Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has long had a supporter in General Manager Kevin Towers.
“All you have to do is look at this kid’s history,” Towers told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday. “He’s nailed it at every single level. He came up here in a pennant race and did nothing but have success then, as well.”
Goldschmidt was a non-roster invitee a year ago. The 24-year-old mashed 30 home runs in just four months at Class AA Mobile, which predicated his promotion to the Bigs on Aug. 1. Despite the success Goldschmidt enjoyed last season, he also suffered growing pains as well.
Some critics question Goldschmidt’s ability to have longevity at the major league level — his longest hitless streak was 14 at-bats in 2011. Still, Goldschmidt never fell out of favor with the D-backs’ brass.
“I’ve have not seen anything that’s led me to believe this is a fluke,” Towers said. “Knowing the kid, his personality, his work ethic, his baseball instincts, make me believe that he’s for real and only going to get better with time.”
Towers believes Goldschmidt will continue to improve when he gets more experience under his belt.
“I think for Goldy it’s just getting major league at-bats against major league pitching,” Towers explained. “He didn’t get a chance to probably see everybody in the National League. He was only up here for a half a season. So learning the pitchers within the league and having a better understanding of how they are going to work him. He’s always shown the ability to make adjustments.”
One adjustment the D-backs’ first baseman is working on this spring is shortening his stroke at the plate, in an effort to improve upon his consistency.
“He got off to a little bit of a slow start but he’s been playing better, playing solid defense and nobody’s going to outwork this guy in the weight room when it comes to preparation,” Towers praised.
The learning curve for a player with limited at-bats at the Big League level is expected and Towers is confident that Goldschmidt has the makeup to handle the ups and downs that accompany a grueling baseball season.
“It’s just experience — game experience and being able to handle maybe adverse situations when he gets into a rut, where he struggles for a week to 10 days, and how to make the necessary adjustments to be able to work himself out of those,” Towers said.