It’s been a relatively quiet story, but Paul Goldschmidt is surging right now. Basically, no one has written about it, and he absolutely wasn’t named NL Player of the Week last week.
Goldy raised his batting average from .198 to .250 in FOURTEEN games. That’s a 52 point swing game in two weeks; utterly ridiculous.
Here is a breakdown of Goldschmidt’s last fourteen games:
Ok, there’s a lot to break down here. First off, America’s First Baseman hit .473 over that stretch, which is unbelievable for such a long time. He averaged 1.92 hits per game. He also averaged a run scored per game. The Diamondbacks averaged 5.57 runs per game over that stretch, which means that he scored 17.9% of Arizona’s runs. Goldschmidt also drove in just over a run per game and averaged a home run every two games.
Now, let’s see where Goldschmidt stands among the rest of first basemen in the NL after this tear. His current .264 batting average is good for seventh among first basemen in the NL with at least 150 at-bats. However, among first basemen on the ballot, Goldy is fifth. Freddy Freeman leads first basemen with a .341 batting average.
Furthermore, Goldschmidt’s 31 RBIs are tied for sixth among those on the ballot, although exactly half of those came during that 14 game stretch. That means that 50% of Goldy’s RBIs came in 21% of the season. Despite that, Baseball Reference states that, while Goldschmidt has 31 RBIs in 377 plate appearances, an average player with 277 PAs would have just 30 RBIs. This is surprising, given how below average Goldschmidt played to start the season.
Goldschmidt has 12 home runs on the season. That’s second among first basemen, just one behind Freeman. Much like RBIs, over half of Goldschmidt’s round-trippers came during that stretch. That suggests that he’ll start going yard more regularly.
Goldy has a .995 fielding percentage. That’s good for 16th in the bigs, among all everyday first basemen. His three errors are tied for seventh worst. However, he is fourth in the league in innings played. He’s taken just a single game off, so far.
He’s fifth among first basemen in hitting and sixth in RBIs, but if he keeps up his current trends, those numbers could be very respectable in the coming weeks. Additionally, he’ll be leading all first basemen and could be in the top ten in the league, in home runs if he keeps hitting a round-tripper every other game.
Freddy Freeman is leading the NL first baseman ballot in batting, RBIs, and home runs. He deserves to start in the All-Star game now, but Goldy is catching up. It’s unreasonable to expect him to continue to hit the way he has for the rest of the season, but if he keeps it up over the next few weeks, he could get himself in the conversation of those who deserve to start. Obviously, he’ll never start, because Diamondbacks fans don’t vote.
Also, since D-backs fans don’t vote, who should Dave Roberts select from the Diamondbacks to be the token All-Star, or could Arizona have multiple?
If Goldy does bring his batting average around .300 and get into the top five RBI producing first basemen, he should be selected as a reserve. There’s no other first baseman that is consistently in the top of every category. Especially if the Diamondbacks are still in first place a month from now, there’s no avoiding the selection of Goldschmidt.
Additionally, he doesn’t have to be the only Diamondback on the NL team. That has to do with the recovery of AJ Pollock, though. Despite having exactly 100 fewer at-bats, Pollock is most comparable to Charlie Blackmon. I know that all three outfield positions are treated as the same for All-Star purposes, but instead of just comparing apples to apples, let’s compare Granny Smiths to Granny Smiths. Pollock is hitting.293, five points higher than Blackmon, with two fewer home runs and two more RBIs. Pollock also has five more stolen bases than Blackmon. Blackmon leads all NL center fielders with 13 home runs, while Pollock leads with 33 RBIs. Pollock also leads NL center fielders who’ve played at least 25 games with a .969 OPS. Blackmon is second with .875.
This all depends on Pollock’s return, however. If he returns late this month as expected and starts slowly, he probably won’t have the momentum to make the roster, as it’s announced in early July. Bu, if he’s able to pick up where he left off and could maybe possibly even snag an NL Player of the Week award, there’s no reason he shouldn’t get a few innings in the summer classic.
Finally, the Diamondbacks should have at least one pitcher on the roster. Archie Bradley would be a fantastic selection. He’s given up just eight runs in 32.1 innings pitched, has held opponents to just a .190 batting average, and has an amazing beard. Patrick Corbin would also be a great addition. He’s 6-2 with an ERA a smidge over 3.00. He’s thrown the fifth most innings of all NL pitchers and is third in the NL in strikeouts. Put him on the team.
Regardless, whether or not the Diamondbacks get more than one player on the All-Star team, it doesn’t matter. The All-Star game carries no weight anymore. What does matter is that the D-backs are in first place in the West, 7-3 in their last ten games, and Paul Goldschmidt is soon to be an MVP candidate.