Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto and New York Yankees left-hander James Paxton were named the Canadian hitter and pitcher of the decade by the Canadian Baseball Network on Friday.
Votto, of Toronto, batted .306 and recorded 1,532 hits in 1,411 games between 2010 and 2019. The slugger also hit 327 doubles, belted 231 home runs and scored 847 runs over the last 10 years while leading the National League in on-base percentage seven times.
Paxton, of Ladner, compiled a 56-32 record and a 3.50 earned-run average in 131 starts and struck out 803 batters in 733 innings since 2010. Paxton had 38 wins over the last three seasons, including a career-high 15 with the Yankees in 2019.
The 31-year-old Paxton also became the first Canadian pitcher to throw a big league no-hitter on home soil, against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 8, 2018 as a member of the Seattle Mariners.
The Canadian Baseball Network’s all-decade team that was also announced Friday, with Votto and Paxton headlining that squad too.
Ryan Dempster of Gibsons, Jeff Francis of North Delta, Jameson Taillon, who pitched for Canada in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, and Calgary’s Mike Soroka round out the all-decade starting rotation while John Axford of Port Dover, Ont., Toronto’s Jesse Crain, Calgary’s Jim Henderson and Vancouver’s Rowan Wick comprise the bullpen.
Votto is joined on the all-decade team by fellow position players Justin Morneau of New Westminster, Brett Lawrie of Langley, Montreal-born Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Russell Martin of Montreal, Michael Saunders of Victoria, Jason Bay of Trail, and Tyler O’Neill of Maple Ridge. Atlanta Braves star Freddie Freeman, who played for Canada at the 2017 WBC, was named the team’s designated hitter.
The Canadian Press