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SnakePit Round Table: 2016 Arizona Diamondbacks First-base Preview

Likely the most solid, reliable, boringly undiscussable position on the entire diamond. So, let's talk about it!

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Here are the projections for Paul Goldschmidt. Which do you think will be most accurate?
  • Steamer: 652 PA, .290/.401/.531, 932 OPS, 30 HR, 5.4 fWAR
  • ZIPS: 609 PA, .288/.397/.523, .920 OPS, 27 HR, 4.8 zWAR
  • PECOTA: 634 PA, .288/.386/.525, .911 OPS, 29 HR, 5.9 WARP

Piratedan7: None of them

I think Goldy goes 660PA, .308/.545/.608, 987 OPS, 35 HR, A Bazillion WAR

Because this year, I think he outdoes Harper

Makakilo: I like the way piratedan thought outside the box! My projection is based on his three year average, with plate appearances very slightly less than last year. My projection is 680 PA, .308/.411/.554, 964 OPS, 30 HR. Steamer is the closest to my opinion.

freeland1787: The baseline for Goldschmidt is .300/.400/.525, which we might consider to be a down season based on how his last 2000 plate appearances (Since May 2012) have went. Steamer is the closest in terms of OBP and SLG, but I think Goldschmidt hits .306/.405/.557 in 2016 with 35 HR and 115 RBI since teams will be IBBing him less with Peralta establishing himself as one of the game's better left-handed bats.

Xipooo: Steamer is probably the closest, though I expect his BA to be above .300. I'm also expecting around 30-35 HR's.

Steven: Those projections are pretty low considering he's averaging a .968 OPS over the past 3 years. I've learned to never underestimate what Paul can do and have him hitting better than that.

Jim: He's Paul Goldschmidt. Projections are irrelevant. Seriously, has there yet been a projection of Goldie's performance which he has not surpassed? I'm sure there's a ceiling out there for him somewhere. But we've been saying that every season, it seems. I'll stop expecting sheer, undiluted awesomeness from Paul Goldschmidt, when he stops delivering it.

Preston: He has to fall off at some point, right? I do expect his OBP to drop, because I think more teams will pitch to him if Peralta continues to hit well behind him. But he should hover somewhere around .300/.400/.525, even if he doesn't completely go off.

Can Goldschmidt be as insanely good again as he was in 2015?

Piratedan7: Question reversal, explain how he can't be?

Makakilo: Yes. His three year average, which included his injury season, exceeds the projections from Steamer, ZIPS, and Pecota. I feel confident he will exceed projections.

freeland1787: At this point, I've learned that projected Goldschmidt's ceiling is an exercise in futility. He's this generation's Albert Pujols in terms of ability and production. Pujols is a bit better at not striking out.

Xipooo: Yes, and perhaps even better as long as he stays healthy. His work ethic is such that he's constantly looking for ways to get better and knows how to implement the right things to make it happen. He never seems to force things, he just learns from his mistakes and plans to do it better the next time.

Steven: Goldy will hit better than 2015. Mark it down.

Jim: About the only area for real improvement is if, at about this point next year, we're also hearing, "And the 2016 Oscar for Best Actor goes to... Paul Goldschmidt!" And I wouldn't put it past him, if he put his mind to it. But can he be as good? Well, he only hit .243 in August, so that's your leeway, right there.

Preston: Well, he was on a pace to do basically the same thing in 2014 before injury. So yes, he can be. But there's also room for improvement. As Jim notes, his numbers dropped off as the season went along, something which has been a problem for him in the past. If he is changing his swing to not require as labor-intensive an approach (by holding the bat head higher, as at least one picture this spring indicated) perhaps he won't experience what I conjecture is fatigue-induced drop in production, and maintain an OPS of around 1.000 for a full season.

Should the team be looking at a contract extension for Goldy?

Piratedan7: yes... and they should hire his wife and send his kid to school too, or at least set aside DBat dogs revenue for a scholarship fund.

freeland1787: I don't see why not. There's no pressure or incentive to rush to it as the Diamondbacks control Goldschmidt through 2019 at a ridiculously affordable rate. If the Diamondbacks do pursue a contract extension, they could go high bonus, with a lower salary route to artificially inflate the value of the contract while keeping his salary in line with where I'll think he'll produce in 2020 and beyond. Goldschmidt should age well, just needs 10 more seasons like last year and he'll be the 2nd Dback in the HOF.

Xipooo: If they don't make Goldie a life time D-Back, I will be very upset. Something tells me Goldie doesn't really want to go anywhere either.

Steven: The only concern I'd have is giving Goldy a low-ball offer and having him regret starting up the conversation in the first place.

Jim: This was something mentioned at the FanFest, and Derrick Hall said that Goldschmidt simply was not concerned about such things, and just wanted to play. That gives me hope there will be an extension, and I think as long as the team does the right thing by him, he'll do the right thing by the team. I'd love to lock him up for another few seasons, but there's no real hurry. Might be fun to speculate on what that contract could be though!

Preston: Yes. And they should be dreaming about it at night, buying it flowers, and doing everything else you do for the love of your life.

Who will back up Goldschmidt at first?

Piratedan7: Jake Lamb

freeland1787: Either Jake Lamb or Brandon Drury. Drury may wind up winning the 2B position job in camp, but if he doesn't I would like to see the team mold him into a utility IF bat. He has more upside at the plate and is already a better defender than Phil Gosselin. If the team feels that Drury needs to be at just one position, then if he loses 3B or 2B job they should send him to Reno. Ideally Drury becomes a utility IF that can back up 1B, 2B, 3B or starts at one of the positions.

Xipooo: I'm with Piratedan7 on this. I think it's Jake Lamb.

Steven: I could see Yasmany the backup but it's Goldy, he doesn't even need a backup.

Jim: Goldschmidt, wearing Jake Lamb's jersey, with Jake tied up in the locker-room closet. This will not fool Chip Hale, but he will let it slide.

Preston: Yasmany Tomas, if he can hit. Seriously, we need better outfield defense, and if Tomas is cutting it at the plate, having him backup Goldy would be one way to accomplish that. Otherwise, I think we see a combination of Jake Lamb and Chris Herrmann, if Herrmann makes the team.

Which other 1B in the National League are potential threats to depose him as starting there in the All-Star Game?

Piratedan7: I expect Rizzo (because of the impending Cubbageddon), Freeman (because Atlanta has to send someone to the AS game) or Gonzalez (Dodgers, because they're the Dodgers) to all be given a media punchers chance.

Makakilo: I add Joey Votto (Reds) to the list of contenders.

freeland1787: The only person that will keep Paul Goldschmidt out of the lineup is Paul Goldschmidt, whether he's injured or has a bad half with the latter being virtually impossible.

Xipooo: Mark Reynolds. Dude got pops.

Steven: Rizzo or Votto. Maybe Posey if they ever make him a full-time first baseman.

Jim: Hard to see anyone. Rizzo might, perhaps - the Cubs fanbase will be fully engaged to that purpose, I've no doubt. But as the incumbent, you always have strong name recognition. Let's just hope Bryce Harper doesn't move to first-base.

Preston: As above, I think Rizzo has the best chance. But while the Cubs will likely see higher voting turnout, the D-backs should as well. Goldy might hold on to the spot.

Random question. What was the first film you remember seeing at the cinema?

Piratedan7: Mary Poppins - because I'm old....

Makakilo: The Incredible Mr. Limpet. It was an animated story starring Don Knotts. He was a mild-mannered bookkeeper, who was unhappy with everything. When reality became fantasy, and he found his life and was very happy.

freeland1787: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace when I was 5 years old (For anyone asking, I was born August 3, 1993). I've been a die-hard fan since then.

Xipooo: Carebears Movie. Don't judge me.

Steven: I think it was Aladdin but I honestly don't remember.

Jim: I vaguely recall some film about otters - Ring of Bright Water. Though about all I remember in detail was one of them being killed by a pick-ax wielding laborer, and bursting into tears. I've toughened up considerably since! The first film where I have real memories properly was Jaws. The moment where the head popped out of the port-hole remains one of my favorite shocks in cinema to this day.

Preston: I'm not much of a cinema-goer person, and as such I don't really remember which came first. The earliest I can definitely remember was Return of the King, but I probably saw a couple movies before that. I remember going to see The Rescuers (or Rescuers Down Under?) but it being sold out or not showing or something. I'd rather watch baseball. If there's a minor league team in town, it's almost always cheaper, and you don't know what's going to happen 10 minutes in.