This is the third post I’ve done on what I’m expecting for Votto in 2009, the last was in the Pedroia fantasy keeper post. Can you tell I’m excited about Votto for 2009? Right now, I see him listed anywhere from 13th to 18th on preseason rankings lists for 1st basemen. Keeping company with some luminaries as Cantu, Loney, Pena and Conor Jackson. He’s been placed decidedly after some schmohawks such as Aubrey Huff, Atkins and Derrek Lee. This is the same Votto that hit over .340 in the last two months when he slugged 9 of his 24 home runs. If Jay Bruce had put up these numbers, we would’ve already carved a commemorative statue out of the Hope Diamond and cloaked it in panda fur. What does Votto have to do to earn your respect? Have to go 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu? Okay, so what can we expect from Votto for 2009 and why is he a fantasy sleeper?
Last year Votto’s numbers were 69/24/84/.297/7. As mentioned above, his last two months were incredible, but let me temper expectations a tad. His BABIP in August was a bit silly, over .400. His homer rate in September was Bondsteroidian. Now let’s get loosey-goosey with projections. You might think the seven steals are fluky, something that just happened to come about because he was sent during a hit and run and Dunn (or Bruce) struckout. Nope. He had 24 steals in Double-A. He’s not stealing 24 in 2009, but he can take 15. Then add in a few more home runs as his power continues to develop and we’re looking at a player in 2009 that could go 85/28/100/.300/12. Um, for a 1st baseman that’s being drafted with Cantu, Jackson and Loney, that’s a fantasy sleeper.