Goldschmidt doesn't seek praise, but opposing pitchers pile it on

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 15, 2014 - 12:47 AM
hide

Be it hitting, fielding or baserunning, the work never stops for Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who takes none of his success for granted. “If you’re not getting better as a player, you’re falling behind,” the two-time All-Star said.

Photo: DAVID ZALUBOWSKI • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Ask Paul Goldschmidt why he’s one of baseball’s best hitters and you’ll be waiting awhile.

Simply talking about himself, in fact, seems to make the unassuming Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman uncomfortable. After two consecutive All-Star seasons — this time around, he is hitting .308 with 36 doubles and 16 home runs — Goldschmidt waves off his success with clichés. He works hard. He stays focused. Compliments prompt his fingertips to rub together in nervous circles.

So what is it that makes Goldschmidt such a threat at the plate?

“I don’t know,” Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw said. “If you figure it out, let me know. He’s a tough out.”

On Tuesday, Kershaw is relieved he won’t be charged with trying. That is the American League’s task instead, with Goldschmidt batting cleanup for the National League in the All-Star Game.

By now, Goldschmidt has been outed as the secluded slugger in the desert, his talent shining through the rust of Arizona’s struggling season. Despite a midsize market of fans and the Diamondbacks’ tumble to the NL West basement, he was elected an All-Star by overwhelming fan voting. The fame appears to have crept up on him.

“I definitely never thought I’d be sitting here,” he said Monday, speaking in the broader sense.

The fact that he is speaks volumes about ignoring scouting reports. Goldschmidt seems not to have noticed that he wasn’t highly recruited after high school, or that, amid concerns that he was one-dimensional, he fell to the eighth round in the draft before the Diamondbacks selected him 246th overall.

He simply went about his business. Goldschmidt gained a reputation for showing up early each day, and systematically addressed each of his perceived flaws — defense, baserunning, his propensity for striking out.

“If you’re not getting better as a player, you’re falling behind,” he said, matter-of-factly.

Last year, Goldschmidt took home a Gold Glove at first base. He proved he wasn’t a liability on the bases. And talk of strikeouts usually quiets when a player manages 128 extra-base hits in a year and a half.

Around the division, elite pitchers shake their heads at his consistency. San Francisco Giants righthander Tim Hudson remarked that Goldschmidt’s understanding of the strike zone and a pitcher’s strategy belied his short tenure in the majors — he’s in his third full year.

Kershaw said Goldschmidt’s preparation shows at the plate, where his knowledge of his attacker’s repertoire forces pitchers to continually change their strategy.

Last year, Dodgers righthander Zack Greinke was able to strike out Goldschmidt a couple of times in the early summer using his fastball low and away. He thought he had him. When the Dodgers faced Arizona again in mid-September, Greinke stayed with the plan. This time, Goldschmidt pounced on the outside fastball and launched it into deep right field for a double.

“He was ready for it,” Greinke said. “That just puts you on another level, to have the ability to adjust. Some guys can say, ‘Oh, this is what he’s doing,’ but their swing won’t allow them to hit the ball. So he knows what he’s doing and he can adjust to it. You don’t become one of the best hitters in baseball without being able to do that.”

A few tables over at Monday’s media access, Goldschmidt seems unable to comprehend that others would be discussing him. Instead, he’s thinking of what he can learn from the rest of the All-Star field. Last year, his favorite part of the All-Star events was getting to pick the brains of other baseball standouts, he said.

“Some of the best players in the world here,” he said, “And I’m getting to play with them.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 35 FINAL
Miami 37
Baltimore 13 FINAL
Houston 25
Detroit 20 FINAL
Chicago 14
Cleveland 13 FINAL
Carolina 17
Atlanta 30 FINAL
New Orleans 14
Green Bay 20 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Kansas City 12 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
New England 17 FINAL
NY Jets 16
NY Giants 37 FINAL
St. Louis 27
Buffalo 24 FINAL
Oakland 26
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Dallas 42
Seattle 35 FINAL
Arizona 6
Denver 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Denver 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Portland 7:00 PM
Houston
Utah 7:00 PM
Memphis
Toronto 7:00 PM
Chicago
Atlanta 7:30 PM
Dallas
LA Clippers 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Sacramento 9:30 PM
Golden State
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Washington
Nashville 6:00 PM
Columbus
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Florida
Arizona 9:00 PM
Vancouver
San Jose 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Calgary 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ark-Little Rock 1:00 PM
Bradley
Brown 1:00 PM
Central Conn St
Stetson 1:00 PM
Florida State
Ill-Chicago 1:00 PM
Northwestern
Ohio 1:30 PM
George Washington
Southern Utah 2:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Elon 2:00 PM
Kennesaw St
Dartmouth 3:00 PM
Penn State
Green Bay 3:30 PM
UC Irvine
DePaul 3:30 PM
Colorado
Lewis & Clark 4:00 PM
Portland
SC State 4:30 PM
Abilene Christian
Manhattan 5:00 PM
Fordham
Truett-McConnell 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Citadel 5:00 PM
Michigan State
Miami-Ohio 5:00 PM
Ohio State
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Purdue
Idaho 5:00 PM
Northern Ky
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Albany
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Alcorn State
UT Martin 6:00 PM
Butler
SE Louisiana 6:00 PM
UCF
Oakland 6:00 PM
Clemson
Florida A&M 6:00 PM
East Carolina
Eastern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
IUPU-Ft Wayne 6:00 PM
Illinois State
Norfolk State 6:00 PM
James Madison
Binghamton 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Towson 6:00 PM
Navy
Long Island 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Notre Dame
William & Mary 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Liberty 6:00 PM
Princeton
Delaware 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
MD-Eastern Shore 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Colgate 6:00 PM
Syracuse
Kansas 6:00 PM
Temple
Mercer 6:00 PM
Tennessee
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Va Military 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Western Mich
New Orleans 6:05 PM
Indiana
Columbia 6:30 PM
Connecticut
Long Beach State 6:30 PM
St Johns
Wofford 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Southern U 7:00 PM
Baylor
UAB 7:00 PM
Chattanooga
Char Southern 7:00 PM
Colorado State
North Florida 7:00 PM
Iowa
NC Central 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Rice 7:00 PM
Lamar
Central Mich 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Coppin State 7:00 PM
Michigan
Furman 7:00 PM
Minnesota
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Weber State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma
Grambling St 7:00 PM
TCU
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Penn 7:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Chicago State 7:00 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Simpson 7:05 PM
Drake
Tenn Tech 7:05 PM
UMKC
Murray State 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Oral Roberts 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Arkansas
Wisconsin 8:00 PM
California
Coll of Charleston 8:00 PM
LSU
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Marquette
Northern New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
UC Santa Barbara 8:00 PM
Oregon
Miami-Florida 8:00 PM
Providence
Northeastern 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Kent State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
UC Davis 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Lewis-Clark State 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Walla Walla 8:05 PM
Portland State
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Marshall 9:00 PM
Nevada
Boise State 9:30 PM
Houston
UC Riverside 10:00 PM
San Diego St
Tulane 10:00 PM
Washington
Loyola Marymount 10:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
Hawaii
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
UMass Lowell 14 1st Half 10:18
Holy Cross 20
Temple 3 1st Half 18:13
Villanova 5
Georgia Southern 11:00 AM
Southern U
Xavier 11:00 AM
Kennesaw St
Eastern Michigan 11:00 AM
Michigan
Brescia 12:00 PM
Marshall
(22) West Virginia 1:00 PM
Ohio State
UMBC 1:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Cornell 1:00 PM
Loyola-Maryland
St Bonaventure 1:00 PM
Georgetown
New Hampshire 1:00 PM
Northeastern
Eastern Washington 1:30 PM
Florida
Rice 2:00 PM
Texas Southern
Butler 3:05 PM
Illinois State
UC Davis 4:00 PM
(7) Stanford
Washington St 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Sacramento St 4:00 PM
San Jose St
SIU-Edwardsville 4:30 PM
UMKC
Oakland 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Belmont 6:00 PM
(15) Georgia
George Mason 6:00 PM
Longwood
Kansas 6:05 PM
Creighton
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Kansas State
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Missouri
Hampton 7:00 PM
(25) DePaul
Florida State 7:00 PM
Tulane
Murray State 7:00 PM
Illinois
Fla Gulf Coast 7:05 PM
Arkansas State
BYU 8:00 PM
Utah State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close