2013 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper: Paul Goldschmidt
Many people predicted Arizona Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt would have an All-Star fantasy baseball season in 2012. However, those same people were left looking elsewhere for a starting first baseman down the stretch, as Goldschmidt failed to live up to hype.
Goldy crushed 20 homers and drove in 82 runs last season, but compared to the numbers of Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols, Goldschmidt’s numbers left something to be desired for fantasy owners. However, the kid from Wilmington, Delaware is still only 25 years old and last year was his first full season in the bigs, so he has a lot of room to grow.
Additionally, many people underestimate just how good of a bat Goldschmidt has. He had a respectable .286 batting average last season and has shockingly never hit below .300 in any one of his MILB seasons. Goldschmidt’s average will only climb as he matures, and he should easily be able to get it over .290 in the upcoming season.
Goldschmidt even stole 18 bases last season, which is an obvious advantage that the younger first basemen have over the older veterans. He has speed in his legs that not many people saw throughout his minor league career, so it is just an added bonus for fantasy fans that he can steal 20-plus bags a year.
This is the year to draft Goldschmidt as a low-end starter. He will once again be hitting in the heart of the batting order in Arizona and will see nothing but hittable pitches. Expect him to take some big steps forward this fantasy baseball season.
2013 Fantasy Prediction: 33 HRs, 97 RBI, .294 Batting Average, 24 SBs