The Arizona Diamondbacks shook off a horrid month of May and have reestablished themselves as a true National League Contender. A first place showdown with the Colorado Rockies seemingly got them back on track, with a 2.5 game lead in the NL West. It’s no secret who the catalyst in their recent success has been, though.
In the month of May, Paul Goldschmidt was the second-least valuable first baseman in baseball. Among 30 qualifiers for the month, only Chris Davis was worse, according to WAR (-0.5). He struck out at the third highest rate (31.5%). Goldy went for a .144 average, tied for the worst, and reached base at a paltry .252 clip (29th). His .134 ISO ranked 24th. His wRC+ was 47. It was an absurdly horrid month for a player that has been among the best overall offensive players in all of baseball for the last several years.
What a turnaround June has proven to be.
Considering where he was during the month, it’s wild to think that Goldschmidt’s WAR currently ranks behind only Freddie Freeman among qualifying first basemen for all of 2018 (2.6). His .266 average is the eighth highest, while his .376 OBP is tied for fourth. His .262 ISO leads the position, while his wRC+ of 143 is third. Consider those May numbers in respect to where he stands on the season. Three months into the year, we’re reminded exactly of who Paul Goldschmidt is.
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And it’s the month of June he really has to thank. In the past 30 days, only one hitter in baseball has been better. His name is Mike Trout. Goldy has posted a 2.4 WAR in the past month, with his offensive numbers difficult to describe with any language that doesn’t involve excessive profanity.
Goldschmidt’s slash for the past month features a .384 average, a .474 OBP, and an .828 slugging percentage. That average is third and his slugging is tops among qualifiers throughout that span. His .444 ISO leads Trout by almost 70 points. A 242 wRC+ throughout the month trails only Trout as well. To no surprise, Goldschmidt has absolutely crushed the ball over that span.
His hard hit rate over the past month is at 57.5%. His soft contact rate is a minuscule 8.2%. Consider the fact that the latter figure was up over 25% for the month of May. It’s not a surprising turnaround for one of the best hitters in baseball, but it sure has been stunning to watch.
It was unreasonable to think that Goldschmidt’s struggles would last all year. This, despite plenty of panic from local media. Nonetheless, it’s certainly reassuring to see him reasserting his dominance over Major League pitching. With the Los Angeles Dodgers nipping at their heels, his resurgence doesn’t come a moment too soon. Goldy was the key. With others, like David Peralta and Jon Jay providing steady offense, the Snakes are in great shape moving forward.