There’s something very tempting to anoint Paul Goldschmidt the new King of the National League.
After all, here’s Goldschmidt, the new poster child for innocence and humility, and one who would look at this crown with disdain. Always polite and never, ever rude and condescending, Goldschmidt likes to credit teammates for accomplishment.
Forget that he delivered a National League-best three walk-off home runs but credits players ahead of him in the line-up for getting on base.
Mentioned a potential MVP in the National League, Goldschmidt already took that initial leap to fame this week and claimed some impressive hardware.
First, he was named receiptant of the Hank Aaron Award and that followed with Award Number Two, a Gold Glove.
The Hank Aaron Award goes to the top offensive performer in each league. Complementing Goldschmidt’s National League honor, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers took the American League prize, his second straight Aaron award.
“Just a very big honor to be mentioned with Hank Aaron,” Goldschmidt said in video supplied by the Diamondbacks. “I’d like to thank the Diamondbacks and I learned so much from my teammates. Again, it’s an honor to be mentioned with some of the great players in the game of baseball.”
Then, more accolades.
Along with teammate Gerardo Parra, each captured a Gold Glove for their efforts in 2013.
For Goldschmidt, this is his first Gold Glove and the numbers are impressive.
As the fourth Diamondback in franchise history to earn a Gold Glove, Goldschmidt led the National League first basemen in total chances, in putouts and his fielding percentage of .997 was second best. Here, he trailed only the Rockies’ Todd Helton (.998).
Parra earned his second Gold Glove and became the first outfielder to win the award for two positions. Rawlings, who sponsors the award, awards the trophy to rightfielders, centerfielders and leftfielders as opposed to outfielders in general. Parra took the award for his play in right field.
For his part, Parra topped National League outfielders with 17 assists and that also set a franchise record.
“It’s a great reward for Paul Goldschmidt and Gerardo Parra,” said manager Kirk Gibson in a statement released by the D-backs. “They both work very hard and they’ve come a long way. That was one of their goals to be able to do that and it’s good to see that they are honored with Gold Glove Awards.”
Left-handed pitcher Patrick Corbin was a candidate for a Gold Glove but the National League pitcher's award went to the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright.
If Goldschmidt and Parra took season awards, Diamondbacks’ prospects right-handed relievers Matt Stites and Jake Barrett took current season honors.
Pitching for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, each was named the East team for the league’s All-Star game this Saturday at Surprise Stadium (5:10 p.m.).
Stites, who came over from the Padres in the Ian Kennedy deal, has appeared in six games for Salt River, sports an 0-1 mark, 6.75 ERA and earned one save.
Barrett, who is from Mesa and pitched for Arizona State University, has made five appearances for the Rafters, has a 0-1 record, 1.80 ERA and two saves.