Arizona Diamondbacks

Paul Goldschmidt is back to being who we thought he was

Paul Goldschmidt did not look like one of the best offensive first baseman around for two months, but a great June has put him right back on track.

The Arizona Diamondbacks started well this season (20-8 at the end of April), but then they floundered in May with an 8-19 record. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt struggled at the plate through that entire two months, hitting a dismal .209/.326/.393 with 71 strikeouts over 230 plate appearances.

But five hits in his last six games of May, with a home run to end his month on May 30, seems to have sparked a resurgence. With a home run Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels, Goldschmidt has homered in back-to-back games and in four of his last six contests. So far in June (18 games-84 plate appearances entering Wednesday), he is now hitting .423/.512/.915 (1.427 OPS) with nine home runs and 20 RBI.

Not surprisingly, the Diamondbacks’ offense as a whole has been better with Goldschmidt back to mashing. That has correlated to winning too, as they are 12-6 this month (entering Wednesday).

Goldschmidt had notable trouble with velocity early in the season, and a .488 BABIP in June thus far screams for a correction. But his overall peripheral offensive numbers this season are pretty much back on par with the rest of his career, and Goldschmidt now sits tied for second among first baseman in home runs (16) and leads first baseman in run scored with 51.

Goldschmidt is not running as much as he has in past years so far in 2018, with two stolen bases in four attempts, and with 39 RBI through 72 games he’s well off his typical pace in that category. He’s also striking out at a higher rate than any full major league season in his career (28.7 percent), due in part to his bad start.

Goldschmidt’s struggles through most of the first two months this season straddled the line between overreacting to a small sample size and a troubling trend. His current torrid stretch is not sustainable, but when it’s all said and done Goldschmidt’s final 2018 numbers should be mostly in line with his track record.

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