Joey Votto – 2003 Dayton Dragons
The Dayton Dragons have only had one former player appear in the major league all-star game, however that could change in a matter of days.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who played in Dayton for portions of the 2003 and 2004 seasons and rejoined the club for a rehab assignment last season, is up for one of the last spots on this year’s National League all-star team.
If Votto is voted in to the National League’s final roster spot by the fans, or is named as a replacement for an injured player, he would join outfielder Adam Dunn as the Dragons’ only other all-star. Dunn made the senior circuit team in 2002 while with the Redlegs.
Vote for Votto at mlb.com until Thursday, July 8.
Votto first suited up for the Dragons at the start of the 2003 season. In 60 games, he sported .231 batting average with a home run and 20 RBI. However by June 11 of that season, Votto was sent down to the Reds’ rookie level club in the Pioneer League club the Billings Mustangs.
After the move, Votto he led the PioneerLeague with a .452 on-base percentage and reached base in 63 of his 70 games. The Reds’ second round selection in the 2002 first year player draft, received honorable mention status on the Pioneer League’s post-season All-Star team.
When Votto returned to Dayton to start the following season, he resembled the top prospect the Reds had hoped he would be. He made the most of his time in a Dragons’ uniform. He hit 26 doubles, 14 home runs, and had a .302 batting average.
He was named Midwest League player of the week twice, and in an 8-3 win at the Clinton LumberKings on April 18, he slugged two homers, including a grand slam, and a season-high seven RBIs.
Votto was promoted to Single-A Advanced Potomac Cannons, of the Carolina League, after 111 games with the Dragons. After the transfer, he hit five more home runs in 20 games to end the season with 19.
During his return to Dayton in a rehab assignment, Votto appeared in two games for the fire breathers. In those two games, Votto recorded three doubles, a home run and talked twice.
Remember to Vote for Votto!