By the numbers: Paul Goldschmidt’s half-season away from the D-backs
You didn’t see St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt at the MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland this Tuesday.
That’s because he wasn’t an All-Star, and writing these things out in a sentence feels absurd even seven months after the Arizona Diamondbacks dealt their star player for a package of two players who made the 25-man roster, one prospect and a 2019 draft pick.
Goldschmidt was the face of the D-backs and had strung together six straight All-Star seasons. Until this year.
The 31-year-old hasn’t been his old self through 88 games with his new team.
Here is how Goldschmidt has fared in the pre-All-Star section of 2019 and before his St. Louis team hosts Arizona on Friday to begin the second half of the season.
Goldschmidt is batting a career-worst .254 this year, just above his .250 average posted over 48 games in 2011, his debut season in MLB. The first baseman’s second-worst average was in 2012 (.286).
That .769 would be Goldschmidt’s OPS through 331 at-bats, which is easily the worst of his career. Goldschmidt’s OPS in his last six years hasn’t fallen below .900.
With 16 home runs this year, Goldschmidt is projected to smash 29 by the end of the season, a reasonable amount. Where he’s lacking compared to past seasons is in other extra-base hits. After hitting at least 33 doubles in every year since 2012, he’s only hit nine of them this year, projecting him to finish with a (for him) paltry 17 by the end of 2019.
The power hasn’t been there for Goldschmidt this season. His isolated power of .172 — the stat is calculated by subtracting average from slugging percentage — is a career worst.
Striking out 25.7% of the time, Goldschmidt’s K-rate has increased year-to-year over the last two seasons. He struck out 29.9% of the time as a rookie but after that kept it at or below 23% until 2018.
Goldschmidt, considered one of the best base-running first basemen in MLB, managed just seven stolen bases in his final year with the D-backs, a drop-off from the 23.7 per season he averaged from 2015-17. This year, he’s not been the same threat on the basepaths with no stolen bases on the year. He’s only been caught once as well.
Despite putting wood on the ball, Goldschmidt hasn’t found great success. His BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is a career-low .312, having fallen off drastically from .359 last season.
Goldschmidt owns a career-high flyball percentage of 38, and he’s not hitting too many line drives, either (19.7%, which is second-worst in his career).
Though he entered the All-Star break with the majority of his action in the two-hole for the Cardinals, Goldschmidt has recently slid back to fourth in the batting order. In eight games batting fourth, he’s slashing .300/.382/567. The first baseman has played 55 games in the two-hole (.266/.359/.439), 22 games batting third (.202/.280/.310) and just three games at seventh (.333/.500/1.33).
Has he turned the corner? In 22 at-bats in the month of July, Goldschmidt has gone 8-for-22 (.364) with two doubles, two home runs, six RBI and three walks with seven strikeouts.