Hey at least you signed Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton to reasonable, non-franchise killing contracts.
The man is very rich and may love the game of baseball a lot, but he doesn't know how to build a solid farm system or establish long term dominance within a division. It's always "get the big splash" every off season to "win now!" and blows his load on some big name hitter free agent at the beginning of their decline.
The GM Jerry Dipoto wanted throw money at quality pitching because the he actually understands how to win in the MLB. Arte Moreno said no because he wants to sell billboard space with celebrity players as an advertising move. Well now the stadium is half empty every night - sweet move, bro. Hope you sold a lot of Hamilton jerseys during opening week because sure as shit nobody wants them now.
In the early to mid 2000s we were spoiled by inheriting the best bullpen in the league - which has gone up in smoke since 2010.
...oh and Mike Trout putting on 30+ pounds during the off season wasn't a wise move either.
I'm so fucking pissed at the Angels right now.
How is their pitching this bad?
Jered Weaver being out has a little something to do with pitching woes, too.
Paul Goldschmidt is really coming into his own. Kid's a fucking beast.
Funny how Vernon was good before the Angels, garbage with them, and good after them.
Goldschmidt's homered twice already in this game. Once in the first and again in the third. Early MVP candidate no doubt.
Edit* aaand he just doubled.
Last edited by Gribbz; 05-17-2013 at 05:07 PM.
When the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth round of the 2009 draft, they were probably not expecting a star. It was a draft that featured Stephen Strasburg as the first overall selection, as well as Mike Trout toward the end of the first round, but Goldschmidt was only the 11th first baseman selected by any team and the 13th player selected by the Diamondbacks.
Goldschmidt reached the majors quickly, but as much because of the poor performance of first-base placeholders Xavier Nady and Russell Branyan as his own development. Still, Goldschmidt hit an impressive 83 home runs in fewer than 1,200 minor league at-bats before his 2011 call-up, so the power potential, at the very least, was there. The causes for concern were his tendencies to chase bad pitches -- he struck out 161 times in his only full season in the minors -- and to try to pull everything, which made him especially vulnerable to same-handed (right-handed) pitchers.
In close to two full seasons, spread over three years, Goldschmidt has evolved into one of the best power hitters in the majors, and as a result he is setting an MVP-level pace so far this season.
Evolution really is the appropriate word because so much of his early success has been the result of targeted improvements to his scouted weaknesses. In 177 plate appearances in 2011, Goldschmidt flashed his power with eight home runs, but he struck out 29.9 percent of the time. His out-of-zone swing rate of 27.8 percent reflected his continued inability to lay off pitches out of the strike zone, and, in fact, his out-of-zone swing rate increased slightly to 29.4 percent in 2012, his first full season with the Diamondbacks.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joey Votto is the only first baseman with a lower out-of-zone swing rate than Paul Goldschmidt.
So far in 2013, Goldschmidt has been much more disciplined. He has cut his out-of-zone swing rate to 22.9 percent and has seen his strikeout rate fall in time to 23.0 percent. Among players with at least 100 plate appearances in 2013, Goldschmidt has the 31st-lowest out-of-zone swing rate, and only Joey Votto is better among primary first basemen.
That improved discipline has helped decrease the platoon splits he showed in 2012, when his OPS versus left-handed pitchers was more than .300 points higher than his OPS versus right-handed pitchers. Goldschmidt's overall increase in OPS from .850 in 2012 to 1.013 in 2013 is almost entirely attributable to his improved production against right-handed pitchers. This season, his OPS versus right-handed pitchers is 1.004, within .030 points of his mark against left-handers and .265 points better than last season.
The question is how much of Goldschmidt's early-season success against right-handers represents actual improvement rather than good fortune over a small sample size; Goldschmidt has only 119 plate appearances versus right-handers so far in 2013. His .438 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) against right-handers is unsustainably high, which is a reason to doubt his breakout success.
However, there are reasons to believe in the improvement, as well. First is a significant increase in his line-drive percentage. Last season, Goldschmidt hit line drives on 20 percent of his balls in play versus right-handers. This season, Goldschmidt is hitting line drives on 28 percent of his balls in play versus right-handers, which is the 24th-highest rate among batters with at least 50 balls in play against right-handers. Players who hit a lot of line drives can often sustain a higher-than average BABIP.
Second, Goldschmidt has not been pulling an excessive number of his ground balls and short liners. Of the 211 right-handed hitters who meet our minimum ball-in-play threshold, Goldschmidt is tied for 52nd in pull percentage over his past 120 grounders and short liners. His 83 percent pull rate is actually below our recommended baseline for defensive shifting against right-handed hitters, and so we do not expect teams could significantly reduce his effectiveness with their fielder positioning.
Offense is not the only facet of his game that Goldschmidt has improved. In his 368 defensive innings in 2011, Goldschmidt cost the Diamondbacks an estimated three runs. However, Goldschmidt is not a prototypical lumbering first baseman. In fact, Goldschmidt stole 18 bases in 2012, the same number as Bryce Harper and Justin Upton.
Well, that athleticism is starting to show in his defensive numbers, too. Goldschmidt is actually tied with Votto for the lead at first base with five defensive runs saved. In addition to improved range, Goldschmidt is showing incredible sure-handedness. He has 41 good fielding plays (GFPs) against only one defensive misplay (DM), an unmatched pace -- Eric Hosmer and Anthony Rizzo are tied for second with 25 GFPs, and Brandon Moss has the second-most GFPs (17) of first basemen with only 1 DM. Specifically, Goldschmidt has already successfully fielded 22 difficult throws, more than half his total in all of 2012.
Goldschmidt's defensive breakout is one of the major reasons the Diamondbacks, as a team, have been far and away the best defense in baseball -- their 34 runs saved far exceeds the second-place Rangers, who have 22 runs saved. Couple that with his offensive production -- Goldschmidt is on pace for 40 home runs, 100 runs, 125 RBIs, 16 steals and an aforementioned 1.013 OPS -- and you have a season awfully similar to that of Albert Pujols 10 years ago.
Goldschmidt is older than Pujols was when he became the best hitter in baseball, so he cannot hope to match Pujols career-to-career, but that is no reason why Goldschmidt cannot win the MVP this season.
Did not realize that Goldschmidt was picked in the 8th round. Jelly. Although I cannot complain about my Giants scouting and farm system.
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