Not only was first baseman Paul Goldschmidt of immense value to the Diamondbacks in the stretch and in the playoffs, but also took a few important accolades.
In addition to named the Minor League Player of the Year in 2011, the 24 year-old earned his second consecutive Arizona organizational Player of the Year honors after doing so in 2010 in his first full season in the Minor Leagues. He joins right-handed pitcher Brad Penny (1997, 1998) as the lone D-backs farmhands to win multiple organizational annual honors.
Goldschmidt hit .306 (112-for-366) with 21 doubles, 3 triples, 30 home runs, 94 RBI and 82 walks in 103 games for Double-A Mobile along with a .435 on-base percentage, .626 slugging percentage and a 1.061 OPS while reaching base via a hit or walk in 94 of 103 games. He was named the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year, joining Justin Upton (2007) as the lone D-backs to earn the honor, and Southern League MVP.
Goldschmidt earned his promotion to the D-backs on August 1 and at the time, led all minor leaguers with 30 home runs and 94 RBI and ranked second with 82 walks. He was named to the regular and post-season Southern League All-Star teams. He played in the XM All-Star Futures Game on July 10 at Chase Field and was the starting first baseman for the U.S. Futures team.
Goldschmidt made his Major League debut as the starting first baseman on Aug. 1 at the San Francisco Giants and started 41 games at first base over the D-backs’ final 54 regular season games.
In 4 games in the National League Division Series against the Milwaukee Brewers, he hit .438 (7-for-16) with 2 home runs, 6 RBI.
Also, left-hander Tyler Skaggs was named the organization’s Pitcher of the Year.
Skaggs, 20, went 9-6 with a 2.96 ERA (52 ER in 158.1 IP) and .218 opponents average with 49 walks and 198 strikeouts in 27 starts between Single-A Advanced Visalia and Double-A Mobile. Among D-backs minor leaguers, he ranked first with 198 strikeouts and second with a 2.96 ERA.
Among all minor leaguers, he ranked fourth with 198 strikeouts. He opened the season with Visalia and in 17 starts, went 5-5 with a 3.22 ERA (36 ER in 100.2 IP) and .219 opponents average with 34 walks and 125 strikeouts.
TATMAN GOES INTERNATIONAL
D-backs third baseman Ryan Roberts joins a group of major league all-stars on a five game exhibition trip to Taiwan in November.
Roberts joins All-Star Home Run Derby winner Robinson Cano of the Yankees and his New York teammate Curtis Granderson (41 home runs, lead majors with 136 runs scored) on the team.
Another major offensive threat who has tentatively agreed to join the team is Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera, this year’s AL batting champion with a .344 average.
The Major League team also includes San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval, a 2011 National League All-Star. Others on the roster, which is not yet complete, are infielders Erick Aybar (Angels), Michael Morse (Nationals), Ryan Roberts (D-backs), Skip Schumaker (Cardinals) and Danny Valencia (Minnesota); outfielders Emilio Bonifacio and Logan Morrison (both Marlins); catchers Drew Butera (Twins) and Jeff Mathis (Angels) and pitchers Bill Bray (Reds), Ross Detwiler (Nationals), Dillon Gee (Mets), Jeremy Guthrie (Orioles), Mark Melancon (Astros) and Jose Veras (Pirates).
San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy, the U.S. skipper for a 2006 All-Star series in Japan, will manage the big league contingent.
The squads are scheduled to play in three different cities — New Taipei City (Xinzhuang Stadium) on Nov. 1, Taichung (Intercontinental Stadium) on Nov. 3-4 and Kaohsiung (Chengcing Lake Stadium) on Nov. 5-6.
The most recent MLB trip to Taiwan was in March 2010, when the Los Angeles Dodgers traveled to the country to play a two-game series against the Chinese Professional Baseball League All-Stars.