ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

ESPN Insider: D-backs’ Goldschmidt has second-best hit tools in baseball

Aug 22, 2017, 3:34 PM | Updated: Aug 23, 2017, 11:30 am
Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt (44) rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off H...
Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt (44) rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off Houston Astros relief pitcher Luke Gregerson, as shortstop Marwin Gonzalez stands near second base during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is widely considered the front-runner for MVP honors in the National League.

Whether it is hitting a clutch home run or making an amazing play at first, the 29-year-old Goldschmidt can do it all on a baseball field.

In an insider piece, as part of his “best tools” week series, ESPN expert Keith Law ranked Goldy second in the hit tool category, behind only Houston Astros second baseman and American League MVP front-runner Jose Altuve.

In 2013 and 2015, Goldschmidt was the MVP runner-up to Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, respectively. But he is arguably having his best season in 2017.

Four years ago, Goldschmidt hit .297 with 31 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .945 OPS. In 2015, Goldschmidt’s average jumped 10 points and his OPS skyrocketed to 1.003.

This season, the five-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner is hitting .313 with more home runs (29) and more RBIs (96) in five fewer at-bats.

Entering play Tuesday, Goldschmidt is second in the NL in WAR (5.4), behind Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals. Goldschmidt’s .424 on-base percentage ranks third in the senior circuit and his 92 runs scored is tied with Harper for the third most in the league.

Plus, Goldschmidt is peaking at the right time. He has recorded at least one hit in 14 of his past 17 games (.323, 20-for-62).

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo’s decision to move Goldschmidt into the cleanup spot, combined with the addition of J.D. Martinez, has helped him see more pitches.

In 27 games since Martinez’s return to the lineup from the injury, Goldschmidt is hitting .333 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs, and his 13.2 percent walk rate during that span is slightly below his season average of 15 percent.

At the end the day, Goldschmidt’s MVP chances could depend on the Diamondbacks making the playoffs.

Penguin Air
New York Mets Brandon Nimmo is tagged out by Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb during the first inning of a baseball game on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) New York Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Taijuan Walker delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Taijuan Walker delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) New York Mets Yoenis Cespedes hits an RBI single during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) New York Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) Arizona Diamondbacks J.D. Martinez hits an RBI single during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) Arizona Diamondbacks Jake Lamb (22) scores a run past New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki during the fourth inning of a baseball game on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) New York Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman reacts after making an error during the third inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) Arizona Diamondbacks David Peralta runs safely to first base on an error thrown by New York Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) during the third inning of a baseball game on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Taijuan Walker grabs a fielders choice hit by New York Mets Michael Conforto during the first inning of a baseball game on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) New York Mets Asdrubal Cabrera is tagged out by Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis during the seventh inning of a baseball game on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) New York Mets manager Terry Collins challenges a call by home plate umpire Mike Estabrook during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley delivers during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis (2) is checked on by a team trainer and Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo (17) during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) New York Mets pitcher Erik Goeddel (62) reacts after giving up a two-run home run to Arizona Diamondbacks A.J. Pollock (11) during the tenth inning of a baseball game on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) Arizona Diamondbacks A.J. Pollock hits a two-run home run during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) Arizona Diamondbacks A.J. Pollock hits a two-run home run during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Arizona Diamondbacks

Former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds attends an NBA basketball game between the Portland...
Associated Press

Bonds, Schilling fall short in contemporary era vote to make Hall of Fame

Fred McGriff was the only player elected Sunday to the Hall of Fame by a 16-member contemporary era committee.
12 hours ago
Kyle Lewis #1 of the Seattle Mariners at bat during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Ange...
Jordan Leandre

New Diamondbacks OF Kyle Lewis: Willing to do whatever to help

Outfielder Kyle Lewis believes this Arizona Diamondbacks team has the talent to put together a memorable 2023 season.
3 days ago
Ali Sanchez #41 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a double in the seventh inning of the Spring Traini...
Wills Rice

Diamondbacks make 3 moves official prior to Sunday’s Winter Meetings

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced three separate moves on Friday as rumors have swirled prior to the start of Winter Meetings on Sunday.
4 days ago
New York Yankees relief pitcher Miguel Castro (30) works on the mound during the eighth inning in G...
Jordan Leandre

Arizona Diamondbacks sign reliever Miguel Castro to 1-year deal

The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed free agent right-handed reliever Miguel Castro, the team announced on Friday.
4 days ago
Kansas City Royals' Drew Waters (6) slides out at second as Boston Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts, right...
Jordan Leandre

Report: Arizona Diamondbacks have expressed interest in free agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts

Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that the Arizona Diamondbacks are interested in free agent All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
6 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Jake McCarthy follows the flight of his RBI-single off Colorado Rockies relie...
Jordan Leandre

Diamondbacks potential trade packages involving OF surplus

The Arizona Diamondbacks have holes on the roster while also boasting an outfield surplus. Here are three possible packages to address both.
10 days ago
ESPN Insider: D-backs’ Goldschmidt has second-best hit tools in baseball