Lots of times I’ve been known to practice the art of Saberhagenmetrics.Â A player does well, I back off the next year.Â A player turns your team into his own private piss bucket and I get excited about his undervaluedness. (<–Made up word of the day!)Â This isn’t the case with Joey Votto.Â He, friends, is my new love.Â I wrote him a letter the other day and it went something like this, “Blah blah blah I love you. Blah blah blah wanna hang out?Â Blah blah blah what’s your home address?Â Blah blah blah sorry, you felt the need to get a restraining order against me.Â Blah blah blah see you in Canada, which is outside this restraining order’s jurisdiction!”Â No reply.Â Yet.Â Anyway, here’s why I think Votto is a 2011 fantasy baseball keeper:
Last year wasn’t a complete fluke.Â He did, however, have a dream season that I don’t think he repeats.Â Yes, I like him, but don’t think he repeats.Â It’s a paradoxical hedge and I’ll explain.Â 16 steals last year is not the high end.Â It’s the high end taking off the high end’s ceiling and making a new high end.Â He’s closer to a 8-12 steal guy.Â Still good, but cuts his value a bit.Â 37 homers are terrific.Â Don’t think he gets there again either.Â He’s more of a 30-35 homer guy.Â Still good, but cuts his value a bit.Â In 2010, he swung at more balls outside the strike zone than in 2009.Â Not a terrific trend.Â What I think was going on is everything he was hitting was falling in so he was like, “What the eff, I’m going to swing at everything.”Â Average might come down next year.Â Not too low, probably closer to .310.Â The Reds had one of those dream seasons where everything clicked.Â If they’re off at all, Votto’s Runs and RBIs could fall a bit.Â Now all this sounds like an overrated post more than a keeper post, but Votto’s still an elite first baseman in the prime of his career and a first round pick.Â Next year, if you get 95/32/110/.310/10, you’ll take and love it.Â Assuming you have him as a 3rd round pick or later, that’s great value and well worth keeping.