Paul Goldschmidt will likely be the only Arizona Diamondbacks player to play on Team USA this year, which could serve both sides well.
Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is among the latest of stars to announce his commitment to play for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
The Diamondbacks have never really been represented at the games. Since its debut in 2006, the D-Backs have only had three players play for Team USA. Pitchers Heath Bell and David Hernandez and infielder Willie Bloomquist are the only Diamondbacks to ever represent Team USA at the WBC.
Not only does manager Jim Leyland and Team USA get a tremendous slugger in Goldschmidt when the games begin in March, they get the face of the Diamondbacks franchise. It’s more than likely that Goldy will be the only Diamondback representing Team USA in the tournament, which benefits the Diamondbacks organization.
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He’ll be able to play with and against the best players in the game, which will serve him well, too. The 29-year old first baseman is very underrated, and the exposure he’ll get in March could shed some light on to what he’s actually able to do.
Since coming into the league in 2011 when he played in 48 games, Goldy has hit more than 19 home runs in five of six seasons. He swatted a career-high 36 in 2013, to go along with another personal best 125 RBI. Despite a slow start to the 2016 season, Goldschmidt still finished with a .297 average, 24 home runs and 95 runs driven in.
He can do some serious damage from the right side of the plate, as he owns a remarkable slash line of .299/.398/.525 over his six-year career. Goldschmidt has seemed to shy away from the big stage in his career thus far. A big reason comes from the fact that the D-Backs haven’t been contenders since his rookie year in 2011. He deserves the attention, but has yet to get it.
As of right now, the only other first baseman Team USA has is Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals. The two would combine for a frightening tandem for opposing pitchers.
Representing the red, white, and blue along with Goldy and Hosmer are stars like Chris Archer, Max Scherzer, Nolan Arenado, Buster Posey, and Andrew McCutchen. The U.S. certainly has a chance to run the table with a star-studded lineup like the one they’re already boasting.
A strong showing in the World Baseball Classic could bump Goldy up to superior status with some of the best players in all of baseball. Which, as all Diamondbacks fans know, would be long overdue.