Give Up On Paul Goldchmidt? Don’t Be So Hasty…

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Paul Goldschmidt entered the year considered a Top 5 player, but we are now about a month and a half into the season and things look dramatically different.  Entering play on Monday he was hitting .210 with 4 HR and 12 RBI over 171 PA (before going 1-4 with 1 R), with the concerns beginning to grow significantly.  Could the humidor, which was viewed as a positive for the pitching staff, be having this much of a negative effect on one of the premier sluggers in the game?

His Home/Road split would seem to support that notion:

  • Home – .133, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 9 R
  • Road – .294, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 16 R

Of course he’s also hitting the ball extremely hard at home (27.9% line drive rate) and suffering from terrible luck (.233 BABIP).  Does anyone really believe those numbers?  Historically it’s not like his production has simply been buoyed by his home ballpark, with the numbers nearly split evenly:

  • Home – .292, 87 HR, 306 RBI (491 games)
  • Road – .298, 93 HR, 333 RBI (481 games)

The bigger issue is the sudden increase in strikeouts, as he owns an 11.5% SwStr% (his worst mark since an 11.9% in ’11, his 48 game debut) and 31.0% strikeout rate (22.4% for his career).  Maybe he’s pressing, but he’s seen an increase in his Whiff% across the board.  The most concerning is on “Hard” pitches, going from 9.46% in ’17 to 11.34% this season.  While it’s not an abysmal mark, has his bat slowed a little bit?

He’s hitting .261 against fourseam fastball this season, but he owned a .342 mark in ’17 (.318 over the course of his career).  Obviously he’s struggled against all types of pitches (.177 on changeups, .182 on sliders, .071 on curveballs), but it all works off the fastball.  If he’s not hitting those he’s going to be more susceptible to other pitches.

Does that mean that we’re ready to write him off and declare him a bust?  Should fantasy owners simply sell and move on?  The increased strikeout rate is a concern, as is the sudden drop in power production.  That said his luck should improve dramatically at home, and when that happens the numbers should start trending upwards.

At 30-years old it’s also hard to think that he’s completely lost it, and considering the numbers he’s posted on the road over the course of his career it’s hard to lose faith.  It’s a cold streak, and a bad one, but there’s far too much of a track record.  Maybe he has lost a little something, but he’s simply not this bad.  Look for things to turn, and likely quickly, and you don’t want to sell low now and miss out on the reward.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball, ESPN 

Missed our Top 100 prospect rankings?  Make sure to check it out by clicking here.  

6 comments

  1. Frederic Kass says:

    Professor,

    Heaney or Pivetta ROS?

  2. Chucky says:

    Along those lines….acceptable to give up on any and all Rangers with the exception of Mazara? The Dentist looks like a Dental school dropout and Odor….dazed and confused. This may very well be MLB’s worst team.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      They are bad but there is value. Deshields has value. Mazara. Odor should provide value. Writing the team off completely would be mosguided

  3. Biff Malibu says:

    Instead of answering n asking unrelated questions, let’s stay focused on out topic here. What’s the chances Goldie is holding out for a scorching hot second half showing? Instead of delving into home away splits, what are career first n second half numbers? Is there reason to believe he’s weeks from a killer streak the likes of which could keep a manager that traded Schmitty kicking his ass for days n months on end? Will there be follow up bc IMO it’s shortsighted to dump or trade him now. Could trade for someone up n coming with accelerated power numbers that could be paired with him as he ages. I did with a fellow named Bryce Harper

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      He’s actually been a better performer in the first half, which is only going to add to the concerns. At the same time there’s far too much season left to get too concerned about a player with his upside/track record

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