Diamondbacks' Goldschmidt Mixes Approach, Power
PHOENIX—Paul Goldschmidt grew into his power. Literally. A smallish second baseman in youth leagues, Goldschmidt has "grown into a man," said one former major leaguer who witnessed the transformation firsthand in the Houston area.
Goldschmidt, a strapping 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, took over the minor league home run lead Aug. 11 with his 32nd of the year. A righthanded-hitting first baseman, Goldschmidt was hitting .303/.372/.593 for high Class A Visalia with 32 doubles and 93 RBIs, which was sixth in all of the minor leagues. He was hitting .397/.436/.838 against lefthanders.
"We saw the power the moment he put on a uniform," farm director Mike Berger said. "He has power to all three fields. He can hit the ball as far down the right-field line as he can down the left-field line."
Some have drawn comparisons between Goldschmidt, 22, and Steve Balboni, a 6-foot-3, 225-pounder who hit 181 home runs in 11 major league seasons.
"It's not a big swing," Berger said. "It's not a big load. It's short and direct . . . just explosive. It's a very controlled approach. I don't want to say he's a line-drive hitter with power, but at times he is a line-drive hitter with power."
Goldschmidt, an eighth-round selection in 2009, showed his offensive capability early, hitting .334/.408/.638 with 27 doubles, 18 homers and 62 RBIs in 287 at-bats at Rookie-level Missoula after signing out of Texas State. He led the Pioneer league in slugging percentage and tied for the league lead in home runs while also stealing four bases.
He also has shown athleticism and an aptitude for running the bases, Berger said, and there is more to his game than just a power bat.
"He's a leader," Berger said.
• Arizona finalized the July 25 Dan Haren trade by acquiring lefthander Tyler Skaggs from the Angels as the player to be named. Skaggs, the 40th player taken in the 2009 draft, could not be traded until Aug. 7, the anniversary of the date he signed for a $1 million bonus. Skaggs, 19, was 8-4, 3.61 at low Class A Cedar Rapids before joining South Bend in the same league. A starter, the Diamondbacks plan to use him only in relief the rest of the way.
• The Diamondbacks plan to limit the workload of Pat Corbin, the other lefthander they received in the Haren deal. Corbin, 21, threw eight shutout innings with 12 strikeouts in his first two appearances with high Class A Visalia to get 127 innings for the year. The Diamondbacks plan to keep him in the rotation but give him three-inning stints the rest of the way.