There’s very few 1st baseman I can see jumping into the top tiers for 2011, Joey Votto is one of them.  This alone is reason for him to be a 2010 fantasy baseball keeper, but there’s more. Show me the way, Grey! I shall, random italicized voice!  Last year, Votto missed games because of dizziness and a bad case of the Mondays.  With that missed time, it was only natural to see Votto fall short of his previous year’s numbers when he had 151 games.  Oh, wait.  He outperformed those numbers in 20 less games.  That’s a cause célèbre!  If “cause célèbre” meant what it sounded like.  To put it into colloquial Mandarin then back into English, “I’ve finished my meal now I want some fresh oranges.”  “Here you go!”  “Thank you!”  So let’s look at what we can expect from Votto for 2010 fantasy baseball and why he’s a keeper and someone I’m targeting in drafts.

Double his 2nd half when he went 49/14/42/.300/2 in 267 at-bats and you’d have bottom of the barrel expectations for him.  That would mean no step forward.  If Votto continues to progress, you’re looking at a guy that could easily give you 32 homers, 10 steals and a .300 average.  This is enough reason for him to be a 2010 fantasy baseball keeper, but, wait, there’s more.  If you buy into Joey Votto for 2010, I’ll also throw in a climbing walk rate and OPS for absolutely free!  Don’t want it?  Who cares, it’s free!  Before you have time to answer because I’m talking so fast, throw in a home park that makes the new Stadium Adjacent to the House That Ruth Built spacious.  Want more?  Tough noogs, it’s all I have.

  1. Steve says:

    I love him as much as the prime rib I just had (happy birthday Dad!).

    If I miss a 1B in the first two rounds, I’m all over him like chrome on a towbar.

  2. Tony says:

    @Steve: I’m in the same train of thought steve…. if i miss out on Fielder/Howard at the 12th pick (i know that sounds late for prince, but i think he’ll be there) then i’m looking for Votto coming back for my back to back picks in the 3rd and 4th rounds. It was frustrating owning him last year, but when he was playing wow. You gotta love a guy who’s getting 3 and 4 hits lotsa nights.

  3. Tony says:

    @Grey/anyone- since we’re talking 1B, what do you think of tex? Would you rather have Teixiera than Howard? He’s rated high on MDC right now like 6th overall (stupid), but for some reason i Just feel the guy is overrated, great player, not a first rounder. He’s going to give you 35/120 and hit .300 with no speed. Not a #6 overall whatsoever and pretty much would you rather have 35/120 .300 or 45/140 .275 (howard)? I’ll take the 10 homers and 15-25 ribbys anyday. I’m really starting to lean towards the camp of I want Fielder, if he’s not there I’ll take best available with my 12/13 picks, then HOPE votto comes back in the 3rd, hopefully take him and Zimmerman, maybe YOUK…. its all starting to come together in my head now….

  4. sean says:

    @Grey: Votto’s ADP is now 25. It may slide when casual mockers hit the scene, but is that too much to pay for a 1B who is 100/25/100/.300/5?
    Votto seems like a piece of a winning team because of his solid contribution in four categories, but is his ADP too step for 1B, which may be the most stacked position in 2010 drafts?

    The 1Bs being drafted ahead of Votto:

    1. Pujols: 100/40/120/6/.320
    6. Teixeira: 100/35/115/2.280
    8. Cabrera: 100/35/115/4/.315
    9. Fielder: 100/40/120/4/.280
    10. Howard: 100/35/120/4/.260

    25. VOTTO: 100/32/100/10/.300

    31. Gonzalez: 90/35/100/0/.280
    44. Morneau: 90/30/105/0/.285
    53. Berkman: 90/25/95/8/.280
    78. Pena: 85/35/100/3/.240

    I’m so back-and-forth on Votto. When I look at the 1Bs that are drafted ahead of him, I think he’s a really viable alternative, especially if I draft in a spot where I draft a non-1B in the first round. BUT when I look at the guys that he’s drafted in front of (especially A-Gone and Morneau), Votto looks overvalued, even at Grey’s ceiling projections.

    Votto seems like a Morneau clone. Maybe it’s because they’re both Canadian.

  5. Tony says:

    @sean: dont forget billy butler

  6. Tony says:

    @sean: why do you have Howard down at 35/120 when he’s went 45/145 for the past 4 years? Are these projects or? from where?

  7. sean says:

    @Tony: Yeah, you’re right, those projections are light on Howard’s HR/RBI totals, but it doesn’t change the point of the post at all.

    Would you rather have Howard and Sizemore or Kemp and Votto (using Bill James as an example instead of my arbitrary pull from the air projections)



  8. Tony says:

    @sean: gotya, i’d personally want Howard/Sizemore. I dont know thats a tough one. I think if i draft at the 12 spot, howard and sizemore is possible. Now if someone takes kemp and votto i’m thinking they’re taking kemp at like 7 or 8 then their second pick wouldn’t be votto so it would be more like KEMP/someone/VOTTO….

    Basically I like the stat line I think howard/sizmore would produce, but the batting average from votto/Kemp would be MUCH better.

  9. PJtres says:

    im in a 16 team cbs keeper league (took over for another manager that left).

    I was offered (his) d. wright for (my) matt kemp

    do you take it? I have votto @1b and youk @ 3b…

    kemp is the only OF i would keep…

    BUT the scoring system is
    Singles 1 point
    Doubles 2 points
    Triples 3 points
    Walks (Batters) 1 point
    Caught Stealing -1 point
    Hit by Pitch 1 point
    Home Runs 4 points
    Runs 1 point
    RBI 2 points
    Stolen Bases 2 points
    Sacrifice Flies 1 point

    do you make the move? or stick with kemp?
    i could use any of the above (votto or youk) as my DH if you think wright has more value than kemp going forward…

    Just for reference…in wrights off year last year…he yielded 599 points…kemp 717…
    in years past though, wright had @ least 750…


  10. John K says:

    Didn’t the dizziness turn out to be severe anxiety following his father’s death? That’s why they couldn’t diagnose it at first. (earache?!)

    Secondly, shhhhhhhhhh!

  11. Xar says:

    “the stadium adjacent to the house that Ruth built”… Brilliant!

    As a pretty serious Yankees fan, I’m waiting for someone from the organization to refer to the new Yankee stadium as the house that Ruth built… Would almost be enough to drive me away from my beloved Yanks. I still can’t believe they thought they needed a new one, when the old had so much history and mystique.

  12. cws05nuts says:

    The reds have a pile of suck around Votto. The OF has the 2 guys with some upside but really haven’t done it yet. BP is another year older. Me thinks that will impact his rs/rbis. The other peripherals may stay pretty good but I think I would rather have Morneau (pending on his fractured back). I guess he does get to feast on NL central pitching all summer though.

  13. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Ha! Sounds like you’re a bit tipsy too. Was it Happy Birthday… Your present is we’re moving out.

    @Tony: Tex is above Howard in my mind, but they’re all the same tier so it’s dealer’s choice really. Anywhere but new Yankee Stadium and Tex wouldn’t be above him.

    @big o: Ah… The great Vin Scully.

    @sean: 25 is not too much to pay as long as other 1st basemen are already off the board. I don’t have him ranked in front of A-Gon and Morneau though.

    @PJtres: I’d want Kemp.

    @John K: That was the reason, yeah.

    @Xar: Yeah, pretty unnecessarily greedy.

    @cws05nuts: I’d prefer Morneau too, but I wouldn’t kick Votto out of bed.

  14. Tony says:

    @Grey: Howard has his own little launching pad in philly, so to me i’d rather have him and his higher prodcution minus some average. Plus i play H2H and he’s a beast in august and september, but i guess TEX is a second half beast as well, tomato tomatoe…. I HATE THE YANKEES…..

    @PJtres: KEEP KEMP, you have YOUK for 3B. Kemp for Wright is too much.

    @Grey: Why is votto in your bed? was he dizzy again?

  15. big o says:

    if you’re going to discount a projected decline for brandon phillips ,
    from votto’s numbers ,
    then , i feel , you must add-on an increase , of some sort ,
    for whatever the next shit-bum will provide ,
    over and above ,
    the willy taveras experiment .

  16. Tony says:

    @cws05nuts: votto is a .300 hitter, morneua could go .300 or .275 just as easy as he’s shown the past 3 years. Votto will give you 10 SB’s, morneua 0. To me Morneua is no more than a glorified Billy Butler thats going to get 20 more RBI’s?

  17. Steve says:

    @Grey: Yeah, but only a little! Armagnac can do that. Was dinner for my dad’s birthday – it’s my father in law who gets to wave goodbye. sean’s list makes interesting reading. Maybe it is a deep position after all, but it seemed to get shallow real quick during the Razzmock.

  18. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Armagnac — nice, for its health benefits, no doubt. re: that list — I don’t think Berkman and Pena are in the same class of those other guys. And the other guys will all probably be gone by 3rd round of 12 team drafts.

  19. Tony says:

    @Grey: exactly what i was thinking grey…. ya they’re all 3B but that doesn’t mean you want to own them. Again i think you gotta throw Butler in there. Even with Butler minus pena and berkman thats only 9 firstbaseman i’d want, i guess you could count derek lee in there as well?

  20. Steve says:

    @Grey: Yeah, if you’re taking Pena or Berk as your 1B you’re probably pretty loaded elsewhere – or you should be.

  21. Tony says:

    1B, my bad, not 3B

  22. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Tony: Butler’s decent, but I wouldn’t overestimate his power. He could take the next step, but he hasn’t yet.

    EDIT: Word.

  23. sean says:

    @Grey: Agreed. I just think that Votto is closer to the Gonzalez/Morneau tier of 1Bs than the Fielder/Howard because Votto isn’t a threat to hit 40+HRs and he’s not going to swipe 20 bags to make up for the difference.

    @Tony: Appreciate you being another constant lurker like myself lately. As long as the partners don’t start reading, I’m gold. I do think that 1B is a lot deeper than you are giving it credit for. There’s definitely a bit of a drop off in terms of consistency, sample size, and injury risk but I would consider:

    56. K. Morales
    88. B. Butler
    93. D. Lee
    138. C. Davis
    140. C. Delgado
    177. J. Cantu
    216. P. Konerko
    233. J. Loney
    253. A. LaRoche

    These guys are all obviously preferred to be your CI, but in a pinch they could prove a serviceable 1B on a team that went with 3B/MI/OF in the first five.

  24. Grey

    Grey says:

    @sean: If I had most of those names as my 1st baseman in a 12 team league, I’d start seriously considering trades.

  25. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Steve: “I’m all over him like chrome on a towbar” conjours up image of an accident waiting to happen. :-)

  26. The Dude says:

    So, I’ve been looking at my keepers in an 12 team 8 keeper OBP league and thinking of going after Votto. I’ve currently got Pena at 1B with Dunn filling in where needed. Here’s what I’m working with – what do you think?

    Probable keeps:

    Possible keeps:

    Scraps that are mostly worthless at this stage:

  27. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @big o: Are you going to give us a recap of your AL mock? (looks like your up against some heavy hitters)

  28. Tony says:

    @Grey: Thats true. I remember reading a year or two ago that Butler isn’t a power hitter. But say he stays at 20hr/90rbi .300 avg. He’s going to be 24 going into 2010, so i’d say he at least is on the upswing. Morneua is 29 and 30/130 .300 is probably morneua’s ceiling now, which 30/110 and .290 should probably be expected. Personally i’d rather go with Butler in the 8th round than Morneua in the 3rd? If Butler takes the next jump and we’re talking even 25/100 .300 its an even better investment. Thoughts?

  29. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Simply Fred: conjours–must be testing to see if you are speaking French down there.

  30. Tony says:

    @sean: forgot about Kendry! it is a deep postion…. and yes i’m lurking, is it spring yet?

  31. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Grey: With Johnson in at NYY, will Damon get another gig?

  32. sean says:

    This year, with the strange injuries to last year’s first rounders (Wright, Reyes, Grady), Kinsler and Crawford being who we thought they were, and Mauer and V*Mart bringing some legitimacy back behind the dish, the second round seems like a virtual cornucopia of bust or boon type picks.

    13. Wright (8/20)
    14. Mauer (7/18)
    15. Crawford (7/20)
    16. Kinsler (10/22)
    17. Ellsbury (13/24)
    18. Tulowitzki (11/29)
    19. Reynolds (14/28)
    20. Reyes (12/29)
    21. Rollins (14/31)
    22. Bay (19/38)
    23. V*Mart (16/36)
    24. Sizemore (13/33)

    I can make it a little easier by taking the catchers off the list of guys that I’m willing to draft in the second round (When I say catcher, you say…). I also refuse to draft Jason Bay in the second round, especially with the chance that he might be moving to Met/Safeco park.

    Unlike the first rounders, there seems to be an usual amount of risk with these names. Any help navigating this minefield would be much appreciated.

  33. Tony says:

    @sean: you’re right its crazy in the second round… personally i wouldnt take reyes or reynolds there this year. I like TULO and Wright there. I’ve seen crawford go in the first round of some drafts. He’s due to fall back to overpriced this year I think. I dont think Ellsbury is a 2nd rounder at all. I love mauer, just not taking a catcher there or anywhere in the first 3 rounds.

  34. Grey

    Grey says:

    @The Dude: The team that has Votto, what do they need that you have?

    @Tony: Morneau and Butler can be equal but until we actually see it, we have a guy batting behind Mauer and we have a guy batting behind Lord knows what. We also have a guy that gets 27+ homers and a guy that hasn’t sniffed 25. Morneau’s ceiling is probably 35 homers. But he has history of back problems and I’m be no means a Morneau apologist. I’ve never owned him. Always thought he was overrated. But we’re talking about Butler who has yet to do anything near his numbers.

    @Simply Fred: re: Damon — Seems like it. Guess we’ll see. Maybe the Yankees can get Branyan and Vlad so no other teams can have a DH.

    @sean: I think I mentioned somewhere (or maybe I wrote it in the top 20 post) that the 3rd round is the new 2nd round. 2nd round is a mess. I don’t think Wright, Kinsler, Reyes and Sizemore are as big as traps as some of the other guys.

  35. Steve says:

    @Simply Fred: I could give you what the saying actually is, but it’s a family show.

  36. sean says:

    @Grey: Agreed. I will most likely have a 1B before I get out of the third. Unless I have the second or third pick, I’m pretty much a lock for a 1B in the first round.

    Can you explain why projection systems and pundits love Jimmy Rollins? Last year I had a blanket prohibition on drafting him, but this year I find myself pulling the trigger when he slides late in the second round in 2010 mocks. I’m not sure he’s as bad as portions of 2009, but I don’t really have any reason to believe he’ll be playing an MVP-caliber 2010. Does he deserve his own post?

  37. Grey

    Grey says:

    @sean: I don’t think he deserves his own post, but maybe. He’s a 20 homer shortstop with slowing speed. His average last year was an aberration, but he’s not a .300 hitter either. Great Runs and solid RBIs for his position.

  38. The Dude says:

    @Grey: His top keepers are pretty clear cut:


    After that though, it gets wishy washy…


    He’s obviously got a glutton of young arms, but he won’t keep more than 2 of them, most likely just Hanson. I know he wants to fill out his infield, but I don’t have a SS to offer him and I really can’t get value for Arod unless someone besides Votto is in the deal.

  39. Grey

    Grey says:

    @The Dude: I wonder if he’d go for Arod for Votto and Kinsler. BTW, kinda crazy that you consider Wandy scraps and Harden a possible keeper.

  40. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Grey: Thought I caught your response in a forum regarding Wandy, not a keeper since he wouldn’t be trade-able? (was it someone else, my mind is going). I know that advice is specific to a situation (which I don’t recall), but it made me drop him from my watch list. ???

  41. The Dude says:

    @Grey: ha – yeah, I just can’t get over that K rate…

    That would leave me with Cano and Kinsler at 2B. One could play in UTIL, but I’m not a fan of a 2B UTIL.

    Since he’s got such chaos at the lower end of his keepers, I am hoping to pull a 2 for 1 with him, rather than a 1 for 2.

    I’d love to ship Pena+Ichiro for Votto. Or maybe Pena+Shoo. Either would give him a decent 1B replacement and an bonus OF. Too much?

  42. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Grey: found it: “Look what Wandy did last year and he’s still going in 12th round of drafts. In other words, no one believes him. If CarGo does what he can do, you can ride the wave or trade him for much more than he’s worth. Wandy you won’t be able to trade.”

  43. Grey

    Grey says:

    @The Dude: Pena/Ichiro would be better for you but I just didn’t think he’d take that sorta deal. Maybe I gave your trade partner too much credit. Try it.

    @Simply Fred: But would you own Harden? I wouldn’t.

  44. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Simply Fred: I.e., because I wouldn’t keep Wandy doesn’t mean I wouldn’t own him.

  45. brett says:

    Votto’s one of those guys, in my opinion, who everybody loves to the point that he’s no longer a sleeper. I wish he’d fall a round or two further because i’d love to draft him but i can’t justify it when Butler and Morales are available considerably later. That said, i’d like to ____ one of the upper tear guys if i have the chance.

    Replace ____ with “land”, “score”, “grab”, or “hit on”.


  46. Grey

    Grey says:

    @brett: Nice Madlibs… Ha!

  47. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Grey: Thanks for your patience. Clearly, there are nuances I am trying to catch onto, but there are situations that are still foggy to me.

  48. tony says:

    @brett: haha most 3-4th rounders aren’t sleepers… he wasn’t a sleeper last year and he’s definitely not a sleeper this year.

    @Grey: I agree on the Butler/Morneua talk. I just like that Butler is 24 and is likely to progress a little more and where I can take him in a draft compared to Morneua. Morneua obviously has a better line up, team, etc. But a little less 5-6 rounds later?

    Plus Morneua is Canadien and a Canadien stole my banking info and rang up $400 bucks! DAMN CANADIENS!!!

  49. Grey

    Grey says:

    @tony: You got canucked!

  50. sean says:

    @tony: Where is this Butler = Morneau talk coming from? Butler is like a 300-lb. Mark Grace. Morneau is a 30/100/.300 all-star 1B. I know Morneau has had some injury history, but his production is about as consistent as it gets and he’s only 28. Last year, he hit 30 HRs in just 508 ABs. I’m not huge on the guy, but you can do way worse, and Butler IS way worse in my opinion.

  51. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @sean: last three years combined post-ASB:


    morneau: .241/.326/.424 (189 GP)
    butler: .305/.361/.491 (197 GP)

    IF Butler ever transfers 2nd half to first (he’s young), watch out.

  52. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Simply Fred: Or if he can transfer his spring training numbers, he is Mr. Grapefruit.

  53. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Simply Fred: Global warming–that’s the ticket!

  54. big o says:

    is this some sort of test , or sumpin ?
    i mean ,
    how long before someone breaks the silence ?

    did you hear ? did you hear ??
    carlos silva is being considered for the 5th starters spot
    in the windy city !

    oh lord .

    half of chicago was just wanting to get rid
    of that sleaze-bag/ malcontent milton bradley .
    and now , they got their wish !!
    merry christmas .
    ha .

  55. big o says:

    oh , come on .
    you can’t all be related to carlos silva .

  56. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Simply Fred: Global, indeed.

    @big o: Silva and Bradley — M’s and Cubs exchange burdens.

  57. sean says:

    @Simply Fred: Interesting splits. I’m going to take a closer look at Butler, but I think the hype machine may take him out of the range of cost-effective alternatives.

    Its too bad that his power is so questionable because you could really get excited about his 51 doubles last year translating to a jump into the 30-35 HR range, but I just don’t see it happening…

  58. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @sean: I’m not totally convinced on Butler myself. I don’t have him targeted yet–mainly because he doesn’t fit the balance of the team right now. If he weren’t a 1B he’d probably fall to a reasonable value level, but…

    (BTW: thanks for being you–a really good guy!)

  59. tony says:

    @sean: I’m talking #’s sean not body type and how many doughnuts each of them could eat in one sitting.

    I’m also looking at where you draft each of these guys and what you could take instead of taking Morneua in that spot (since i think he’s taken about a round early). Even if Butler hits 20/90 and .300 wouldnt you rather have that in the 8-9th round than 30/110 .300 in the 3rd round? And thats saying Butler doesn’t progress. He has youth/upside on his side. Morneua is by no means old and done, but he is going to be 29 going into this season. He has had the back issues. Back issues are NOT GOOD.

    I just think 20/90 for Butler is low end. Say that easily bumps up to 25/100? and a .300 average, now who would you want? I’m not saying i’m that high on butler, or that excited, but more so that I would not be interested in taking Morneua in the 3rd round to get ABOUT the same thing.

    Right now at MDC Morneua is #44 (actually lower than i thought) but if you dont take him there (in theory) Lind #42, Zimmerman #43, and then cano #46, aaron Hill #50….. i’d much rather have a zimmerman or lind there if I had the choice knowing I’m filling my 3B slot or getting a mashing, young OF’er.

    @Simply Fred: i’m not really hyping him, just saying why take this when you could take this later…?

  60. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @tony: I think Butler over Morneau is a not brainer for all of the reasons above, especially the back issues and second half drops. The mocks I’ve been in are drafting Butler 6th round in a 12-team, still a little high?

  61. tony says:

    @Simply Fred: ya i think butler in the 6th is high…. if he’s going there I dont know if I’ll own him, but i guess its probably still better than Morneua in the 3rd… it all just depends.

  62. Mark says:

    Like the Votto call here. I also think that Billy Butler will star in Joey Votto from 2009 – without the case of the Mondays though.

  63. big o says:

    (can i call you “dude” ?)

    dude :
    i don’t know when you’re coming east ,
    but today ain’t the day .
    trust me .

  64. GopherDay says:

    FYI, Lowel to Rangers deal is OFF. Lowel needs surgery for the torn ligament in his right thumb.

  65. Grey

    Grey says:

    @big o: Of course, dude. Next week I head east.

    @GopherDay: Can’t say I’m completely surprised. Go Chris Davis!

  66. big o says:

    i think the worst is over .
    15 ” of snow in the past 10 hours .

  67. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @big o: sled dogging it to the casino today?

  68. big o says:

    @Simply Fred:
    nope .
    funny how , when we walked to school ,
    it was up-hill …. both ways .

    now , when i drive to work ,
    it’s all down-hill , from here .

  69. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @big o: That’s the ticket–easy sledding!

  70. Grey

    Grey says:

    @big o: Yeah, and it was 82 here yesterday. Not looking forward to going east next week.

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