2012 Pod Projections: Paul Goldschmidt

Today I continue with my projections and have decided to go with the sophomore Diamondbacks first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt. Although the excitement hasn’t truly begun yet, I could already imagine all the preview magazines hyping him as a sleeper, pushing him up draft boards. He is currently being drafted 137th overall on Mock Draft Central and 11th among first basemen.

Previous projection articles:
Dustin Ackley
Asdrubal Cabrera

At-Bats: 525. Although Goldschmidt is the expected full-time starter at first, the Diamondbacks signed Lyle Overbay as insurance. That scares me just enough to not project a more typical at-bat total for an everyday position player. He is also slated to hit in the bottom half of the order, which will limit his plate appearances. Last, he completely skipped Triple-A, so there remains a reasonable chance that he is simply not ready to succeed over a full season and gets demoted at some point. On the positive side, he bats right-handed, so we don’t have to worry about facing left-handers if he hit from that side.

Contact Rate: 70%. Over his four professional stops, beginning with the Rookie League in 2009, his contact rates were 74%, 69%, 75% and 66%. The 66% came during his short stint with the big league club last year. I would imagine he improves his contact this season, but having skipped Triple-A, it is difficult to project anything higher and closer to his Double-A mark of 75%. This shouldn’t have too much of an effect on his power, as even upping his rate to 75% only yields an additional two home runs.

GB%/LD%/FB%: 42%/19%/39%. Last year, he hit a couple more line drives at the expense of fly balls, but given his minor league track record of fewer liners and the power of regression, I am betting on this distribution. This is good for his home run total, but might hurt his batting average a smidge.

BABIP: .325. The two expected BABIP formulas spit out .339 and .325. He posted a .323 with the D-Backs last season and strong marks at his three minor league stops. With elite power skills, some surprising speed and a ball park that has inflated right-handed batting average by 6% over the past three years, he is a good bet to post an above league average mark.

HR/FB Ratio: 18%. Finally, what you’ve all been waiting for! Last season with the D-Backs, he posted a 21.1% mark and ESPN Home Run Tracker tells us that he demolished the ball when it went over the fence. Using StatCorner.com’s minor league HR/BIA stat, I tried scaling that number to an equivalent HR/FB ratio in MLB and came up with 23.6% at High-A and 24.3% at Double-A. Of course, his High-A home park has a right-handed home run park factor of 130, while his Double-A park was at 125. Chase Field does increase right-handed homers itself though, so his power shouldn’t experience such a dramatic crash.

RBI and Runs: 85 and 80. He finished last season hitting 5th, sandwiched between Miguel Montero and Chris Young. Currently, MLB Depth Charts projects him 7th, behind Young and newly signed Jason Kubel. Montero isn’t your prototypical cleanup hitter, so I think after Upton in the three hole, the order is going to be rather fluid. If Goldschmidt hits to his apparent potential, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him eventually at clean up. To open the season though, 6th or 7th is more likely.

SBs: 8. As alluded to earlier, he has surprising speed for a big man (and when I say big, damn, FanGraphs lists him at 6’3, 245). He stole 4 bases in 4 attempts in just 177 plate appearances with the D-Backs and stole 9 in 12 attempts at Double-A. He also hit a combined 4 triples throughout 2011. These numbers would prorate to a projection higher than 8, but I just cannot get myself to predict double digits for a man of his size.

That sums up all the numbers I manually project myself. They then get thrown into various formulas and spit out batting average and home runs. Overall, I still do worry about his complete lack of Triple-A experience. I could envision a scenario where his strikeouts pile up early on, which causes him to press and hampers his power, and then gets him sent to Triple-A in May. Or, he goes 35-10, while batting .270 and earning nice profits for all his owners.

Here is my final projected batting line, along with Bill James, RotoChamp and Fans projections for comparison.

Pod 525 0.261 26 85 80 8 70% 0.325 18% 42%/19%/39%
Bill James 545 0.266 32 99 93 9 70% 0.322 ?? ??
RotoChamp 505 0.251 29 78 74 14 69% 0.308 ?? ??
Fans 527 0.256 26 83 82 7 69% 0.316 ?? ??

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Mike Podhorzer produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. He also sells beautiful photos through his online gallery, Pod's Pics. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

20 Responses to “2012 Pod Projections: Paul Goldschmidt”

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  1. dudley says:

    hmmm, am i going to regret trading goldschmidt for betancourt in my 5×5 ottoneu league? starting to look like it.

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  2. Jaw says:

    I am in a NL only auction 5×5 league. What would be a market price for Goldschmidt?

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  3. Steve says:

    I am in a 12 team standard roto keeper league. Goldschmidt or Trout for my 8th and final keeper? (I put more value on this year than future returns). Goldy would be a CI, Trout a 3rd OF (5 OF slots).

    I followed Goldschmidt all of last year and snagged him in a bunch of leagues before he came up. Similarly I’ve been on Trout since he was drafted, and took him in my keeper draft last year. Love both guys. Is the potential of Trout to good to pass on even if he gets only 300 ab’s this year?

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    • For this year only, def Goldschmidt as he has a much clearer path to playing time. Trout will likely open the season in the minors. Maybe trade him to a team playing for the future? His trade value has to be pretty high.

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  4. kid says:

    The contact rate is really the only thing that could be an issue. He doesn’t have much to spare.

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  5. Buck Turgidson says:

    Could you please include ob% in these projections? Some of us have moved onto more elaborate scoring systems beyond 5×5

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    • Sorry Buck, I don’t project OBP and unless I join a fantasy league that counts it or my projections are published somewhere that requires this type of projection, I don’t plan to project it. I develop these projections for my own personal use, and although I understand everyone cares most about the final numbers, I am writing these articles more so to share the methodology and thinking behind coming up with each individual projected metric.

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  6. Russ says:

    Goldschmidt or Trumbo???

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    • Mark Trumbo says:

      Go with Paul Goldschmidt. Clearer path at the moment & probably a potentially better all around offensive player considering his plate disicipline & younger age.

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  7. david says:

    last keeper on a 16 team dynasty league where you keep 12:
    who do i keep?
    my other already kept players are:
    and 5 pitchers

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  8. James says:

    Who would you keep, Freeman or Goldschmidt?

    What if you can own Freeman for the next 2 years and Goldschmidt for the next 4 years. Who would you want?

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