My 2010 preseason National League MVP pick: Hanley Ramirez

The 2010 National League MVP: Joey Votto

Monday was a big day for “Joey’s” across the world. After years of having Joey Harrington, Joey Buttafuoco, and even failed NBC sitcom “Joey” as their standard-bearers over the years, they needed a hero.

It looks they got one in Cincinnati Reds’ 1B Joey Votto.

Votto capped off a tremendous 2010 season by winning the National League MVP award on Monday. Votto received 31 out of 32 first-place votes to become the twelfth Red to win the award. St. Louis Cardinals’ 1B Albert Pujols finished second and Colorado Rockies’ OF Carlos Gonzalez finished third.

I was talking to my resident Cardinal fan Tom and he was quite surprised that Votto won by such a large margin over Pujols. I would have to agree with him on that one.

Votto had a great year, but it wasn’t like his year was head and shoulders better than Pujols’. That part was a little surprising.

Votto winning the award was not.

Votto led the NL in OPS (1.024) and Runs Created (144). He also finished third in HR’s (37), second in Batting Average (.324), and fifth in WAR (6.2).

If we take a look at Votto’s numbers from 2010, they look awfully similar to the ones he put up in 2009.

His 2009 and 2010 seasons are very close and you could see this coming from Votto. The biggest difference between Votto’s 2009 and 2010? Injuries. Votto missed 31 games in 2009 mostly because of an inner ear infection.

Because he played for a mostly uncompetitive Reds team for the first two years of his career, not many casual baseball fans knew who Votto was.

Now that the Reds made the playoffs in 2010 and Votto won the MVP award, he is on the cusp of becoming a household name. If he continues on this pace — and there is no reason not to believe he won’t — Votto will be on the same level as a Pujols, a Kevin Youkilis, or a Mark Teixeira.

The American League MVP award will be announced tomorrow.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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