Tagged: Paul Goldschmidt

NLDS Preview: Brewers vs. D-backs

Photo by Jonathan Willey

By Greg Dillard

The past two seasons had been forgettable ones for the D-backs, with Arizona sputtering to consecutive last places finishes in 2009 and ‘10. They fell victim to high strikeout totals and a lackluster bullpen, with the postseason being a distant thought.

Things have taken a drastic change in 2011.

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Kennedy pitches D-backs past Padres

(Photo by Jordan Megenhardt/Arizona Diamondbacks)

By Greg Dillard

The 21,000-plus fans at Chase Field rose to their feet and applauded their starting pitcher.

Ian Kennedy walked off the mound to a standing ovation after yet another stellar pitching performance on Thursday night. The right-hander headed into Thursday night’s series opener against the Padres with a standout 18-4 record and a 2.96 ERA.

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Goldschmidt starts in Futures Game

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

By Greg Dillard

Paul Goldschmidt’s hitting approach is simple. Execute good at-bats and good things will happen. That outlook has yielded eye-catching results throughout 2011.

Through the first half of the season, he’s batting .315 with a .630 slugging percentage. Goldschmidt’s also been a run-producing machine by crushing 25 homers and 18 doubles to go with 78 RBI.

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Goldschmidt, Krauss Taking Advantage of Big League Camp

Paul Goldschmidt – Photography: Jordan Megenhardt
By Jordan Megenhardt
Saturday was the first official practice for everyone other than pitchers and catchers, but many players have been working out at Salt River Fields for more than a week.
“I feel good, I’ve been out here for about ten days, last week, now this week,” said Paul Goldschmidt, the D-backs Minor League Player of the Year in 2010. “The coaches and all the guys have made us all feel comfortable.” 
Showing up early to camp is a standard practice, but the spacious new facility made it an even more attractive option this season.
“It’s amazing here, obviously with this brand new complex where everything is (available) at your service, at your request, everything you need,” said outfield prospect Marc Krauss. “It’s pretty awesome, definitely better than I expected.” 
“New” seems to be the theme this spring. With the new facility, new coaching staff and the infusion of new veteran faces in the clubhouse, it may be easy to overlook guys like Krauss and the fresh crop of prospects that are appearing in big league camp for the first time.  
Young players like Krauss and Goldschmidt, teammates at Class-A Advanced Visalia last year, are taking advantage of every opportunity in big league camp. 
“Watching all the big league guys, all the guys that have been around, you want to get some pointers and everything,” Krauss said. “Everyone has something that they can help you out with. I’m just going to see if I can get some of these guys to rub off on me all camp, for as long as I’m around. I’ll try to mingle and fit in and see what I can learn and take from this experience.”
While soaking up the experience and taking cues from veterans, the younger guys hope to gain an advantage that will help propel them to new levels throughout the upcoming season.
“Watching these guys prepare, they obviously know what they’re doing and have been doing it a lot longer than I have,” Goldschmidt said, “so anything that I can pick up from them whether it’s mental preparation or physical skills or just little adjustments that I need to make, I’ll try to do that while I’m here as well as get ready for the start of the regular season.” 
“I watched Kelly Johnson hit yesterday and watching the way he hits the ball the other way, he has so much power, he’s so good.”
After just the first day of full-squad workouts, it appears the D-backs roster is happy to get baseball season started. Despite the overcast skies and impending threat of rain throughout the morning, it certainly was not hard to find guys laughing and smiling.


A Look at Spring Training Non-Roster Players


CLAY ZAVADA — Photography: Rick Scuteri


Every year, teams have somewhere between 10-20 non-roster invitees at Spring Training, guys who aren’t on the team’s 40-man roster. It’s always a mix of prospects and veteran players who didn’t sign Major League contracts in the offseason. But every year, there are a handful of potential gems on the non-roster list.


Here’s the D-backs’ list of non-roster players that you’ll be watching in Spring Training (their names are clickable for statistics):



Matt Gorgen

Mike Hampton

Wade Miley

Jarrod Parker

Clay Zavada



Rossmel Perez

P.J. Pilittere



Paul Goldschmidt

Chris Owings

Cody Ransom

Andy Tracy



Collin Cowgill

Marc Krauss

Wily Mo Pena

A.J. Pollock

David Winfree


Some thoughts on a few of these guys:


Matt Gorgen — Gorgen was the player Arizona acquired from Tampa Bay in the trade that sent Chad Qualls there late last year. I’m interested in seeing Gorgen pitch and I’m really curious as to why the Rays made him available, especially when the team lost so many relief pitchers to free agency this year. He’s got pretty excellent minor league numbers and according to Jerry DiPoto, as Arizona Republic writer Nick Piecoro mentioned back in September, Gorgen has good stuff as well. If you’re looking to find an interesting sleeper to emerge out of the non-roster invitee group, Gorgen could definitely be your guy.


Jarrod Parker — Like pretty much everybody else, I’m anxious to see how Parker looks in Spring Training. When last we saw him pitch, he was fresh off throwing some really impressive heat in the 2009 Futures Game, but an elbow injury shut him down for the 2010 season. He gave updates on Twitter throughout the year on his conditioning. When Parker is on, he’s darn-near unhittable but the organization is going to be patient with him after major surgery.


Clay Zavada — Elbow surgery also cost Clay Zavada his 2010 season, so one of the bright spots of the 2009 D-backs is going to work toward getting back in the big leagues this year. You won’t meet many ballplayers that are nicer than Zavada, so I would imagine there are going to be a lot of fans pulling for him to succeed this spring.


Chris Owings — Of the D-backs’ highly picked high school draftees in 2009 (Bobby Borchering, Matt Davidson, Chris Owings), this shortstop out of South Carolina has been the most consistent both at the plate and in the field. A foot injury robbed Owings of about two-thirds of his season last year, but he was playing quite well before he went down. Considering the depth the team added this year with Melvin Mora, Geoff Blum and Willie Bloomquist, there are a lot of infielders in camp. There aren’t that many Spring Training at bats to go around, so Owings’ stay on the big league side might not last very long.


Marc Krauss — Along with teammate Paul Goldschmidt, Marc Krauss absolutely killed the ball in the High-A California League with Visalia last year. Krauss was then one of the few players below Double-A that get a chance to play in the Arizona Fall League. Playing for the 2010 champion Scottsdale Scorpions, Krauss was great, batting .298 with a .404 on-base percentage, with four home runs in 22 games. The guy can really hit, and I’m anxious to see what he can do against some big league pitching.


Wily Mo Pena — I’m mostly just excited to watch Wily Mo Pena take batting practice. He has massive raw power (link: check out this stunning home run he hit at Toronto’s Rogers Centre back in 2007), always has, and hit pretty well in limited duty for the Padres’ Triple-A Affiliate last year.


A.J. Pollock — With really advanced fundamental skills coming out of college, A.J. Pollock looked like he was on the fast track until he hurt his elbow going after a ball in the outfield in Spring Training last year and lost a whole season because of it. He also played in the Fall League and hit quite well for average — batted .313 with six doubles in 16 games — and hopefully his power comes along with health.

Goldschmidt Named MVP of Cal League

Goldschmidt Photo.jpg

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.