Fantasy Baseball Prospect: Will Paul Goldschmidt Be '11 Version of Mike Stanton?

Eric StashinSenior Writer IJune 3, 2011

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 01:  Mike Stanton #27 of the Florida Marlins hits a two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on June 1, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Paul Goldschmidt has become a hot name among prospects for fantasy owners, and rightfully so.  The 23-year-old first baseman has torn apart the Southern League over his first 53 games of the season like few players are capable.

It only helps that Diamondbacks first basemen have not been very impressive thus far (stats are through Wednesday):

  • Juan Miranda: .243, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 13 R in 107 AB
  • Xavier Nady: .273, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 12 R in 88 AB

Sure, there’s Brandon Allen sitting at Triple-A (Pacific Coast League) hitting .298 with seven HR and 35 RBI over 191 AB, but he also has struck out 52 times.  It’s also the third consecutive season he’s been at Triple-A, and the strikeouts are not a new phenomenon (95 K in 371 AB in ’10).

You can easily argue for the team to bypass him, instead giving Goldschmidt an opportunity to try and help the major league team.

You also could feasibly compare him to another young slugger who made his major league debut in 2010 (jumping straight from the Southern League as Goldschmidt would be doing) and has since hit 33 HR in his first 525 AB.  I don’t think anyone would question if we dubbed the Marlins young outfielder, Mike Stanton, one of the premier young sluggers in the game, would they?

Now, just look at how his 192-AB stint at Double-A in ’10 compares to Goldschmidt’s first 193 AB (stats are through Wednesday):

Stanton (2010) 192 .312 21 52 42
Goldschmidt (2011) 193 .337 18 52 44

It’s awfully similar, now isn’t it?  While we knew Stanton was going to be a strikeout risk in the major leagues, having whiffed 53 times (27.6 percent strikeout rate), Goldschmidt has struck out just 36 times (18.65 percent strikeout rate).  In fact, he has actually walked more (41 BB) than he has struck out, just giving fantasy owners even more hope.

Granted, Stanton did show a little bit more extra-base potential, with 13 doubles and two triples to go along with the power.  Goldschmidt isn’t far behind, however, with 11 doubles and one triple.  Is there really anything to complain about there?  Goldschimdt would also call a very good hitter’s park home, just adding to the appeal.

You can also argue that Goldschmidt is older, at 23years old (Stanton was just 20).  When you start to point towards things like this, you really are just looking for a reason to be skeptical.  You easily could point out that Stanton had prior experience at Double-A (299 AB in ’09), while Goldschmidt never had prior to ’11.

Is it a lock that he steps into the major leagues and produces immediately?  Of course not.  However, there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful that he can not only excel, but be a viable option in all formats. 

Obviously 1B is one of the deepest positions, reducing his appeal to an extent, but that certainly isn’t a reason to avoid him.  We all could use another source of power, whether we use it at 1B, CI or U, right?

While there isn’t an exact timetable for when he could reach the majors, it certainly would appear he’s close.  If the instant success Stanton had is any indication, Goldschmidt is a player you want to stash immediately.

What are your thoughts?  Is there any chance Goldschmidt could produce to the same level as Stanton?  Is he a player you think is worth stashing?

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