Reds’ Joey Votto facing uphill battle for All-Star bid

  • Gabriel Burns
  • Staff Writer
4:28 p.m Wednesday, June 28, 2017 Cincinnati Reds
Mark Tenally/AP
The Reds’ Joey Votto is hitting .304. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)

Joey Votto is fifth among National League first basemen in All-Star voting, but the Reds aren’t slowing their campaign for the first baseman.

Votto is third among qualifiers in batting average (.304) and hits (84), trailing leader Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals and Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks in both categories. His 55 runs and .414 OBP are second only to Goldschmidt (68, .443). 

With a collective 3.2 WAR, Votto is behind Goldschmidt by a full win but sits comfortably ahead of the Braves’ Freddie Freeman (2.6) and Zimmerman (2.5).

As ESPN’s Buster Olney pointed out, Votto has an exceptional combination of high slugging, low strikeout tendencies.

Yet Votto is a distant fifth in voting, even trailing Freeman, who hasn’t played in six weeks, by roughly 60,000 votes. Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo, who’s received the second most votes, ranks fifth in the NL in first baseman WAR.

Statistics support Votto as the second most productive first baseman in the NL this season. But the reality of All-Star voting is that it’s a popularity contest. With only three days left to vote, Votto’s fate likely falls in the hands of coaches.