Votto's 2014 season was somewhat disappointing mostly as a result of his controversial injury that put him on the DL twice in both May and July. His NP/O and WAR were much lower than in 2013 and before causing it to appear that Votto's skills are declining and makes his 10 year $225 million contract to look like a serious mistake on the part of the Reds, and many angry fans agreed because of a rumor that his injury was not as severe as Votto said and that he could have come back sooner. This rumor is most likely exaggerated by fans who are angry over their team paying so much for a star sitting on the DL and not helping the team. Setting aside these rumors fans should look to 2015 expecting a full bounce back to his previous height. Votto is exceptionally good at working the count, and his NP/O ranked 3rd among players with at least 100 at bats. Only Mike Trout and Matt Carpenter were better than his 6.89 NP/O which is down from last year, but my projection graph has it fully bouncing back.
Using a combination of logarithmic and parabolic lines of best fit I created a prediction of his NP/O for the remainder of his contract with the Reds (2024 is just an option) The bottom of the graph is the 2014 average NP/O (5.388) and the green line is the 2014 best NP/O (Mike Trout 7.05) the Blue line is his stats that change into projections for 2015 and the Yellow line is the line of best fit used for this projection.
This Projection has Joey Votto bouncing back to a 7.24 NP/O in 2015 which is 0.19 better than MLB leading Mike Trout had in 2014. It also shows that Votto is still in the height of his career and he has a lot left in the tank. Although the extension the Reds gave Votto in 2012 locking him up through 2023 was expensive and risky, they now have a rock in their organization that has a bright future and possibly even hall of fame potential, the major question now is. Can he stay healthy?
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