It is safe to say that prior to this year not many people knew who Paul Goldschmidt was. It is fair to say that three quarters of the way through the 2013 season many people still are unaware of the Arizona stud, Paul Goldschmidt. It is time for people to stand up and take notice. It is time for people to focus on what is developing in Arizona. Honestly, it is time to consider Goldschmidt for 2013 National League Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Goldschmidt is developing faster and arguably better than many would have expected. He was initially taken in the eighth round of the 2009 amateur draft out of Texas State University. The 25 year old rapidly ascended through the Diamondbacks organization becoming an everyday player in 2012 where he managed 20 home runs, 82 RBI and a .286 batting average in his first real season with the big club.
Through 126 games of the 2013 Major League Baseball season Paul Goldschmidt is hitting .300 with 100 RBI, 31 home runs, 83 runs scored and even throws in 13 stolen bases. His 31 home runs and 100 RBI both lead the National League and his .300 average currently has him 14th. Goldschmidt is also second in the National League in Slugging Percentage (.551), fourth in On-Base Percentage (.395) and is second with a .945 OPS.
Those are impressive offensive statistics for the Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman who also carries a .996 Fielding Percentage good for fourth among National League players at his position and the best Range Factor per game of any NL first baseman. Goldschmidt also leads in Win Probability Added which is the change in probability caused by the batter during the game. This shows he is valuable to the team with his glove as well as his bat. That is a true weighting factor in determining who should be an MVP
In 2013 the high pressure situation numbers are quite impressive as well for a player at his age with his big league experience. With two outs and runners in scoring position he is hitting .333 with an OPS over 1.000. With the bases loaded he is hitting .400, carrying an OPS over 1.700 and has three grand slams. In the ninth inning this year Goldschmidt is hitting .500 with six home runs and 12 RBI showing that there is not a moment too big for him. His ability to deliver in the previously mentioned situations provides more insight into how valuable Goldschmidt is to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Are there other National League players that might warrant a change at the MVP award? Sure, there are players like Carlos Gonzalez, Yadier Molina, Andrew McCutchen, and to a lesser extent Joey Votto, Jean Segura, and even a pitcher like Clayton Kershaw that all warrant varying levels of consideration but all are not a match for Goldschmidt’s body of work.
Yadier Molina is leading the NL in batting average and is one of the best backstops in all of baseball. The fact that people are talking about his is a testament to how good he is. However, he is just not on par with Goldschmidt. Carlos Gonzalez has only played in 103 games so there is no telling how great his offensive numbers would have been if he didn’t spot Paul 20 games. However when you play 81 games mile high and your team is 11 games under .500 then you fall short in my eyes.
Andrew McCutchen is having another solid season and one could argue that the turnaround in Pittsburgh is attributed to McCutchen but at the end of the days his overall body of work does not stack up with Goldschmidt. This is not to take anything away from a great season which should have him in the top-5 when the MVP ballots are cast. To me the overall value of Goldschmidt is greater to the Diamondbacks than McCutchen to the Pirates.
Everything could change as August winds down and September plays out but at this time I cannot see any player in the National League more valuable to his team than Paul Goldschmidt is to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Would it be a travesty if a McCutchen or Gonzalez won the MVP? Of course not but the man in Phoenix is having the best offensive season of anyone in baseball not named Miguel Cabrera or Chris Davis. With Cabrera and Davis in the American League that leaves Paul Goldschmidt standing alone in the National League and deserving of his first MVP award.
Will Paul Goldschmidt win the NL MVP Award in 2013?
- Yes (88%, 7 Votes)
- No (12%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 8