Paul Goldschmidt is the best homegrown talent to ever go through the Diamondbacks system. Goldy was very underrated as a prospect due to his unparalleled work ethic and whatever flaws people saw in his game, he got better at. Goldschmidt has developed into one of the game’s most feared hitters from the right side of the plate. Goldschmidt in five-plus seasons has hit .299/.398/.525 with 198 doubles, 140 HR, 597 RBI, and 99 SB. In his career he’s posted a 145 wRC+ and 29.0 WAR, which is just short of a Hall of Fame rate in my opinion.
The most frequent comparison for Goldy is the recently elected Jeff Bagwell (149 wRC+). Bagwell played over 2100 games in his career, while Goldschmidt has appeared in just under 800. Bagwell has accumulated 35.4 WAR in 846 games through his Age 28 season, which is better than the current pace that Goldschmidt has in 779 games. Bagwell wound up playing through his Age 37 season in 2005, being the Astros regular 1B through 2004. So for Goldschmidt to have a shot at the Hall of Fame, he will have to play for 10 years at an average of 5 WAR. That would put him at 79 WAR in 2279 games (assuming he played 150 games per season).
For 2013-15, Goldschmidt put up wRC+ of 156, 154, and 163. In 2016, his output dropped to 134. In order for Goldschmidt to re-establish a Hall of Fame pace, he needs more seasons closer to 2013-15 than 2016. In order to get a wRC+ of 155, Goldschmidt needs to hit 35 doubles, 30 homers, 110 walks, and bat over .300 in 700 plate appearances. In 2016, Goldschmidt’s hard hit rate dropped 4% and the change went into soft contact. That trend needs to go the other way for Goldschmidt to post elite wRC+ numbers again. In Bagwell’s Age 28-36 seasons, he averaged well over 150 wRC+, most of the damage coming before his Age 33 season. In terms of career numbers, Goldschmidt is going to have to pass 400 HR, 450 doubles, 200 SB, bat near .300 with an OBP over .400, and an OPS better than .900 in order for voters to put him in the Hall of Fame.
Goldschmidt has the same number of All-Star selections already through Age 28 as Bagwell had his entire career, although Bagwell had already won an MVP award in 1994. Goldschmidt has twice finished 2nd in the MVP voting, narrowly losing to McCutchen in 2013 and losing to unanimous MVP Bryce Harper in 2015. Pair that up with 2 Gold Gloves and 2 Silver Sluggers, Goldy has as much hardware as Bagwell already. Goldschmidt has only 3 years of team control left, so I expect him to have around 45 WAR by the time his Dbacks career could be over. Personally, I am up for an extension for Goldschmidt although I’m not sure ownership will open up the pocket books to account for Goldschmidt making $25M a year instead of $10-15M. Hall of Famer or not, I have a feeling no future Diamondback will wear the number 44 when Goldschmidt’s career ends.