Paul Goldschmidt in a game against the Houston Astros.

What Paul Goldschmidt means for the NL Central

January 16, 2019

On Dec. 6, 2018 the Arizona Diamondbacks shipped Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for three of their top prospects and a pick in the upcoming 2019 amateur draft. Both sides should be pleased with their haul after this trade. The Diamondbacks received several top prospects that are under team control for quite a few years to come. While the Cardinals continued their ‘win now’ mindset with the addition of a possible MVP candidate to cause chaos in the middle of their lineup.

Living in Chicago, this transaction will affect baseball on the North Side quite a bit. The 88 win Cardinals from the National League Central finished in 3rd in the division and just 2.5 games out of the Wild Card. They are now looking to push themselves over the edge to truly become the best in the NL Central. The already top tier teams in the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs will face a stronger opponent when they suit up against the Cardinals.

Goldschmidt first introduced as a Cardinal on December 7, 2018.

Last season alone Goldschmidt hit .300 against the Cubs, .409 against the Reds, .280 against the Pirates, and just .200 against the reigning division champs Brewers. His full season .290 batting average will no doubt be a challenge to NL Central pitching. For the Cardinals his NL Central success hopefully continues, where, as for the rest of the division, they hope struggles are on the horizon.

Goldschmidt is going to replace José Martinez at first base. Martinez had a sneaky really good year batting .305 with 83 RBIs while playing 152 games for the Cardinals last year. Although the batting average is higher, Goldschmidt is looking to bounce back to his older ways to 2015 when he hit .321 with 110 RBIs in 159 games. Regardless if he is able to get back to MVP form Goldschmidt will give the NL Central a lot to handle in the 2019 season.

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