- Dave Jablonski Staff Writer
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto is one of three finalists for the National League Most Valuable Player Award, Major League Baseball announced Monday.
The winner will be announced at 6 p.m. on Nov. 16 on the MLB Network. Votto is going up against Paul Goldschmidt, of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Giancarlo Stanton, of the Miami Marlins.
“It’s very exciting,” Votto said, “and I’m honored to have been amongst the finalists. These are two guys I have a great deal of respect for, and there are several guys who weren’t among the finalists who I have a great deal of respect for. Just being in that conversation is meaningful to me.”
IN REVIEW: Numbers behind Votto’s season
If Votto wins, he would be the third Red to own two MVP awards. Joe Morgan won in 1975 and 1976. Johnny Bench won in 1970 and 1972. In all, the Reds own 12 MVP awards.
Votto hit .320 with 36 home runs and 100 RBIs. He became the fourth player in Reds history to start at least 162 games in a season. He reached base a league-best and team-record 321 times. He led the league with a 1.032 OPS.
Votto, 34, became the third player in baseball history, following Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, to record at least 175 hits, 130 walks and a .450 on-base percentage for a player 33 or older.
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Votto could become the rare MVP from a last-place team. The Reds finished 68-94. He still expected to be among the finalists because he respects the voters from the Baseball Writers Association of America.
“I’ve always felt like the voters are savviest and most objective people in baseball,” Votto said. “A lot of the other awards are voted amongst people in their own little echo chamber. I feel like the writers, because there’s so much distance and so many different opinions and so many schools of thoughts and also because there are so many voters, typically the voting done by the Baseball Writers Association is the most objective and most researched. I think the points system helps. A lot of the other awards don’t have that sort of system. There’s a reason why the Cy Young, the Most Valuable Player, the Manager of the Year, those awards have a quite bit of a history to them and they’re very distinguished awards. The players respect the people that win those awards.”