Joey Votto Is Still The Master Of Getting On Base

This is part of Baseball America’s 2019 season preview. To see all season preview content, click here. 

Reds first baseman Joey Votto’s power has begun to wane, but he still is a master of getting on base. Votto’s .427 career on-base percentage ranks 12th in MLB history and is bettered by only Barry Bonds and Ted Williams among players who have played in the integration era (1947 to present).

But that doesn’t fully explain how impressive Votto’s on-base skills are. This may better illustrate Votto’s ability to consistently reach base.

Paul Goldschmidt ranks third among active players with a .398 career on-base percentage (Mike Trout is second at .416). If Votto failed to reach base once in 500 plate appearances this season, he’d still equal Goldschmidt’s .398 career OBP.

If Votto really struggled and failed to reach in his next 1,000 plate appearances, his .372 OBP would still best Jose Altuve’s career .365 OBP.

If Votto didn’t get on base for his next 1,500 plate appearances, which would be a pretty nightmarish couple of seasons for him and the Reds, he would still have a .350 career OBP, which would be better than Justin Upton’s .348 career mark.

If Votto didn’t get one hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in his next 2,000 plate appearances, his .330 OBP would still be better than Yoenis Cespedes, Kyle Seager or Kendrys Morales’ career OBPs.

And if Votto went 0-for-2,900 over the remaining five years left on his current contract, his .299 OBP would still be better than that of former teammate Billy Hamilton (.298).

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