Paul Goldshmidt is good at baseball. Very good, in fact.
Actually, he’s great.
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ first baseman, 27, is hitting .355 with 15 home runs and 44 RBI this season. He has an on-base percentage of .471 and a slugging percentage of .677, giving him an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 1.149.
Only Miami’s Dee Gordon has a higher batting average, and just Washington’s Bryce Harper has a better OPS.
For all his greatness, though, Goldschmidt is starting to find it rather difficult to come up with big hits. It’s not that he’s scuffling at the plate or in any kind of slump, rather, he’s just not seeing many pitches to hit.
Goldshmidt’s 41 walks this season are second only to Harper, with 15 of them coming in his last 11 games. Many of those 41 have been of the intentional variety.
It’s obvious teams are not going to let the All-Star beat them, and while it may not be fun, Goldshmidt isn’t planning on beating himself, either.
“The last thing I want to do is try to expand my zone,” he told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday morning. “So I just, each at-bat take it one-by-one. If you end up getting a good pitch to hit, which does happen, just try to put a good swing on it.
“And if it’s something where they’re pitching around you or the guy can’t find the zone, just try to be patient as well and take your walk and the next guy in the lineup will come through and we’ll have another runner on base and hopefully score an extra run or two.”
That approach is classic Goldschmidt. The first baseman has never been one to worry about his own stats, instead focusing on the team. So when he gets walked four times in a game, which happened Sunday in Milwaukee and again Tuesday against Atlanta, frustration does not set in.
After all, drawing a walk means he’s getting on base.
“It’s hard to hit, it’s hard to get guys on, and we have an extremely talented lineup with guys one through eight and then you’ve got the pitcher,” he said. “So it just gives us another opportunity to score.”
Goldschmidt understands why people are asking him about the walks, but added it does not happen as often as it would seem. A lot of times, he said, walks come in streaks. If he’s hitting well, teams will be more careful. If he’s in a bad stretch, they won’t bother pitching around him.
“So it’s just one of those things that comes and goes,” he said.