If You're Hardcore: Votto and Kennedy top list
Joey Votto, 1B, Reds: A second-round pick in 2002, Votto had a disappointing 2005 in high Class A. He was promoted to Double-A in 2006 and rebounded to post career highs in almost every offensive category. Votto's doubles, and therefore his slugging percentage, were way down in his first exposure to Triple-A this year, but he impressively maintained all of his other skills. Votto has decent power, but it remains to be seen if he'll be a 30-home run guy in the majors or will top out closer to 20 homers. He's a patient hitter who will draw plenty of walks, but also strikes out a lot. He should be able to maintain a .280-ish batting average in the big leagues. Votto's defense is suspect, and although he is an excellent baserunner for a big guy, he can't be expected to rack up many steals. Overall, he's unlikely to display the power required to make him a star at first base, but he certainly profiles as a solid major league regular. The Reds will give Votto substantial playing time down the stretch, making him a solid pick in all leagues. Keeper leaguers should regard him as a major prize.