Cincinnati Reds star slugger Joey Vatto has enjoyed a long career, but he remembers the influence that future Hall of Famer and current St. Louis Cardinal legend Albert Pujols has had on him, and talked in length about it on Tuesday night.
“I was in Double-A, I had a teammate, he was a Venezuelan player, and he used to call me ‘Joey-Joey Pujols’,” Votto said, during an interview with Bally Sports Midwest. “I was always very very fond of Pujols’ skill and style,” Votto continued. “My stance, I used to emulate him, not exactly, but pretty darn close. I loved the way [he held the bat], I loved his technique, I copied much of it.”
Votto, who is a left-handed hitter, talked about the challenges of replicating the right-handed Pujols’ approach at the plate.
“As a left-handed hitter, it’s hard to replicate a right-handed hitter’s bat path, but I tried to, and I found that I played excellently that year,” Votto said. “He had a large impact on the very beginning of my career, for sure.”
Joey Votto says he tried to emulate Albert Pujols as a young player: “As a left-handed hitter, it’s hard to replicate a right-handed hitter’s bat path, but I tried to.”#STLCards pic.twitter.com/OoXGuGBsm5
— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) August 30, 2022