Over the past four baseball seasons, not many players have been as steady and consistent as Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
In 2013, Goldschmidt began a four-year run of All-Star appearances and has finished second in the National League MVP balloting twice.
Last season was a disappointing one for the D-backs. Picked by many to compete for an NL playoff spot, Arizona instead won only 69 games and finished in fourth place in their own division.
Individually, it was a down year for Goldschmidt as well. The 29-year-old saw his raw numbers fall in several categories: hits, extra-base hits, home runs, RBI and batting average.
The always humble Goldschmidt isn’t offering any excuses for his play in 2016.
“I honestly didn’t play as well as I needed to, I didn’t hit enough balls hard, and when you’re doing that, you’re not going to hit as many home runs,” he told Doug and Wolf Thursday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “It wasn’t just home runs, there was a lot of other things I didn’t do as well, and that all falls on me.”
Goldschmidt’s 24 home runs ranked third on the D-backs. He did drive in a team-high 95 runs and posted a .297/.411/.489 slash line.
Even those his home run total was down 27 percent from 2015, the veteran isn’t as concerned with that number as opposed to another.
“If home runs are down but our wins are up, then that will be a good thing and that’s not about me,” Goldschmidt said. “But of course, the more home runs you hit, the more runs you score — all that stuff — it’s going to help the team.”
The man they call “Goldy” has been one of the most consistent offensive players in the game, but when it comes to setting goals for season, numbers don’t play into his thinking.
“I have goals, they’re just not hits and homers and that type of stuff,” he said. “I just want to hit the ball hard, that’s my simple goal at the plate — have good at-bats.
“I want to go into the cage every day and have 100 percent focus and not give away any time there. It’s more stuff like that than it is to say ‘I want to hit x-amount of home runs or hits.’ And I do think the stuff that I can control, focusing on that will then lead to better individual statistics.”
Goldschmidt and his D-backs teammates got their first taste of live baseball Wednesday with a 9-1 exhibition win over Grand Canyon University at Salt River Fields. They’ll open up Cactus League play Saturday afternoon against the Colorado Rockies.
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