Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt’s solid first full major league season in 2012 showed his potential to become a star, with 20 home runs, 82 RBI and 18 stolen bases along with a slash-line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) of .286/.359/.490. He fulfilled a fair amount of that promise in 2013, hitting .302 while leading the National League in home runs (36), RBI (125), total bases (332) and OPS (.952), and for good measure he had 103 runs scored (tied for third in the National League), 15 stolen bases and won a Gold Glove.
Goldschmidt earned his first career All-Star selection and finished second in National League MVP voting in 2013, but could even bigger things be coming in 2014?
The one black mark for Goldschmidt last season was 145 strike outs (seventh-most in the National League; a 20.4 percent strikeout rate), but his walk rate during the second half of the season (16.4 percent) was above his mark for the season as a whole (13.9 percent), which seems to signify an improving approach at the plate. Goldschmidt was also intentionally walked a National League-high 19 times last season, but the addition of Mark Trumbo in an offseason trade with the Los Angeles Angels has bolstered the middle of Arizona’s lineup and that number should fall dramatically this year.
Goldschmidt will turn 27 in September, so he is in or just entering his prime as a hitter and another big season should be coming in 2014. He is not yet a big name on a national scale, at least outside of fantasy baseball circles, but I expect Goldschmidt to further establish himself as one of the top first baseman in either league this year and he looks like a perennial All-Star for many years to come.
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.