Tag:Joey Votto
Posted on: June 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 11:25 am
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Looking back at second-round picks

Joey Votto

By C. Trent Rosecrans


While the first-round of the MLB Draft is gaining more attention in the last couple of years, the later rounds are where most of the work is done. 

The second round starts today at 11 a.m. ET, so here's a look at some of the best second-round picks in recent memory.

Angels: In 1999, the Angels took John Lackey out of Grayson County Community College with the 68th overall pick in the draft. In 1995, they took Jarrod Washburn with the first pick of the second round.

Astros: Perhaps the team's best player right now, outfielder Hunter Pence, was the 64th overall pick in 2004. 

MLB Draft

Athletics: The A's took Vista, Calif., high schooler Trevor Cahill with the 66th overall pick in 2006. Two years before that they took Kurt Suzuki in the second round and in 2003 they took Andre Ethier in the second round. They traded him for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez in 2005.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Dave Bush in 2002 is probably the team's best second-round pick since taking Derek Bell in 1987.

Brian McCannBraves: Current first baseman Freddie Freeman was selected with the 78th overall pick in 2007, but the best pick was easily 2002's No. 64 overall pick, a local high school catcher named Brian McCann.

Brewers: The Brewers took Yovani Gallardo with the fifth pick of the second round in 2004.

Cardinals: In 2001, the team took Dan Haren with the 72nd overall pick. More recently, Jon Jay was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft.

Cubs: You have to go back pretty far -- unless you go with Bobby Hill -- to find much success with the Cubs' second-round pick, but if you go as far back as 1984, they took Greg Maddux with the third pick of the second round and he turned out OK. Also among their second-round picks is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter (1996).

Diamondbacks: A's starter Brett Anderson was Arizona's second-rounder in 2006. He was part of the big trade that send Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks.

Dodgers: The Dodgers got future closer Jonathan Broxton with the 60th overall pick in 2002.

Giants: Of recent vintage, the Giants have taken Nate Schierholtz in 2003 and Fred Lewis in 2002, but the most interesting second-round pick by San Francisco was in 1982. That year they took the son of a team legend with the 11th pick of the second round (39th overall), but Barry Bonds went to Arizona State instead.

Indians: Jason Kipnis is one of the team's top prospects, taken in the second round in 2009. In 1995, the Indians took first baseman Sean Casey out of Richmond with the 53rd overall pick.

Mariners: Recently-demoted Orioles starter Chris Tillman was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 second-rounder Rich Poythress, who had 31 homers in Class A last season.

Mike StantonMarlins: It wasn't until the 12th pick of the second round -- and 76th overall -- for someone to pick up Mike Stanton in 2007. 

Mets: There's some slim pickins for the Mets recently, but few Mets fans would trade their second-rounder of 1977, Mookie Wilson. (Seriously, this one was tough, the only players the Mets have picked in the last 15 years who have made the majors were Kevin Mulvey, Neal Musser, Pat Strange and Tyler Walker -- maybe that explains some things.)

Nationals (Expos): Jordan Zimmermann was the team's second-rounder in 2007. Current Reds All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips was taken by the Expos with the sixth pick of the second round in 1999.

Orioles: Nolan Reimold was taken 61st overall in 2005, but if you want to go back a few years, the team took Cal Ripken with the 22nd pick of the second round in the 1978 draft. Ripken was the third of four picks the Orioles had in the second round that year.

Padres: San Diego took Chase Hedley in 2005.

Phillies: Jimmy Rollins was the team's second-rounder in 1996, going 46th overall.

Pirates: Last year's pick was Stetson Allie, who many expected to go in the first round. Lefty Tom Gorzelanny was taken in the second round in 2003 and catcher Ryan Doumit was taken 59th overall in 1999.

Rangers: The only player taken by the Rangers in the second round of the last decade to make the majors is Jason Bourgeois.

Rays: The Rays famously took Josh Hamilton No. 1 overall in 1999, but their second-round pick that year was pretty good too -- Carl Crawford.

Red Sox: How about Justin Masterson (2006), Dustin Pedroia (2004) and Jon Lester (2002)?

Reds: NL MVP Joey Votto (2002) was the third pick of the second round (44th overall) and Travis Wood was taken in the second round of the 2005 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 pick Billy Hamilton, who already has 45 stolen bases this season for Class A Dayton.

Rockies: For recent vintage, Seth Smith (2004) is the pick, but you can go back a few years and pick Aaron Cook (1997).

George BrettRoyals: For all the prospects the Royals have stockpiled in the last couple of years, strangely not too many are second-rounders. Outfielder Brett Eibner (2010) was the only member of the Royals' Top 10 by Baseball America taken in the second round. You have to go back to Carlos Beltran (1995), Jon Lieber (1992), Bob Hamelin (1988), Mark Gubicza (1981), Darryl Motley (1978) and Dennis Leonard (1972) to find serious big-leaguers. Oh, and also a kid out of El Segundo, Calif., in 1971 named George Brett. He was pretty good, too.

Tigers: The Tigers took Brandon Inge with the 14th pick of the 1998 draft as a catcher out of Virginia Commonwealth. In 1976, Alan Trammell was the second pick of the round.

Twins: A nice run of arms earlier in the decade with Kevin Slowey (2005), Anthony Swarzak (2004), Scott Baker (2003) and Jesse Crain (2002). Frank Viola was the team's second-rounder in 1981.

White Sox: A's outfielder Ryan Sweeney (2003) is the team's best second-rounder since Bob Wickman (1990) -- not counting Jeff Weaver, who went back to school after he was picked in 1997 and was taken by the Tigers a year later.

Yankees: In the last 20 years, only two Yankees second-rounders have made the big leagues, Shelley Duncan (2001) and Randy Keisler (1998). Catching prospect Austin Romine was the team's second-rounder in 2007. In 1982, the team did take a shortstop from McAdory High School in Bessemer, Ala., who went on to play football at Auburn instead. His name is Bo Jackson. That was the year after the team took Stanford outfielder John Elway.

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:44 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 3:49 pm
 

NL All-Star balloting update: Cards lead way



By Matt Snyder


Major League Baseball has issued a press release with the first All-Star balloting update of the season, and the NL starting lineup would include three Cardinals if the voting ended right now. The leaders by position (including three outfielders, of course): Albert Pujols, Brandon Phillips, Placido Polanco, Troy Tulowitzki, Buster Posey, Ryan Braun, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman. (Full ballot update at MLB.com)

A few things immediately jump out:

- Jose Reyes is the most qualified candidate at shortstop, despite Tulowitzki's hot start. Reyes leads the NL in hits, doubles, triples and stolen bases and is hitting .335 with an .876 OPS. He doesn't even have half the votes Tulo does. Oh, and Jimmy Rollins (.265 with a .698 OPS) is second. At least Reyes is in third, but it's odd to see a player in New York so under-represented in the voting.

- The starter at first base has gotta be Joey Votto over Pujols. It's not even close this season. Votto is second, trailing by about 182,000 votes. Prince Fielder (third) and Ryan Howard (fourth) should also be ahead of Pujols. Remember, it's for the 2011 season.

- Speaking of which, Chase Utley is third in voting at second base.

- Dodgers outfielders Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp have very strong cases in the outfield, and they check in at spots four and five in the voting, respectively. Still, who are you going to bump between Braun, Holliday and Berkman? Maybe we can petition to move Braun to third base in order to maximize the offense?

- The biggest snub appears to be Jay Bruce. The young Reds' slugger was been an absolute man-child in May and leads the NL in home runs, RBI and total bases. He's 12th place in votes for outfielders. Looks like Reds fans need to get over to MLB.com and support their team. Phillips leads at second because there aren't many good candidates, but Votto and Bruce should be starting and aren't yet in that position.

- Obviously, Posey can't start because of his season-ending injury and NL manager Bruce Bochy will name a replacement if Posey wins the voting. So the catcher voting -- at least as long as he's at the top -- is irrelevant.

Voting continues on MLB.com through June 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET. There will be an update on AL voting Wednesday.

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Posted on: May 8, 2011 6:13 pm
Edited on: May 9, 2011 1:01 am
 

Impressive, yet underrated, streak ends for Votto

By Matt Snyder

You may not have noticed, what with all the hoopla Andre Ethier got for his 30-game hitting streak, that Joey Votto had reached base all 33 games in 2011 entering Sunday. But he had. And that streak for the Reds' first baseman was snapped with an 0-4, two strikeout game at Wrigley Field against the Cubs.

Why so much less attention? It's not like we have some slap hitter diving in front of pitches to scrap his way on base. Votto entered Sunday hitting .345 with a .476 on-base percentage, 27 runs, eight doubles, a triple, five home runs, 18 RBI and a 1.037 OPS. His league-leading 29 walks helped keep the streak alive, but his 40 hits helped as well.

It's true that it's harder to get a hit than to simply get on base, which is why OBP's are always higher than batting average. But it's also true that in many cases, a walk is just as good as a hit. In fact, I could argue a walk is better than a single at times. If there is no one on base, working a seven-pitch walk is much more detrimental to a pitcher than a seeing-eye groundball base hit on the first pitch.

I also believe that it's the traditionalist mindset. The number 56 -- Joe DiMaggio's record hitting streak -- is one of those sacred numbers in sports. Do you know the record for consecutive games on base? I'm guessing no. I was able to find that Ted Williams had an 84-game on-base streak and that's the record, but it took some digging to find the information. That's not the case if you want to find anything on DiMaggio's 56. It's one of the easiest historical feats to find on the Internet.

Maybe it's that it feels more manly to get a hit than to take a walk. You know, the "swing the bat, you [insert chosen expletive]" mindset. We've all heard that at some time or another. Maybe even said it.

Maybe it's that Votto wasn't as close to the record as Ethier was -- though I'd argue hitting streaks start to gain steam in the press once they hit double digits.

Whatever the reason, hitting streaks seem to be far more important to the masses than on-base streaks. I'd just like to give credit to someone for avoiding outs rather than completely disregarding walks like it doesn't help the team -- as I've said before in arguing for on-base percentage to overtake batting average as the most mainstream rate stat.

Regardless of the sentiment of either side of the argument, Joey Votto is having a huge season and just had a really impressive streak snapped. He deserves credit and fanfare, even if an on-base streak is not as universally embraced as a hitting streak.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 4, 2011 11:14 pm
 

Which Phillips play is better?

Brandon Phillips

By C. Trent Rosecrans

If you missed it, Tuesday night Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips made the best play of the year -- fielding Jason Bourgeois' dribbler with his bare hand on a straight sprint and flipping the ball to first baseman Joey Votto between his legs to get the speedy runner.

Here it is.

It was hands-down the best play I've seen this season. However, there's at least one person who doesn't agree with me -- Brandon Phillips.

From his Twitter (@DatDudeBP):

Phillips Twitter

That other play was on April 12 in San Diego. On that play, he ranged right and barehanded the ball, throwing on to first to get Will Venable. Although there was a higher degree of difficulty for Tuesday's play, the play against the Padres came with a runner on third and kept the game tied in the eighth inning -- a game the Reds would win 8-2 in 11 innings.

Here's the video of that play.

Which do you think is better?

Either way, it shows why Phillips has two of these:

Gold Gloves

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Posted on: May 4, 2011 10:29 pm
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Posted on: May 4, 2011 7:49 pm
 

Streakin'? Votto yes, Braun no

Joey Votto



By C. Trent Rosecrans

One streak ended on Wednesday, and it wasn't Andre Ethier's hitting streak. 

While the Dodger outfielder has gotten the headlines with his 29-game hitting streak -- interrupted with a sore left elbow on Wednesday -- two other players had perhaps even more impressive streaks going. Entering Wednesday's games, both Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and Cincinnati's Joey Votto were the only players in Major League Baseball that had reached base in every one of their team's games this season.

Votto extended his streak to 30 with a single in the ninth inning, part of a Reds ninth-inning rally, while Braun's streak ended at 28 in the first game of a doubleheader against Atlanta. 

Braun went 0 for 4 with no walks against the Braves, lowering his slash line to /. Braun entered the game 6 for 15 with four homers in his career against Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson, but flew out twice and grounded out twice against the Braves starter and then flew out in the eighth against Scott Linebrink, to end his streak.

Braun will have a chance to start a new streak later today in the second game of the doubleheader.

While Ethier has garnered the headlines, both Votto and Braun have been better than Ethier. Votto is hitting .358/.485/.594 with five home runs and a 2.3 WAR (before Wednesday's game), according to Baseball-Reference.com. Braun is hitting .339/.430/.661 with 10 homers and a 1.5 WAR and Ethier is hitting .370/.436/.529 with three home runs and a 1.2 WAR.

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Posted on: April 24, 2011 10:58 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 1:06 am
 

Pujols cautious with tight hamstring

Albert PujolsBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Albert Pujols is optimistic about the tight left hamstring that forced him from Sunday's game.

"I think it depends on how I wake up tomorrow," Pujols told reporters, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Tom Timmermann. "The tests were pretty good. They don't think it's too bad. When I wake up tomorrow, I can sense a little more about how I feel. Hopefully it's not as bad as I feel right now. I'll be glad we have an off day tomorrow."

The Cardinals are off on Monday before starting a three-game series at Houston on Tuesday. Pujols said he'll go to Busch Stadium early Monday to get treatment.

Pujols left the game after grounding out to end the seventh inning. Pujols hit a weak grounder to third baseman Miguel Cairo, whose throw was high, but first baseman Joey Votto was able to leap to catch the ball and come down on the bag. Pujols had already started slowing down before Votto caught the ball. Lance Berkman replaced him at first, with Jon Jay going to right field.

"I tried to get an infield hit, which I don't get too many of," Pujols said. "And after three or four steps, it felt a little tight. I pulled up because obviously I think I prefer tightness to a blown out hamstring. It's something that I have to deal with. It's been rough the last week or so with the rain. Our body takes a little beating."

Pujols said the constant rain and wet fields caused fatigue in his legs.

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Posted on: April 22, 2011 10:45 am
Edited on: April 23, 2011 12:43 pm
 

Pepper: Dodgers leave Kershaw out to dry



By Matt Snyder


Seemingly lost in the shuffle of the Dodgers' extra-innings win over the Braves -- on another Matt Kemp walk-off bomb -- was how long Don Mattingly stuck with Clayton Kershaw in the ninth. I generally find that managers, especially early in the season, seem to err on the side of pulling starters early when they're throwing well. It was the complete opposite here.

Kershaw recorded two outs to begin the ninth, so he was just one out from a complete game victory. Chipper Jones singled. Dan Uggla singled but advanced to second on a throw to third base. So there are now runners on second and third in a one-run game. Kershaw had thrown 113 pitches and didn't look completely done, so I could see letting him face one more hitter.

Then he walked Freddie Freeman on six pitches. The bases were loaded, Kershaw was sitting at 119 pitches and finally -- during the Freeman at-bat -- seemed to be losing some bite on his pitches. Closer Jonathan Broxton was ready to enter. Instead, Kershaw was left in the game and allowed a two-RBI single to David Ross. So much for the lead, now the Dodgers trailed by one.

Look, it's tough to blame Mattingly for giving Kershaw some leeway. He's their best pitcher, Broxton hasn't been good and they were one out from victory. It just seemed like Kershaw was cooked and Mattingley refused to acknowledge it.

Of course, had Kershaw recorded an out we wouldn't even be talking about it. That's just the way things go in this game. It's really an illustration for how hard it is for managers to truly judge when to remove a pitcher. Think about it: had Mattingly removed Kershaw and seen Broxton lose the lead, what would we be saying?

BASEBALL TODAY: Ryan Braun is going to be in a Brewers uniform for a long time. Watch Danny Knobler discuss this and more with Lauren Shehadi on CBSSports.com's Baseball Today.



HEY, SITTING IN THE BULLPEN IS BORING: In a Class A-Advanced game Tuesday, members of the Clearwater Thrashers (a Phillies affiliate) bullpen came up with a game for fans peering over the edge. They simply put paper cups down and said if a fan tossed a quarter into the cup, he could win a prize. They had a cardboard sign up advertising the "promotion," even saying "we make change." The prize was a bat. No official word, but I'd guess the players keep the quarters that don't make it in a cup (hey, minor leaguers don't make much). You've gotta click through on this link and see the pictures -- in the last one you can see how many quarters are littered across the bullpen ground. (The X-Log )

HOUSE THAT RUTH BUILT COMES TUMBLING DOWN: National Geographic is doing a show -- "Break it down" -- about the demolition of the old Yankee Stadium April 28 at 10 p.m. ET. After all the great games we've all seen there, it's going to be a bit surreal, no? (NatGeo )

PERFECTIONIST: Joey Votto had an RBI double in a 3-1 loss Wednesday night, but he was angry ... because he should have had a triple. “I stopped because runs were at premium. I was in scoring position. We had two outs to get the job done. It was a real in-between play. And I wish I had taken the chance. I left like there was a good shot I would have been safe.” And you made the correct decision, Joey. Quit beating yourself up for making the smart play. The reining NL MVP is crushing the ball again this year, but he needs to realize he can't single-handedly carry the team. (Cincinnati.com )

CAPTAIN JUNIOR: Ken Griffey Jr. followed in his father's footsteps in becoming a major league baseball player and now he's gone and done it again. Apparently, Griffey the elder is a pilot and now Junior is working on his pilot's license as well. Kudos to him. Is his flight path follows the same as his career path in baseball, he'll greatly exceed his father's abilities. Oh, and in case you're worried about Junior's well-being, his plane has a built-in parachute. (Geekwire )

THANK YOU, JOE: I've long hated the phrase "Hall of the Very Good" when people try to denigrate the Hall of Fame cases of players who they believe don't belong. It doesn't make sense because it's not the same medium. Hall of the Very Good would be secondary to the Hall of the Great or Hall of the Elite or Hall of the Exceptional. But Joe Posnanski finally up and did it, he created a "Hall of Not Famous Enough," peppered with players every bit as good as lower-level guys in the real Hall, just lacking some mainstream oomph on their names. Bobby Grich, Dwight Evans, Alan Trammell, Rick Reuschel and several others make the list. I hightly recommend at least a quick glimpse. (Joe Blog )

GO AHEAD AND SLEEP ON SEATTLE: The Mariners have some good, young arms like Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda. The offense, however, is pretty bad. We know that. Surprisingly, however, the defense actually measures worse at this point in the season. (Seattle Times )

LITTLE LEAGUE HOME RUN: In Jason Bay's first game of the 2011 season, he scored on his own plate appearance without recording a hit. Yep, he came around on a four-base error when Hunter Pence dropped a fly ball -- otherwise known as a "little league home run," for obvious reasons. It was the fourth in Mets history. (ESPN New York )

TEXEIRA DEMOTED: C'mon, not Mark. His last name is spelled Teixeira anyway. Just going with a trick subhead there, as the Royals have sent Kanekoa Texeira to Triple-A. (MLB.com )

SHORT AND SWEET: Matt Joyce is swinging a hot bat right now, and he attributes it to shortening up his swing. (TampaBay.com )

MAD MAICER: You wanna call Maicer Izturis fragile just because he's missed almost half the Angels' games in the past three seasons? You aren't going to endear yourself to him, that's for sure. "Those are ignorant people who say that," Izturis said. "They don't know the game. I could play 140 games at 90%, 80%. But that's not the way I play. I play 100%." It's interesting to note that later Izturis said something about how when Josh Hamilton gets hurt, people don't call him fragile. Um, they actually do. Quite a few people say that, actually. The broader point, however, is the guy doesn't like being called fragile and there's nothing wrong with that. Injuries happen during the course of 162 games. (LA Times )

IN THE SEATTLE AREA? The boys over at Sports and Food have a sports bar suggestion for you. Check it out. (Sports and Food )

ON THIS DATE: On April 22, 1970, Tom Seaver threw a complete game for the Mets against the Padres. He allowed only two hits, two walks and a run -- a solo homer by Al Ferrara. The game is noteworthy because Seaver struck out 19 hitters, which tied the major-league record at the time (held by Steve Carlton, along with a pair of guys from the 1880s). It has since been surpassed by Kerry Wood and Roger Clemens (twice). (Baseball-Reference.com )

MAKIN' IT RAIN: Angels fans threw money at Carl Crawford when he was on deck Thursday night. You might recall Crawford spurned the Angels in order to sign with Boston. (Big League Stew )

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