Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
Joey Votto is quickly moving up draft boards this spring as fantasy owners see a potential first-round talent that can be drafted in the third round. To show you the progression, it wasn’t long ago that Votto could have been selected in the fourth or fifth rounds. And it wouldn’t be surprising to see him sneak into the second round as we get closer to opening day.
What’s all the fuss? The stat that really stands out with Votto is his OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) from last season. Among qualified batters, Votto ranked fourth in that category with a .981 rating. That put him behind only Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Joe Mauer, and all three of them are projected to be first-round picks in standard fantasy leagues.
Votto will turn 27 later this season, so he’s considered to be in the prime of his playing career. And if he continues to make progress like he did in his first two seasons, Votto could join that elite first-round group as early as this year.
It’s important to note that Votto missed significant time last season while dealing with an anxiety-related issue. He says that’s an ongoing battle and announced that he has been making progress. Provided he keeps winning that fight, the sky is the limit for Votto’s fantasy value.