VISALIA–Paul Goldschmidt’s monster season in Visalia has been officially recognized, as the stocky slugger was named the California League’s Most Valuable Player today.
Goldschmidt currently leads the league in home runs with 33 and is tied for the lead in all of Minor League Baseball. His average has been above .300 for nearly two months, and his 96 Runs Batted In rank 2nd in the league.
With the award, Goldschmidt becomes the 9th Visalia player to be named League MVP. He joins Vada Pinson (1957), George Theodore (1971), Steve Douglas (1978), Les Pearsey (1979), Kent Hrbek (1981), Stan Holmes (1983), Marty Cordova (1992), and Reid Brignac (2006).
With 9 MVPs in franchise history, Visalia is now tied with Stockton for the most in California League history.
In addition to his MVP award, Goldschmidt was also named the league’s Rookie of the Year (awarded to a player in his first full season of professional baseball). He is the 5th Visalia player to win the award, joining Brignac (2006), Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett (1983), Gene Robinson (1978), and Bob Beall (1958).
In further honors, Goldschmidt was selected to the California League’s Post Season All-Star Team, along with Rawhide outfielder Marc Krauss. Krauss has slugged 24 homers to date, with a .308 batting average and 82 RBIs.
Thanks to the contributions of their all-stars and league MVP, the Rawhide are currently one game ahead of Modesto for the Wild Card playoff spot. They face the Nuts in a crucial 4-game series beginning tonight at Recreation Ballpark.