Joseph Daniel "Joey" Votto, also known as "Vottomatic" or "Canadian Bakin'," (born September 10, 1983) is a Canadian Major League Baseball first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds. He is the 2010 NL MVP, the recipient of the National League Hank Aaron Award for 2010, and won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's athlete of the year in 2010.
Votto's 2006 season was the best of his minor league career. Playing with Class AA Chattanooga, he improved his batting average to .319 and hit 46 doubles and 22 home runs. He led the Southern League in batting average and total bases and was third in the league in home runs and RBI. Votto was selected to play in the 2006 Futures Game on the World Team. He also played on both the Mid-Season and Post-Season Northern League All-Star teams, and was voted a minor league all-star by Baseball America. Votto culminated his season by winning the Northern League MVP award.
Beginning the 2008 season, Votto shared time platooning at first base with Scott Hatteberg, until Manager Dusty Baker began playing Votto as the Reds' starting first baseman in early April. On May 7, 2008, Votto hit three home runs in a game against the Chicago Cubs. He broke the Reds' record for the most runs batted in by a rookie in a single season. The previous record was held by National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson with 83 RBI set in 1956. Votto drove in 84 runs during the 2008 season. He finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting to the Chicago Cubs' Geovany Soto.
On the season Votto hit .324 with 113 RBI, 106 runs scored, and 37 homers, including a grand slam off of Tommy Hanson of the Atlanta Braves on May 20. He finished the season leading the Major Leagues in On Base Percentage (.424), and led the National League in Slugging Percentage (.600), and On-Base Plus Slugging (1.024).On October 31, before game four of the World Series, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and Hank Aaron announced that Votto had won the Hank Aaron Award in the National League.On November 22, he was announced the 2010 NL MVP, as he led the NL in on-Base Percentage, coming within one vote of winning unanimously (Albert Pujols received the other first place vote).He is only the third Canadian to win the MVP award after Larry Walker and Justin Morneau.
On January 16, it was announced that the Reds and Votto agreed to a 3 year, $38 million deal. Many consider Votto to have the potential to win multiple MVP awards.On Opening Day of the 2011 season, Votto went 1 for 2 with a homer and 2 RBI, also adding 2 walks to his stat line. The Reds won the game 7-6 on a Ramón Hernández walk-off home run. As of July 9, Votto is third in the NL in batting average, and has 13 HR and 53 RBI, and has 59 runs scored, and 6 SB. On July 3rd, Votto was voted in by the players for the 2011 All Star Game as a reserve.
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