Is he really “America’s First Baseman” if his remarkable run is flying under the radar?
ESPN analyst and former major leaguer Aaron Boone told Doug and Wolf of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt isn’t earning enough national attention.
“Not even close,” Boone said Monday. “He’s Miguel Cabrera right now at his best, only with the ability to steal bases, being a plus defender at first base. He’s a great, great player on a historically great run right now.”
Goldschmidt, 27, has hit .340 with a .455 on-base percentage, 21 home runs, 70 RBI and 16 stolen bases entering this season’s All-Star break.
“It’s been fun to watch him develop into this kind of player,” Boone said. “To represent himself and his organization as well as he does, just as humble and gracious a superstar as you’ll come across…I don’t think the nation knows how great he is.”
Having a player like Goldschmidt to build an organization around is “huge,” Boone said.
“I think in baseball, in 162 games, it’s so important that your best players are also the ones that set the tone for the culture that is being created in that clubhouse,” he said. “When your best players care the most, work the hardest, are the most prepared, are the most well-respected, all of a sudden that organization starts to fall in line.”
Goldschmidt’s dominant performance has led Arizona to a surprising 42-45 record at the All-Star break after finishing 2014 with the worst record in baseball.
Boone said the D-backs have a promising future after their surprising turnaround, but added that a move at the trade deadline may not be needed.
“They’re building something pretty good there,” he said. “You look at that roster, and I’ve talked to people who have been close to that situation and moved on to another situation about how good their players are.
“That (locker) room is starting to become a special place, so if nothing happens at the trade deadline I don’t think it will be a huge disappointment.”