for a long time.
Let us count the ways…
- The 34-year-old played all 162 games for the second time in his career and failed to get on base in only 12 of those appearances. In 107 games, he got on base at least twice.
- He reached base a major-league-high 321 times, breaking his own team record by two and leading Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon (second in the NL) by 33.
- Votto also led the majors in on-base percentage (.454), walks (134), intentional walks (20), and walk/strikeout ratio while batting .320 with 36 homers and 100 RBIs.
- The five-time All-Star became the first player in Reds history with at least 100 runs, 100 RBI, 300 total bases and 300 times on base.
- Votto’s fourth season with an OPS of at least 1.000 sets a club record.
- He led the NL in on-base percentage for the sixth time and is the active leader in that stat according to Baseball-Reference.com. He only trails Mike Trout in active OPS.
- Votto walked 26 more times than last season (108) while also cutting his strikeouts drastically from 120 to 83.
Knowing all that, is it any wonder he called 2017 the best season of his career?
"I wanted this to be my piece de resistance,” he told MLB.com on the last day of the season. “I wanted this to be my work of art. I felt like shrinking strikeouts, keeping the walks, competing on a daily basis, playing every day, improving my defense. I felt this was definitely the best year of my career."
The Canadian even got a few influential people talking about him as an MVP candidate, as unlikely as winning it on a last-place team might be.