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Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
- DOB: September 10, 1987
- 2014 Salary: $1.1 million
- 2014 Performance: 109 Games / .300 BA / 19 HR / 69 RBI / .938 OPS / 158 OPS+
- 2014 Value: 4.5 bWAR, 4.4 fWAR
Paul Goldschmidt entered the season having finished behind Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutcheon for the 2013 NL MVP. As chance would have it, these two would be the central figures in what became a bunch of ugliness between the two franchises when Paul Goldschmidt's season when he entered the game on August 1st as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning. Goldschmidt was hit in the hand by the Pirates' Ernesto Frieri, breaking the sluggers hand, leading to Randall Delgado responding in kind by plunking Andrew McCutheon the next night.
Before the injury, Goldschmidt's 2014 over 2013 pace for home runs and walks was down from his 2013 campaign and his defense did not measure up quite as well by the metrics. Given the poor performance of the Diamondbacks as a team, this is not entirely surprising as there were far fewer occasions for team's to worry about pitching Goldschmidt carefully. Despite this, Paul Goldschmidt became the first Diamondback to go to the All-Star Game via ballot vote since Luis Gonzales. Short of Buster Posey making a full-time switch to first base, there is little reason to think that Goldshmidt's ballot entry into the game will be a one-and-done affair.
Although his home runs were down in 2014, he still managed to crank out a respectable 19 of them before going to the DL. That total, combined with his batting average and his reputation as a game-changer will likely make Goldschmidt a Silver Slugger finalist for first base, if not the 2014 winner.