Joe McDonnell chats with four-time All-Star Joey Votto.
By JOE McDONNELLFS West
LOS ANGELES —
Joey Votto is one of the best players in Major League Baseball.
Cincinnati Reds' All-Star first baseman is a career .316 hitter who averages 29 homers and 98 RBI per season. His slugging percentage is .546 and his on-base mark is .418 in his first seven years. He's an outstanding fielder who saves Reds pitchers a lot of runs every season.
Votto is also one of the nicest people you'll ever meet.
High expectations could be a major factor - especially after winning the MVP in just his fourth season -- and of course the big money extension that kicks in next season.
Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker, though, has his own thoughts.
"A lot of people don't get to see him play every day," Baker said, "and while everybody gets criticized at some time, it seems like with Joey people are looking for things he doesn't do rather than things that he does do.
"That's' kind of sad."
Votto, though, says that the swipes at his lack of power numbers might be a little hurtful sometimes, but he won't let them defeat him.
"All I know is that I go out there and give my best every day and that's the only thing I know how to do," said the Toronto native. "I'm not going to let someone else's criticism affect my game."