Joey Votto wins Tip O’Neill Award as top Canadian baseball player

Joey Votto. (John Minchillo/AP)

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto received the Tip O’Neill Award on Friday recognizing him as 2016’s top Canadian baseball player.

The award – which was first presented in 1984 – is awarded by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame to the Canadian player who is “judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to the highest ideals of the game of baseball”.

Votto put together an excellent campaign in 2016 with a .326/.434/.550 line with 29 home runs and 97 RBI in 677 plate appearances. His efforts were worth 5.0 Wins Above Replacement and he led the major leagues in on-base percentage for the fifth time.

The 33-year-old’s final line is especially impressive because he got off to a very slow start, hitting .229 in April and .200 in May. In the second half of the season he went on an absolute tear slashing .408/.490/.668 in his final 314 plate appearances.

This is Votto’s second straight Tip O’Neill Award and his sixth overall. He has earned the prize in five of the last six years with only Justin Morneau interrupting that run in 2014.

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