As much as it pains me to admit, as a Los Angeles Dodgers writer, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ big first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt, most certainly deserves to be in the Top 15 of our Rant Sports countdown of the Top 50 MLB Players.
In only his third MLB season, Goldschmidt had by far his best season yet. The 6-3, 26-year-old had a strong 2012 season with 20 home runs and 82 RBI, but his batting average was only good. In 2013, Goldschmidt put together the complete package, posting a .302 BA, bashing an NL-leading 36 home runs and 125 RBI. With a 7.0 WAR, seventh highest in all of baseball, the first baseman’s year was imposing.
Although the Diamondbacks had a rough second half of the season, Goldschmidt remained consistent both on offense and defense. Standing as a pillar of consistency at first, Goldschmidt trailed only the ageless wonder, Todd Helton, in fielding percentage for all first basemen with .997. His mere five errors in almost 1,600 chances was enough to earn Goldschmidt the NL Gold Glove Award.
His solid glove led him to be recognized as the NL’s first baseman, his powerful and consistent bat earned him the Silver Slugger Award and the combination of the both are what makes Goldschmidt one of three finalists for NL MVP.
After only three years in the majors, Goldschmidt has reached the pinnacle of baseball talent, but will most likely not regress in 2014. With his youth and incredible athleticism, expect Goldschmidt to continue to lead the Diamondbacks for years to come. The Dodgers and the rest of the NL West will be in for a bitter fight each year in order to bring home the Division crown as Goldschmidt and Arizona look to compete at a high level.