Paul Goldschmidt

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Paul Edward Goldschmidt

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Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman Paul Goldschmidt was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 49th round of the 2006 amateur draft but did not sign. He was then chosen by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 8th round of the 2009 amateur draft and signed by scout Trip Couch. He made his pro debut that summer with the Missoula Osprey and hit 18 homers to tie Brian Cavazos-Galvez for the Pioneer League lead. With the Visalia Rawhide in 2010, he hit .314 with 35 home runs and 108 RBI and was named California League MVP.

He began 2011 with the Mobile Bay Bears of the AA Southern League and was selected to play for the United States team in the 2011 Futures Game. On August 1st, the Diamondbacks called him up from Mobile and inserted him in the starting line-up at first base in a game against the San Francisco Giants and Matt Cain. He singled in his first at-bat and went 1 for 4 overall in a 5-2 win. At the time of his call-up, he was leading all the minor leagues with 30 home runs and 94 RBI. At the end of the minor league season, he was named recipient of the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year Award. He finished his first major league season hitting .250/.333/.474 in in 48 games, with 9 doubles and 8 homers. The Diamondbacks won the NL West title and Goldschmidt started the last four games of the NLDS at first base against the Milwaukee Brewers, after veteran Lyle Overbay had started Game 1. He was the D-Backs' best hitter, going 7 for 16 (.438) with a pair of homers, 4 runs scored and 6 RBI.

Goldschmidt continued to establish himself as one of the major leagues' brightest young stars in 2012, playing 145 games with a batting line of .286/.359/.490, with 43 doubles, 20 homers, 82 runs scored and 82 RBI. While not necessarily considered a base stealer, he was an excellent 18 for 21 in that department. His 43 doubles were fourth in the National League, and he also led the circuit in sacrifice flies with 9. On March 29, 2013, the Diamondbacks announced that they had signed him for the next five years for $32 million, with an option for 2019 worth an additional $14.5 million. He responded by having his finest season, installing himself among the National League's leaders in RBI from the start and being named to the All-Star team for the first time. He finished the season with a 19-game hitting streak and put up excellent numbers overall: a batting line of .302/.401/.551, with his slugging percentage leading the league; his 36 homers and 125 RBIs also led the league and he scored 103 runs while drawing 99 walks. He finished second in the MVP vote, behind Andrew McCutchen.

The Diamondbacks started the 2014 season poorly, losing the historic two-game season-opening series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Sydney, Australia, and then falling to 1-6 after 7 games, but Goldschmidt was the one bright light, as he kept on hitting, extending his hitting streak started the previous year to 26 games. It ended on April 5th, when he went 0 for 2 with a pair of walks. Still, he was the team's best hitters through the first few months of the year and was elected to start the 2014 All-Star Game at first base. However, he suffered a broken left hand on August 1st when hit by a pitch by the Pittsburgh Pirates' Ernesto Frieri. He was hitting .300 with 19 homers and 69 RBI at the time, and led the NL with 75 runs and 39 doubles when the injury ended his season.

He bounced back with an excellent year in 2015, however, showing no after-effects from the injury. He played 159 games hitting .321 with 38 doubles, 33 homers, 103 runs and 110 RBIs. He returned to the All-Star Game for the third straight year, won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger Award and finished second in the voting for the MVP Award, behind Bryce Harper. He had another productive season in 2016 as he hit .297 with 24 homers, 106 runs scored and 95 RBIs. he led the NL with 110 walks and 705 plate appearances, putting up an OBP of .411. His OPS+ fell from his personal high of 168 in 2015 but was still an excellent 134. He returned to the All-Star Game in 2017 for the fifth straight year after an excellent first half that saw the D-Backs post one of the best records in the National League. On August 3rd, he had one of the best games of his career on a rainy afternoon at Wrigley Field, homering three times and driving in 6 runs. His last homer came with one out in the 9th off closer Wade Davis and represented the go-ahead run in a 10-8 win over the Chicago Cubs. It was the first three-homer game of his career. While he had been the main offensive force for the D-Backs for most of the season, pushing them in to the postseason, he slumped badly in September, hitting just .175 during the month as mid-season acquisition J.D. Martinez carried the team on his back during the final stretch. That sputtering ending to his year likely took him out of the running for the MVP Award as he finished the year at .297 with 36 homers and 120 RBIs in 155 games. Indeed, he finished third in the voting, behind Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Votto, and its likely that a strong finish would have allowed him to leapfrog both. He was one of the offensive heroes of Arizona's win over the Colorado Rockies in the Wild Card Game, going 2-for-5 with a homer and 3 RBIs, but was just 1 for 11, his only hit a homer, as the D-Backs were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series.

The first two months of his 2018 season very much mirrored the team's performance: in April, he hit a solid .273 with 13 extra-base hits and 11 RBIs as Arizona got off to a great start, but he then slumped to a .144 average in May as the team struggled badly. June saw the Goldy of old reemerge, however, as he became the first player in team history to collect at least three hits in four straight games from June 5-9. He went 13 for 18 in those games, with 4 homers, 7 runs and 9 RBIs as the D-Backs made it back to first place, but now in a four-team race. On June 10th, he went 2 for 4, but with a double and a triple, giving him four straight games with two or more extra-base hits. He was named the National League Player of the Week in recognition of his production. He was then named the NL's Player of the Month for June, on the basis of having hit .364 and slugged .738 during the month. It was his first time winning that particular award, which teammate A.J. Pollock had won in April. He finished the season at .290 with 33 homers and 93 RBIs and was sixth in the MVP voting. However, the D-Backs faded down the stretch and missed the postseason.

As he was now a year away from free agency, Arizona decided to cash in on his remaining value after the 2018 season and worked out a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals that netted them a trio of young players - C Carson Kelly, P Luke Weaver and IF Andy Young - and a Compensation Round B pick in the 2019 amateur draft. For the Cardinals, it was an indication they were planning on making a serious run in 2019. On March 21st the Cardinals announced that they had come to an agreement on a contract extension with Goldschmidt, for five years and $130 million. He proved his value quickly, as in the team's second game, on March 29th, he hit three homers and drove in 5 runs in a 9-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. He had a chance for a fourth long ball in the 9th, but he was walked intentionally with one out and a runner on second. However, this hot start did not translate into a good first half as he hit just .254 with 16 homers and 37 RBIs in 88 games, the lack of RBIs being particularly frustrating given he was hitting in the middle of the order. He finally got things going in July when on July 22nd, he started a six-game streak with a home run to bring his season's total to 23; he also drove in 13 runs in the 6 games which coincided with St. Louis catching the Chicago Cubs for first place in the NL Central on July 25th, their first taste of the top spot since the first week of May. The six games with a homer tied a Cardinals team record held by Mark McGwire and Matt Carpenter, who had done it just a year earlier. He was named the NL Player of the Month for July after finishing the month at .308 with 11 homers and 27 RBIs. He finished the season at .260 with 34 homers and 97 RBIs in 161 games, for an OPS+ of 115 - good, but well below his usual standards. In the postseason, he was tremendous in the Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, going 9 for 21 with 4 doubles and 2 homers, for a slash line of .429/.478/.905. He cooled down in the NLCS against the Washington Nationals, with just 1 hit in16 at-bats and 9 strikeouts as the Cards were swept in four games.

During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he appeared in 58 of 60 games, hitting .304 with 6 homers and 21 RBIs and an OPS+ of 145. In the Wild card Series against the San Diego Padres, he hit 1 double and 3 homers in 13 at-bats in the three games. On September 14, 2021, with career hit #1,549 he passed Delino DeShields for most hits by a player born in Delaware. That season, he batted .294 in 158 games, scored 102 runs, hit 36 doubles and 31 homers, drove in 99 runs, and had an OPS+ of 141. That resulted in a sixth place finish in the MVP vote, and he also won a Gold Glove - his fourth - for his defensive play at first base. He appeared in the postseason for the third straight year, but the Cardinals were defeated by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a close game in the Wild Card Game when he went 1 for 3 with a pair of walks.

He got off to another good start in 2022, as after 40 games he was leading the National League with 16 doubles. In his 40th game, on May 23rd, he hit a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning against Ryan Borucki of the Toronto Blue Jays to give the Cardinals a 7-3 win. The homer was part of a tremendous hit streak, as he had hit safely in 15 straight games, for a .438 average during that span, and of his last 19 hits, 13 had been for extra bases. He was named the National League Player of the Month for May, as he hit .404 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs, the third straight Cardinals player to win the awar after Nolan Arenado In April, and Tyler O'Neill in September of 2021; it was also his third time winning the award. His hitting streak ended after 25 games when he went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks in the first game of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs on June 4th. He was named to the All-Star team for the 7th time and by the end of August, there was serious discussion that he could be the first Triple Crown winner in the majors since Miguel Cabrera in 2012. As of August 29th, he was leading the NL with a .335 average, was second in homers with 33, 3 behind Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies, and was tied for the lead in RBIs with 105 with Pete Alonso of the New York Mets. He finished the season at .317 in 151 games, with a league-leading slugging percentage (.578) and OPS (.981), with 41 doubles, 35 homers and 115 RBIs. The Cards were upset in two games by the Philadelphia Phillies in the Wild Card Series while he went 0 for 7. He was named the winner of the Hank Aaron Award as the best hitter in the NL, his second time winning it as he had previously done so in 2013. A couple of weeks later, he was voted the winner of the 2022 National League Most Valuable Player Award, finishing ahead of Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres and teammate Arenado.

The Cardinals got off to an unexpectedly awful start in 2023 and on May 7th not only did they have the worst record in the National League, but they had also lost eight straight games. That s when Goldschmidt took matters into his own hands, with a three-homer gam against the Detroit Tigers that powered a 12-6 win that ended the losing streak. It was the first three-homer game by a Cardinals player at home since Albert Pujols had managed one on September 3, 2006. It was the third three-homer game of his career. On June 24th, when he played for the Cardinals in the first of two games against the Chicago Cubs at London Olympic Stadium, he became the first player in history to appear in a major league game in five different countries: in addition to the U.S. and Canada, he had previously played games in Australia and Mexico before adding the UK to his personal list.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2010 Player of the Year California League Visalia Rawhide
  • 2011 Player of the Year Southern League Mobile BayBears
  • 7-time NL All-Star (2013-2018 & 2022)
  • NL MVP (2022)
  • 4-time NL Gold Glove Winner (2013, 2015, 2017 & 2021)
  • 5-time NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2013, 2015, 2017, 2018 & 2022)
  • 2-time NL Slugging Percentage Leader (2013 & 2022)
  • 2-time NL OPS Leader (2013 & 2022)
  • NL Total Bases Leader (2013)
  • NL Home Runs Leader (2013)
  • NL RBI Leader (2013)
  • NL Bases on Balls Leader (2016)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 10 (2012, 2013, 2015-2019 & 2021-2023)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 7 (2013, 2015, 2017-2019, 2021 & 2022)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 4 (2013, 2015, 2017 & 2022)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 6 (2013, 2015-2017, 2021 & 2022)

2021 2022 2023
Bryce Harper Paul Goldschmidt Ronald Acuña Jr.

Further Reading[edit]

  • David Adler: "Turn left: Pull power key to Goldy's 2017: D-backs slugger used left side of field more in latest MVP-caliber season",, November 7, 2017. [1]
  • David Adler: "How Goldschmidt has gotten even better in '22",, May 21, 2022. [2]
  • Barry M. Bloom: "Goldschmidt excited to represent USA in Classic: D-backs first baseman will soon leave camp", February 28, 2017. [3]
  • Barry M. Bloom: "Elbow not issue as Goldy wraps MVP-caliber '17: D-backs star doesn't blame bout with inflammation for struggles down stretch",, October 10, 2017. [4]
  • Scott Boeck: "Paul Goldschmidt, practically perfect to D'backs: 'Jesus Christ in a baseball uniform'", USA Today Sports, March 27, 2016. [5]
  • Scott Bordow: "Paul Goldschmidt having MVP-type season for Diamondbacks", USA Today Sports, August 26, 2017. [6]
  • John Denton: "Goldy claims first NL MVP; Arenado finishes 3rd: First baseman gets 22 of 30 first-place votes: 'I don’t win this award if it’s not for Nolan'",, November 17, 2022. [7]
  • John Denton: "Inseparable Goldy and Arenado push each other to improve",, February 20, 2023. [8]
  • Steve Gilbert: "Golden rule: Work ethic defines D-backs star: Persistence helps overlooked youngster grow into All-Star slugger",, March 8, 2016. [9]
  • Steve Gilbert: "Goldschmidt finishes third in NL MVP voting",, November 16, 2017. [10]
  • Cole Jacobson: "Goldschmidt can make history in London Series",, June 24, 2023. [11]
  • Will Leitch: "Cards lock down their superstar with Goldy deal",, March 21, 2019. [12]
  • Bob McManaman: "Torey Lovullo on Paul Goldschmidt snapping out of slump: 'The storm was coming'", "AZ", The Arizona Republic, June 11, 2018. [13]
  • Bob Nightengale: "Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez: Powerful bromance blooms in desert for Diamondbacks", USA Today Sports, September 14, 2017. [14]
  • Bob Nightengale: "Paul Goldschmidt, MLB's most underpaid player, is about to hit paydirt", USA Today, March 7, 2019. [15]
  • Roger Schlueter: "Goldschmidt has found a Hall of Fame track",, February 21, 2016. [16]
  • Andrew Simon: "Goldy's MVP case bolstered by advanced metric",, September 10, 2018. [17]

Related Sites[edit]