Joey Votto is aware of the criticism of his low RBI total and aware of the theory that in order to better serve the Cincinnati Reds he should take a few less walks and a few more risks maybe expand the strike zone a little bit in an effort to drive in more runners. Votto is aware of the criticism and he has no plans to appease the critics.

As Votto sees it his job performance is not measured by the RBI column. The 29-year-old first baseman who was MVP of the National League in 2010 obviously wants to drive in runs. Changing his strategy at the plate for the sake of a slightly greater tally in the RBI column would not serve him well though.

“I try not to let the situation dictate what I do” Votto told Sporting News. “I’m not trying to do something in particular each at-bat I’m just trying to get the most out of that at-bat do something that helps the team in the long run. There are some instances where I don’t have an opportunity to do anything but walk. There are instances where I get pitches to hit and I can hopefully do something good with it and I try not to give anything away.”

Votto who has driven in 61 runs leads the National League with 105 walks this season and also leads the league with a .435 on-base percentage. He has led the Senior Circuit in that category each of the last three seasons as well but even though pitchers know that Votto has exceptional plate discipline they still work him carefully. According to data from Fangraphs the only Reds hitter who sees a lower percentage of pitches in the strike zone than Votto is Todd Frazier and Frazier has Cincinnati’s second-highest rate of swings at pitches out of the zone behind Reds RBI leader Brandon Phillips 15 of whose 95 RBI have been Votto.