Goldschmidt an unlikely stolen-base threat

Goldschmidt an unlikely stolen-base threat

Goldschmidt an unlikely stolen-base threat
PITTSBURGH -- The D-backs' Paul Goldschmidt hitting 16 home runs this season does not qualify as a surprise.

That he leads all National League first baseman in stolen bases with 10 might, unless you're a member of the Arizona coaching staff.

"Goldy is one of those guys who has deceptive speed," said D-backs first-base coach Eric Young, who is primarily responsible for the team's running game. "Goldy is probably one of our better students and has better instincts than a lot of our fast guys. Goldy understands a little bit more of what's going on."

That a lot more than speed goes into stealing bases is probably not talked about enough.

Goldschmidt spends time studying pitcher's moves, learning just how far off the base he can get when taking his lead and also seems to have a good feel for when a pitcher may throw an offspeed pitch. He has been thrown out twice this season, and during his two months in the big leagues last year he was 4-for-4.

Young said that Goldschmidt, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 244 pounds, could steal 25-30 bases a year if he wanted to, but that's not likely to happen given the role he fills as the team's primary cleanup hitter.

"You don't want Goldy to be that speedster, because we need his power," Young said. "This is a guy that bats in the middle of our lineup. You have to be careful with a big guy like that if they're running a lot, because there's the possibility it could take its toll on other aspects of his game, and we don't want that to happen."