Skip to content

Joey Votto wants to lead the league in OPS and WAR

Aug 30, 2013, 7:45 PM EDT

Joey Votto Getty Getty Images

At FanGraphs, David Laurila polled a handful (12, to be specific) of Major Leaguers about with which offensive statistic they would like to lead the league. It’s quite fascinating, particularly that the most popular answer was not batting average, runs, or RBI, but OPS. Had you randomly polled 12 players five years ago, I would imagine nine or ten would have given you batting average or RBI. We’ve come a long way.

Reds first baseman had the best answer, landing on OPS, but saying that it would have been WAR if the question didn’t stipulate an offense-only stat.

“There’s no better thing you can do in baseball than hit home runs, so I’d like to lead in that. That said, I don’t know if there’s a correlation between home runs and general offensive dominance. I don’t know if there is one number that does that.

“I’ve always felt like the top guys in OPS are usually the best hitters in the league. I’m probably biased, because I led the league in it, but I think it’s a big stat. So I guess my answer is OPS, if you’re talking purely offensive stats. If you’re talking overall, I’ll say WAR.”

Votto did indeed lead the league in OPS in 2010, when he won the National League Most Valuable Player award. He has never led in WAR, though he came close in 2010, when his 6.8 FanGraphs WAR was just a hair behind the 7.0 of then-Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols.

Votto has been a bit of a lightning rod in the traditional stats vs. Sabermetrics debate, garnering criticism for not having many RBI (just 61) despite hitting over .300 with a .435 on-base percentage. Teammate Brandon Phillips, comparatively, has 95 RBI but trails Votto in almost all Sabermetric categories.

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Jose Abreu awarded a home run after Mookie Betts flips into Fenway Park bullpen

    Jul 28, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    Mookie Betts AP

    Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts tracked down a hardly hit ball from White Sox slugger Jose Abreu on Tuesday night but lost it when he fell into the bullpen …

  2. Red Sox retire Pedro Martinez’s number at Fenway Park

    Jul 28, 2015, 9:32 PM EDT

    Pedro Martinez AP

    Martinez was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday.

  3. Astros “making a strong effort” for Phillies ace Cole Hamels

    Jul 28, 2015, 8:40 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Chicago Cubs Getty Images

    Hamels would join Dallas Keuchel and Scott Kazmir in an excellent, postseason-ready Astros rotation.

  4. Mike Trout out Tuesday with left wrist injury

    Jul 28, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    Mike Trout AP

    Angels center fielder Mike Trout went 4-for-4 with two homers and five RBI in Sunday’s series finale against the Rangers, but he also suffered a left wrist injury in that game when he tried to make a diving catch …

  5. Angels acquire outfielders David Murphy and David DeJesus

    Jul 28, 2015, 6:54 PM EDT

    angels logo

    In a span of about 10 minutes the Angels landed two outfielders …

  6. Jenrry Mejia gets 162-game ban for second failed PED test

    Jul 28, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT

    Jenrry Mejia Jenrry Mejia

    This time it’s for both Stanozolol and Boldenone.

  7. Nationals, Phillies agree to Jonathan Papelbon trade

    Jul 28, 2015, 6:16 PM EDT

    papelbon Getty Images

    Papelbon owns a sparkling 1.59 ERA and 40/8 K/BB ratio in 39 2/3 innings this season for the Phillies, and he’s 17-for-17 in save opportunities.

  8. The Hall of Fame just made a MAJOR change to the Hall of Fame voting process

    Jul 28, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    Cooperstown

    Voters who are more than 10 years removed from covering the game will no longer get to vote in Hall of Fame elections

  9. Nolan Arenado is not too pleased about the Troy Tulowitzki deal

    Jul 28, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    Nolan Arenado Nolan Arenado

    And he thinks Carlos Gonzalez is the next one out the door. He’s probably right.

  10. Red Sox claim reliever Jean Machi off waivers from Giants

    Jul 28, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Jean Machi Getty Images

    Designated for assignment by the Giants last week.

  11. Royals make another big move, get Ben Zobrist from A’s

    Jul 28, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    ben zobrist getty Getty Images

    General manager Dayton Moore is not messing around.

  12. Troy Tulowitzki’s greatness is not a Coors Field creation

    Jul 28, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    troy tulowitzki getty Getty Images

    Coors Field is powerful, but Tulowitzki is great anywhere.

  13. The Nationals are “making progress” on acquiring Jonathan Papelbon

    Jul 28, 2015, 11:33 AM EDT

    Jonathan Papelbon Getty Images

    He would be a nice addition to the Nats’ pen, but a costly one given his $13 million vesting option.

  14. Diamondbacks’ No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson suffers concussion, gets 14 stitches after beaning

    Jul 28, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

    150608_DansbySwanson Getty Images

    Swanson was scheduled to join a minor-league team later this week after signing for $6.5 million.

  15. Mark Teixeira thrown out at plate, barks at his third base coach and throws trash can

    Jul 28, 2015, 11:08 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 11.07.47 AM

    He had a right to be angry, but maybe he overdid it a bit?

  16. Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman ready to rejoin Nationals

    Jul 28, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    Jayson Werth AP

    Washington is getting healthier, but still not quite healthy.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. A. Rodriguez (4697)
  2. J. Cueto (4025)
  3. K. Schwarber (3928)
  4. M. Trout (3769)
  5. C. Hamels (3748)
  1. M. Conforto (3293)
  2. C. Gonzalez (3217)
  3. T. Tulowitzki (3200)
  4. S. Kazmir (3188)
  5. J. Upton (3180)