Paul Goldschmidt’s power/speed combo sets him apart
David Golebiewski of gammonsdaily.com points out that Paul Goldschmidt is on pace for 40 home runs and 30 stolen bases — a feat that’s been accomplished by only one first baseman in baseball history: Houston’s Jeff Bagwell did it twice during baseball’s bigger-is-better era — going 43/31 in 1997 and 42/30 in 1999.
The stolen bases (15 going into Tuesday’s play) are what makes Goldschmidt unique among power-hitting first baseman.
Joe Carter (32/31 in 1987) is the only other first baseman to join Bagwell in the 30/30 club, and Golebiewski points out that even taking the numbers down to 30/20 yields a select group: Bagwell, Carter, Carl Yastrzemski, Rafael Palmeiro, Derrek Lee and Ryan Klesko.
Besides for Goldschmidt’s obvious exceptionalism, there are a couple things we find interesting about this list:
–Yastrzemski topped 20 steals only once in a 23-year career: 40 homers and 23 steals in 1970, which also happens to the first season he played more games at first base (94) than outfield (69).
–Klesko actually had better wheels than any of us remember. He stole 23 bases for the Padres in both 2000 and 2001. Oddly enough, however, he never managed more than six steals in any other season of his 16-year career.