Player Spotlight: Paul Goldschmidt
I’m going to be spotlighting a couple players per position that I find especially interesting each week. These are going to be more of a stat based, analytical deep dive on a specific player. The projections next to the player names are an average of THE BAT, ATC, Steamer, and ZIPS projection systems found on Fangraphs. NFBC ADP data is from the date range 1/01/2019-02/11/2019. Some things have changed with Goldy, but is he still a building block?
Paul Goldschmidt, STL (ADP 20): 662 PA, 95 R, 30 HR, 92 RBI, 12 SB, .279/.386/.500/.886
Goldschmidt has been the epitome of a consistent fantasy building block for the better part of 6 seasons so you may be wondering why he warrants a deep dive. Well, while his end of season numbers last year looked great, as usual, he got off to a very concerning start that had owners worried he had fallen off a cliff. He was batting only .208 with 7 home runs and 2 steals at the end of May. Owners who were patient were rewarded with a monster final 4 months. He ended up with a final line of .290/.389/.533/.922 with 33 home runs.
One possible explanation for the slow start is Goldschmidt adjusting to the humidor addition at Arizona’s Chase Field. While single season park factors are very unstable and shouldn’t be used as your only point of reference, this is a unique scenario. MLB.com’s Mike Petriello wrote an article back in April looking at the possible effects that the humidor could have on Chase Field. He found that when the Rockies added a humidor to Coors Field in 2002, runs were reduced by 23 percent over the next five years. When all was said and done, Chase Field experienced a 20 percent decrease in home runs. Now you may be thinking, “Goldy still ended up with 33 home runs, why were his other numbers so low to start the year?” Some of the Diamondbacks players have admitted that the humidor was something that got in their heads to start the season and some of them got off to slow starts, in part, because of it.
Another factor that fantasy owners must take into consideration when drafting this season is Goldschmidt’s lack of stolen bases in 2018. A good chunk of his value as a top-10 fantasy option were the 20 steals he averaged from 2015-2017. Everyone loved getting a 5-category contribution from Goldy but those days appear to be done. I’d be surprised if he chips in double digit steals this season as his new team, St. Louis, is in the bottom five in stolen bases over the last 3 years.
With the humidor in Arizona, the ballpark change to St. Louis isn’t nearly as drastic as it would have been. I expect Goldschmidt to have very similar numbers to 2018 when it’s all said and done this year and that’s great, I just don’t think it’s enough to make him a first rounder this season without the steals of old.