When the Arizona Diamondbacks traded Justin Upton this season, it was like pushing the reset button as they said goodbye to their best player.
Some of the reasons the organization had enough confidence to trade their star was the other young talent on the team, none of whom has been more impressive in 2013 than Paul Goldschmidt.
The 6-foot-3, 25-year-old first baseman had a solid 2012 with 20 home runs, 82 RBI, 18 steals, a .286 average and .359 OBP. Now in his second full season in the big leagues, Goldschmidt has taken that step from being a good hitter to becoming one of the most dangerous bats in the league. He is among the top 10 first basemen in runs scored (19), home runs (six), RBI (24), batting average (.316), OPS (.941) and is tied for the lead in steals with Chicago Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo with four.
Possessing great speed for a first baseman is just a bonus in the entire impressive package he is offering. This season, he has not only shown the expected flux in power but has also improved his plate discipline. Through the early part of the season, his O-Swing % (percentage of pitches swung at outside the strike zone) is down from 29.4 in 2012 to 22.4 percent.
Not only is he a force at the plate, but is also playing above average defense at first. There isn’t much not to like about Goldschmidt in 2013 and beyond.