Goldschmidt leaving early struggles behind

Goldschmidt leaving early struggles behind

PHOENIX -- At the end of April, D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt's batting average stood at .193. After experiencing success when he was called up in August last season, pitchers were discovering new ways to attack Goldschmidt and finding holes in his bat.

The only choice the 24-year-old had in his first full Major League season was to adjust right back. Now, entering Sunday on a career-best 16-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the National League, Goldschmidt is becoming one of the hardest outs in the D-backs' lineup.

"I was worried about him coming into this year. I thought teams would adjust to him," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He felt the pressure just to come and be successful. He had to battle through and re-find himself. He had to work through a bad streak, and that's good for him."

Since May 28, Goldschmidt is hitting at a .447 clip with five homers and eight RBIs.

"I've felt good the past couple weeks, past month," he said. "You just try to keep that feeling, stay relaxed and get good pitches to hit."

Even when he was struggling, Goldschmidt never lost faith in his game. Gibson said he witnessed his first baseman express frustration frequently but that he was always working to tweak his approach and find a way out of the cold stretch.

"You just stay positive, that happens to everyone throughout the season, probably multiple times," Goldschmidt said. "You swing at the right pitches, but it doesn't work out. The only thing you can do is stay positive and keep going."

Having gone through a period that tested his character, Gibson believes Goldschmidt is a stronger baseball player now experiencing both success and failure.

"He's much calmer at the plate. He's good," Gibson said. "He's stayed to his plan. He never changes. He gets frustrated occasionally, but he's not missing pitches anymore."