St. Louis Cardinals: Just how many homers could Goldschmidt hit?
By Matt Graves
St. Louis Cardinals’ first baseman Paul Goldschmidt got started with a bang by hitting 3 homers in one night. Where could his total end up at?
We all knew that Paul Goldschmidt would put up good numbers with the St. Louis Cardinals. We all knew he would hit his fair share of home runs. We just didn’t know when the first was going to come. We also never knew that his first homer would be so closely followed by two more.
If you live under a rock, Paul Goldschmidt put on a Friday night laser show in Milwaukee on a night where he put up three homers and four total hits. His first hit on the Cardinals was a homer. Great to see.
The question then is how many homers Goldschmidt will finish with after a three-homer chunk to start the year. This exercise of projecting out his totals is not something that really matters at the end of the day, but for me is a little bit of a guilty pleasure. Injury, slumps, and many other things could derail Goldschmidt putting up huge numbers but let’s attempt to see what he could hit if he keeps a normal pace.
Looking at projections from before the season, these publications had Goldy hitting the following:
Birds on the Black: 32
Redbird Rants: 33
I wouldn’t disagree much with any of these and it seems the general consensus is that he is going to hit just under 30 homers.
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For his career, other than a couple of seasons in 2014 and 2016 where he hit just 19 and 24 homers, Goldschmidt has continuously hit above 30 homers in his career. Especially now at this point, I would be surprised if he hits less than 30 barring injury.
To project the rest of the way, we are gonna look at Goldschmidt’s homer rate the last three years. From 2016-2018, he hit a homer every 29.4,18.5, and 20.9 at bats. The lower this number is the better and remember 2016 was a low output year for homers. Over his career, Goldy has hit a homer every 22.5 at-bats. All the projections listed above no doubt have Paul Goldschmidt’s homer rate getting worse as he enters his age 31 season.
For his career, Goldschmidt has never had a season where he started regularly and had less than 475 at-bats. As a guy with almost zero injury history, it is not unreasonable to expect him to put up 675 at-bats. Taking an estimate of a homer every 22 at-bats, let’s do some math.
675 total at bats subtracted by the 14 he has already taken leaves us with 661 AB’s left. Now divide 661 by 22 and add three, you are left with 33 homers. That output would be just a few above what most of the projections say but is still three shy of his career-high 36 that he put up in his age 25 season.
I think a projection of 33 homers for Goldschmidt for the year is right where we would all want him as fans. The great thing is that he is likely going to pair that homer output with great peripheral numbers and that is the star that we have manning first base.
Was this exercise a little trivial? Probably. Was it informative on what Goldschmidt’s homer number could be at the end of the year? Hopefully. At the end of the day, Goldy’s three homer night got him started in a great way and was great to see from our first baseman.