Joey Votto wins 2017 Lou Marsh Award

Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) is the 2017 Lou Marsh Award winner.

Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) is the 2017 Lou Marsh Award winner.

By Kevin Glew

Canadian Baseball Network

Etobicoke, Ont., native Joey Votto has been named the winner of the 2017 Lou Marsh Award, which is presented to Canada’s top athlete.

This is the second time the Cincinnati Reds slugger has captured the honour, which is chosen annually by a panel of sports journalists from across Canada. Votto also won the award in 2010.

The Canadian slugger was selected as the recipient over three other finalists - Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, curler Rachel Homan and skiier Mikael Kingsbury.

Votto narrowly missed out on winning his second National League MVP Award when he finished just two points behind slugger Giancarlo Stanton in the voting. In 2017, the Reds first baseman topped the National League in on-base percentage (OBP) (.454), walks (134), intentional walks (20) and on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) (1.032). He also ended up third in the league in batting average (.320), tied for fifth in home runs (36) and sixth in slugging percentage (.578).

Votto also set a Reds’ record by reaching base 321 times this season, which broke his own mark of 319 set in 2015. In the field, he topped National League first basemen in assists and was named a Gold Glove finalist. He also became the first Reds player in a non-strike season to start all 162 games since 1975.

For his efforts, he was named to the National League All-Star team for the fifth time and was nominated for the league’s Hank Aaron Award.

The Lou Marsh Trophy is named after a longtime Toronto Star sports editor. Votto is one of just three baseball players, along with Chatham, Ont., native Fergie Jenkins (1974) and Maple Ridge, B.C., native Larry Walker (1998), to win this award.

For a complete list of Lou Marsh Award winner, follow this link.