LOS ANGELES – Without much attention or fanfare, Diamondbacks’ first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is quietly gaining space on the top of the National League’s offensive leaders.
While this is not surprising, Goldschmidt’s recent surge and production at the plate merely reinforces his stature as one the elite players in major league baseball.
Over the past week, Goldschmidt’s batting average has risen nearly 50 points and prior to Saturday’s game with the Dodgers, he was hitting .348, good for seventh in the National League. Prior to Saturday’s game, he hit .618 in his previous four games (11-for-18), and is in the top five in four major offensive categories.
For his part, Goldschmidt said he sees no alterations or changes in his game. It’s just the same, usual approach.
“There’s nothing different, and I’m trying to get good at-bats,” he said in the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse prior to Saturday’s game. “Sometimes, you’ll do okay and other times, the hits are tough to get. You can never get too high if you’re going well, or never too low when things are not gong your way.”
That is pretty the status quo for Goldschmidt, whose low profile and quiet demeanor remains the antithesis of his destructive power
Not defined as a classic pull hitter and despite his 6-3, 225 pound frame, Goldschmidt, at the same time, is not regarded as a consummate power hitter. Opposing teams play Goldschmidt a few steps to right center-field and the opposing left-fielder is usually found off the line. That gives Goldschmidt the left field corner, but he rarely puts the ball in that area.
The bulk of his power is in the gap and pundits believed, at the start of the season, Goldschmidt was on target for a season of 60 doubles or more. If he attained that mark, Goldschmidt would be among the all-time National League leaders for doubles in a season.
Through his first 22 games, Goldschmidt has five doubles, and may not be on target for such an achievement. However, his 20 RBIs is second in the league to the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton.
Still, Goldschmidt’s reaction to his surge in production is consistent with his low-key personality.
“It’s a long season, and that’s why they call it a marathon,” he said. “I just try and good at-bats, and see what happens.”
With his quiet disposition and few words of insight, Goldschmidt’s work ethic and approach remains his trade-mark. A diligent student of video and communicating with other players, Goldschmidt is usually found in the batting cage and taking endless ground balls prior to any game.
“His game is so consistent,” said manager Chip Hale prior to Saturday’s game. “His at-bats are as good as any player in the game. He swings at the right pitches, and that’s what we tell all our hitters. If you get a good pitch to hit, you’ll put the ball in play.”
KUDOS GO OUT TO …
The Diamondbacks announced that outfielder Peter O’Brien of Triple- Reno and right-hander Zack Godley of Advanced-A Visalia were the organization’s players-of-the-month for April.
O’Brien hit .383 (31-for 81) with seven doubles, seven home runs and 20 RBIs in 21 games
A native of Hialeah, Fla., O’Brien was acquired from the Yankees with cash considerations for infielder Martin Prado on July 31, 2014. He was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft from the University of Miami.
Godley, 25, went 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA (3 ER in 24.0 IP) in four starts for the Rawhide in April. He did not yield a run in three of his foru starts (19.0 IP), and held opposing batters to a .172 average (15-for-87). He was named the California League Pitcher of the Week for April 20-26. The Bamberg, S.C. native was acquired from the Cubs with right-handed pitcher Jeferson Mejia for catcher Miguel Montero on Dec. 9, 2014.