Oct 7, 2011; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt hits a single in the fourth inning of game five of the 2011 NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Are Paul Goldschmidt's Spring Struggles a Reason for Concern?

If the Arizona Diamondbacks are able to make much noise this season, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is among their biggest keys to success.

Goldschmidt is an excellent hitter who posted some amazing minor league numbers–.317 average, 83 HR and 264 RBI over

three seasons.  He has the ability to knock the ball out of the park at any moment and is perhaps the best candidate to protect the D-Backs best player, Justin Upton.  He was good in his abbreviated appearance last season and was even better in the playoff series against the Milwaukee Brewers.  However, after a decent start to the spring Goldschmidt has hit a horrendous slump.  He’s 1 for his last 13 with 7 strikeouts and struck out on three pitches with two on and two out in the top of the first against the Rockies Wednesday night.  He’s hitting .143 this spring as of press time.

An alarming aspect about the Diamondbacks season is that it’s basically assummed that Goldschmidt will be able to produce at a respectable clip–in the ballpark of a .280/25 HR/85 RBI clip.  While Goldschmidt has quickly become a fan favorite among the D-Backs faithful, he has never been considered a top prospect and we have a very small sample size to judge his major league ability on.  The 2009 8th round pick quickly made his way to the major leagues and figures to be a fixture in the D-Backs lineup–but is he truly ready?

I like what Goldschmidt offers and I’m certainly not concerned with a half dozen game slump during spring training, however to immediately expect All-Star caliber numbers from Goldschmidt is unrealistic.  Fans need to be patient with this young player as he’ll no doubt struggle through periods like he has the past week this spring.  However when Goldschmidt is not struggling he has the ability to be one of the most important hitters in the lineup.

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Follow Venom Strikes on twitter @venomstrikes.

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks D-backs Dbacks Justin Upton Milwaukee Brewers Paul Goldschmidt

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