Found March 27, 2013 on Fox Sports Arizona:
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Last summer, we wrote that Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt already felt like a mainstay. This spring, the D-backs tried to make him one, approaching the 25-year-old about a long-term contract. Though talks between Goldschmidt and the team have been reported as ongoing, Goldschmidt initially tabled talks of a long-term deal, betting on a big season that could earn him an even better deal next year. The D-backs are betting on Goldschmidt as much as he's betting on himself. Goldschmidt has just 193 major league games under his belt, yet the D-backs want to lock him up, presumably to a team-friendly deal with Goldschmidt still two years away from arbitration eligibility. That says a lot about the player the D-backs expect Goldschmidt to be this year and beyond. "I think they believe in all the players here," Goldschmidt said. "They're trying to build a team here that's going to win this year but win for the future as well." Goldschmidt is undoubtedly a cornerstone of that building plan. While manager Kirk Gibson offers tempered expectations of Goldschmidt's 2013 season -- " I would expect Goldy to be consistent in what he's done," Gibson said. -- the consensus, at least externally, seems to be he'll improve on his 2012 season, in which he hit .286 with a .359 on-base percentage, .490 slugging percentage, 82 RBI and 20 home runs. The D-backs will probably need increased production from Goldschmidt in order to compete in the NL West this season. With Justin Upton and Chris Young gone, the D-backs will lean heavily on Goldschmidt, Aaron Hill and Jason Kubel for offensive production through the middle of the order, though Gibson says it won't matter if the D-backs are finding other ways to win. "If Goldy hits .220 and we win a world championship, you think he'll care?" Gibson said. "I know I won't. If you get too obsessed with your own statistics as an individual, it works against you." Goldschmidt said he doesnt spend much time thinking about his statistics. He does, however, spend a good deal of time critiquing his defense, another area in which the D-backs expect him to be a stalwart. "He was kind of critical of his defense recently," Gibson said. "I do think when Goldy plays more, his defense gets better." As much as evaluators inside and outside the organization expect Goldschmidt to make another leap this season, he insists he doesn't really think about such things. Instead, Goldschmidt maintains a quiet confidence alongside a get-better-every-day attitude that's often regarded as one of the biggest clichs in baseball. But Goldschmidt has been consistent in his humble approach and drive to keep improving, as obvious as the notion may sound. Basically, he doesn't expect anything to just happen. He knows it's on him to put the work in if he wants to take a place among baseball's rising stars. "A lot of people have had one good year or year and a half," Goldschmidt said. "The saying goes 'It's easy to get here, tough to stay.' Guys are always trying to make adjustments, and the past is the past. "You want to continue to get better, hopefully improve every year, but it's a tough game. Guys forget that. You think 'Oh, I've had one good year and now I put in the work in the offseason, so this next good year is just going to come.' That's not really how it works." Goldschmidt also knows that even when you put in the work, it's not a predictor of results. Balls can get hit hard right at defenders. Calls can go against you. Pitchers can avoid pitching to you. "A lot of this stuff's out of your control, and you just prepare yourself to do the best you can," Goldschmidt said. "Obviously the goal is to get better every year, but it's not going to happen just because." So what about Goldschmidt's ceiling? It's hard to say so early in his career, but he's off to a good start. Comparing young players to active or retired ones can be unfair -- just ask Gibson, who was dubbed by Sparky Anderson early on as "the next Mickey Mantle" -- but statistics (via baseball-reference.com) through age 24 offer a few names that should inspire optimism. The first two: Adrian Gonzalez and Ike Davis. Geoff Jenkins is also on the list. And through roughly 200 games, Goldschmidt's numbers compare favorably to legendary Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell, who Goldschmidt idolized (among other Astros) growing up in Houston. "His numbers are unbelievable, so if you're going to say that's what's going to happen (for me), I'll be the happiest guy on the planet," Goldschmidt said, laughing. "But I just think for anyone to say that is not realizing how hard this game is, and you never know what's going to happen going forward." The D-backs have been careful to avoid any such comparisons, but their interest in a long-term contract speaks for itself. "We just want him to be consistent and go out and play the game the way he plays it," Gibson said. "I don't really look at it as a numbers things. I look at it as a collective effort and a collective result. "He's got a plan, he sticks with his plan, he gives you good at-bats, give you good effort on the bases, gives you good effort in the field. And he's a good teammate. What more can you say?"
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Gibson confirms probability of Ross on DL

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Though Cody Ross took a step in his rehab of a calf injury Tuesday, the Diamondbacks outfielder will likely open the season on the disabled list, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson confirmed. "I'd rather (do that) than him push it and injure himself for six to eight weeks," Gibson said. "Let's get it right. If we have to DL him to do that, then...

D-backs' injury bug bites Willie Bloomquist

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The injury bug bit the D-backs hard Tuesday night, as Aaron Hill, Jason Kubel and Willie Bloomquist all left the game with injuries, but it appears only one of those is significant. The D-backs announced Wednesday an MRI revealed Bloomquist suffered a grade 2 strain of his right oblique and will start the season on the disabled list. The team put no timetable...

Daniel Hudson Calls Out Topps for Using Painful Memory as Baseball Card Image (Photo)

Baseball players tend to be a picky bunch, but Daniel Hudson may be the first to ever complain (publicly, at least) about a baseball card photo. But don’t go calling D-Huddy high maintenance just yet, as the Diamondbacks hurler has good reason to be upset. Hudson recently caught glimpse of his Topps baseball card and expressed his displeasure on Twitter. No, the baseball card company...

Source: Goldschmidt lands extension

The Diamondbacks and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt have agreed to a five-year, $32 million contract extension, a source confirmed Friday. The extension runs from 2014-18 with option for 2019 and buys out arbitration years and at least one year of potential free agency. The agreement was first reported by Jim Bowden of ESPN. Goldschmidt, 25, hit .286 with 20 home runs and drove...

D-backs' Bloomquist to start season on DL

Arizona Diamondbacks utility player Willie Bloomquist will start the season on the disabled list. The team says an MRI on Wednesday showed a grade 2 right oblique strain. There is no timetable for his return. The injury, sustained in Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Angels, is another blow to Arizona, which figured to use Bloomquist considerably at shortstop and...

Arizona 2B Aaron Hill hit by pitch, leaves game

Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill has left a spring training game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Los Angeles Angels ace Jered Weaver. Hill, a 2012 Silver Slugger award winner who is batting .432 this spring, was plunked in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night. He did not come out to play defense in the top of the second and was replaced by...

AP source: Goldschmidt, D-backs near $32M deal

A person familiar with the negotiations says first baseman Paul Goldschmidt the Arizona Diamondbacks are close to agreement on a $32 million, five-year contract that would run from 2014-18. The deal would include a $14.5 million team option for 2019 with a $2 million buyout, the person said Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been finalized....

Parra, Carpenter Should be April Regulars

With the season fast approaching the injuries are already starting to pile up. Today we delve into two players whose playing time should be beneficial to your fantasy team in the first weeks of the season.Gerardo Parra, OF, ARIYou know the name, it almost seems like he has been around forever. I get it, it sounds like a boring option, but with Adam Eaton out six to eight weeks and...

Cahill K's 11 in final tune-up as D-backs win big

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- There's nothing like an 11-strikeout outing to give a pitcher confidence, regardless of the opponent. Diamondbacks right-hander Trevor Cahill went 5 23 innings, struck out 11, scattered four hits and allowed only an unearned run in the D-backs' 9-3 victory over the Rangers on Thursday. "I felt a lot better today than I have," Cahill said...

Diamondbacks release ex-QB Booty

The Arizona Diamondbacks have released Josh Booty, who had earned an invitation to the team's spring training by winning a televised knuckleball competition among former college quarterbacks. ''The Next Knuckler'' competition was held on MLB Network, with Booty beating out his brother John David Booty, Doug Flutie, David Greene and Ryan Perrilloux. Josh Booty...

Reality hits for 'Next Knuckler' Booty

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The "Next Knuckler" experiment is officially over. The Diamondbacks on Wednesday released pitcher Josh Booty, the former Marlins infield prospect, LSU quarterback and winner of the MLB Network reality show "The Next Knuckler." "We thoroughly enjoyed being a part of 'The Next Knuckler' and having Josh in camp," D-backs president...

Diamondbacks 7, Angels 1

Three key players for the Diamondbacks left Tuesday night's spring training game with injuries before Arizona scored seven runs in the eighth inning to beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-1. Second baseman Aaron Hill was hit on the left pinkie by a pitch from Angels ace Jered Weaver, who gave up only two hits in seven scoreless innings. Diamondbacks shortstop Willie Bloomquist (right...

Diamondbacks 9, Rangers 3

There's nothing like an 11-strikeout outing to give a pitcher confidence, regardless of the opponent. Arizona right-hander Trevor Cahill went 5 2/3 innings, scattered four hits and allowed an unearned run in the Diamondbacks' 9-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday. ''I felt a lot better today than I have,'' Cahill said. ''I was throwing my...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.