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Goldschmidt Tries to Explain Why He Mashes in Every NL Central Ballpark

"I try not to live too much in the past or look too far in the future. I'm just trying to stay in the present."

January 24, 2019 - 2:28 pm

If you took even Paul Goldschmidt's worst career offensive numbers when playing at a National League Central ballpark, he still would have been the best hitter on the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018. It's something Goldschmidt himself can't explain, but he's not going to question it.

You've heard about it since the moment the Cardinals acquired the perennial MVP first baseman in December – Goldy crushes in the NL Central.

So our Chris Hrabe asked him during Winter Warm-Up last weekend, what he likes about hitting in these ballparks?

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"Yeah, they're fine. I guess if you have success you'll like hitting anywhere," Goldschmidt says. "I don't really have any place that I'm like, 'Oh man, I hate that.' Or, 'I really like that.' I try not to live too much in the past or look too far in the future. I'm just trying to stay in the present.

"Just because you've had past success or failures, doesn't mean it's going to continue."

Goldschmidt's career numbers:.297 BA, .398 OBP, .532 SLG and .930 OPS. At Busch Stadium, his average goes up to .302 and his OBP is .402. Then at Miller Park in Milwaukee, he's a .420 hitter who reaches base in exactly half of his at bats, slugs .807 and has a monster OPS of 1.307. Cubs fans won't like this, but he also hits like a first-ballot Hall of Famer in Chicago at Wrigley Field, with a .337 average and 1.011 OPS. 

In fact, his worst NL Central ballpark is PNC Park in Pittsburgh. But his .286 batting average was better than everyone on the 2018 Cardinals except Jose Martinez (.305). Goldy's OPS of .846 would also have been second-best on last year's team, behind only Matt Carpenter (.897).

One thing Goldschmidt was able to answer, is the tougher the competition the better in his eyes. And the NL Central has plenty to offer.

"This might be the best division in baseball," Goldschmidt says. "You look at how it went down to the wire last year and Pittsburgh was getting better, they were in it the whole year and they made moves at the trade deadline and Cincinnati got off to a rough start, but then they werew great the rest of the year and they've been adding this offseason. Then the Cubs and Brewers and the Cardinals, it's going to be really tough. 

"It's going to be really tough. It'll be fun, it'll be a great challenge, but that's what you want. If you want to win, you want to beat be the best teams."