When Paul Goldschmidt was at Texas State, he set the career home run record with 36, but it was Texas State, not the Texas Longhorns.
In his debut at Rookie-level Missoula in 2009, he led the Pioneer League with 18 home runs, but he was an experienced college player stepping into a rookie league. Last year, he led the California League with 35 home runs, but hey, it was the California League, where a pop fly can sometimes turn into a home run.
If Goldschmidt keeps this up, there will quickly be no more qualifiers when people talk or write about his power. Four games into the season with Double-A Mobile, Goldschmidt has four home runs. And he's doing it as an age-appropriate 23-year-old in the Southern League, not exactly a league known for crazy offensive numbers.
Goldschmidt has always hit lefties well (he hit .413/.453/.860 against them last year), but his work against lefthanders this year borders on unbelievable. He's had three plate apperances against lefties. He homered the first time he faced a lefty this year on Friday with a home run against Donnie Joseph. Lefty Travis Webb wisely walked him the first time he faced Goldschmidt on Sunday, but Goldschmidt homered again when he faced Webb again in the third. With Goldschmidt coming up again in the fourth, Carolina pulled Webb instead of giving the slugger a fourth plate appearance against a lefty. Goldschmidt's current on-base plus slugging against lefties is 5.000.
Goldschmidt will have to continue to hit to earn a big league job, as he's a poor runner who is limited to being a righthanded hitting first baseman (a tough profile to make it in the big leagues), but it's hard to argue with his start.
In other notes from a very busy first weekend of the minor league season:
* Drew Pomeranz's (Indians) first pro start couldn't have gone any better. Pitching for high Class A Kinston on Friday night, Pomeranz struck out nine while allowing only two hits over 5 ? innings. According to the Kinston Free-Press' David Hall, Pomeranz primarily pitched off his mid-90s fastball, mixing in a handful of curveballs and only one changeup in his 79 pitches.
* Joe Savery's pitching career never lived up to expectations after the Phillies drafted him in the first round of the 2007 draft. As a hitter, he's exceeding them in the very early going.
Savery apparently left his fastball at Rice, as he lost enough velocity to go from being a first-round pick to an organizational arm. But after moving to first base during instructional league last year, Savery is hitting 12-for-15 (.800) in his first four games with Clearwater. He's doubled twice and homered. As a 25-year-old conversion project, Savery faces long odds of ever getting to the big leagues, but he can look to the story of former first-round pick Brian Bogusevic for inspiration. Bogusevic gave up on pitching during the 2008 season, four years after he was drafted. Last year he made the majors at the end of the season as an outfielder.
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