Last year Paul Goldschmidt had the definition of a breakout season. After playing in 145 games during 2012, his first full season in the Major Leagues, he took his game to a whole new level putting together an MVP type performance in 2o13. Goldschmidt raised his game at the plate, at first base, and in the clubhouse becoming the face of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and one of the best players in all of Major League Baseball. The contract extension he signed prior to last season looks really good right now. The question is after a brilliant 2013, what will Goldy do for an encore in 2014?
How 2013 Went: Goldschmidt had a MVP-type season in 2013 in all facets of the game as well as becoming a team leader. Playing in all but two games, he hit 36 HR and drove in 125 runs batting .302. He won a Silver Slugger and carried the team’s offense all season long. The second highest RBI total was 82 by Martin Prado, 43 less than Goldy. It’s hard to imagine where the D’backs would have been without the 26-year old’s season. They wouldn’t have finished at .500 and could have easily finished 10-20 games below that mark. He made the All Star Game for the first time and finished second in National League MVP voting losing to Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen. Defensively, he made every play at first winning his first Gold Glove while at the same time becoming one of the most popular players in Arizona as well as all of baseball. You couldn’t have drawn up a more of a perfect season for Goldy in 2013.
Outlook for 2014: Considering how important Goldschmidt was to the D’backs in 2013, his performance in 2014 will be a big key to the club’s success. Hopefully, Arizona will not have to rely on him as much as they did last year with the addition of Mark Trumbo to protect him, continued production from Prado, and healthy years from Aaron Hill and Miguel Montero. However, Paulie will still have to have a big year and I predict an even better campaign in 2014. Last year, opposing hurlers simply pitched around Goldschmidt but now with Trumbo behind him, they won’t be able to do that anymore. He will get more chances to drive in runs and I expect more homers as well. Many are saying that Goldy can win the Triple Crown which is not that big of a stretch. At the very least Paul Goldschmidt should compete to win the NL MVP Award which he should have won last year.