2021 Cardinal Projections: Paul Goldschmidt

Like I’ve done for the last few years, I’m working through my Cardinals projections for the upcoming season. The process this year is trickier; normally I take a 3 year average of the players stats for a portion of the projections, but this past season saw the 60 game season, so there was a little extra math.

My projections take into account the already mentioned 3 year average and similar players. On Baseball Reference, they list comparable players by career and by age; I factor in what those players did at the same age as the player I’m projecting. Again, if the comp was from 2020, I had to do a little math to equal it out to a 162 game season.

Next up is Paul Goldschmidt.

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Comps: Derrek Lee, Jason Giambi, Joey Votto, Ted Kluszewski, Tim Salmon, Ryan Klesko, Fred McGriff, Mo Vaughn*, Hal Trosky, Carlos Gonzalez, Freddie Freeman**, Danny Tartabull, Anthony Rizzo**, Wally Berger, Dolph Camilli, Justin Morneau, Cliff Floyd

* Injured in age 33 season
** Has not played age 33 season

Goldschmidt’s comps are a little all over the place. Freeman and Rizzo would be nice comps if they were as old as Goldschmidt is. 5 of the players didn’t log 100 games; 4 of those were to injury. The good news is Votto’s age 33 season (2017) was his runner up MVP year. The bad news is Gonzalez’s age 33 season (2019) was abysmal and his final year in the Majors. I’m expecting Goldschmidt to be right in the middle of the 2; more like Morneau’s 2014 with more power and a lower average.

Last year saw a power decline (his 6 homers translated to 16 for the season), but I’m expecting that to bounce back since Nolan Arenado should be hitting behind him (ideally, they’d be 3-4). I think he’ll also hit closer to .300 and have a WAR over 4.0; my projections have typically been on the low side of WAR. My system also has lower playing time since the comps saw some injuries.

These projections also don’t account for defense, but the Goldschmidt/Arenado tandem will be worth a couple of wins in the field as well; this might be the best corner combo in the game.

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Outside of games and plate appearances, I’m higher on Goldschmidt then the other projections; while HR, R, RBIs are all higher for them, I show Goldschmidt getting them at a higher rate due to the decreased playing time.

These projections are all at the low end of what Goldschmidt can do, and I’m expecting a big season out of the slugger.

Other projections:
Nolan Arenado
Yadier Molina

Don’t forget to check the Cardinal Salary Matrix and the Cardinal Prospect Tracker for updates.

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