Phillies Opposition Roadblock: Arizona Diamondbacks

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Jun 15, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp (34) scores a run against the Boston Red Sox during the eighth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp (34) scores a run against the Boston Red Sox during the eighth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 9, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (44) bats against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 9, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (44) bats against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The Position Player: Paul Goldschmidt

While they have six players with OPS numbers we could only dream of our guys having, there is only one to focus on this weekend. I made this same choice last year in one of the two series in which they met, but it is not an outside the box choice.

Paul Goldschmidt is a certified star. He is a four-time All-Star, twice a Gold Glove Award winner, and has won a pair of Silver Slugger Awards. He is also a guy with a career batting average over .300 and an OBP above .400 over his six seasons. And this year, he is on his way to another incredibly stable output.

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Goldschmidt’s .323/.448/.596 is destroying his career numbers in those areas. Yes, you all read that correctly. The last two numbers make for a 1.044 OPS through 67 games. While he is second on the team in homers and RBI numbers, his 15 bombs and 53 RBI are second to Jake Lamb, but not by much.

What always amazes me is when I look at what Goldschmidt can do on the bases. At 6’3” and 225 pounds, the Texas native has stolen 112 bases in 138 attempts. He is not just a threat in the middle of the order, but one on the basepaths as well.

He is a combined 3-8 against Aaron Nola and Jerad Eickhoff, which make two of the three pitchers he will face this weekend. He is yet to have an at-bat against Sunday’s starter, Ben Lively.

At Citizen’s Bank Park, he has slashed .273/.367/.621 in 18 games. He has blasted six home runs and knocked in 15 runs in those matchups. He has no other homers against the Phils, so they have all come in Philadelphia.

How do they get him out then?

There really is no solution. The guy hits, everything and everywhere. It may benefit to challenge him inside with fastballs where he sees his lowest production output, but miss just an inch and it is likely going to end up by “Harry the K’s” in left field. And as a result of his size and stance, his plate coverage is incredibly strong. He is able to get to pitches outside of the zone with ease and amazing (almost unbelievable) success.

Good luck to the three right-handers the Phillies trot out there this week. It won’t be easy at all.

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