From 1985-87, an American League first baseman playing in his age-24 through age-26 seasons produced a slash line of .335/.381/.567/.948 for a 155 OPS+. This first-sacker, who averaged 223 hits, 49 doubles, 34 homers and 131 RBIs per 162 games over this stretch, also saw 11.53 percent of all his plate appearances end in extra-base hits.
Since the start of the 2012 season, Paul Goldschmidt has produced a slash line of .298/.386/.528/.914 for a 148 OPS+ and has averaged 178 hits, 46 doubles, 30 homers and 109 RBIs per 162 games, while seeing 11.03 percent of his plate appearances conclude with an extra-base hit.
Playing in his age-24 through age-26 seasons during this span, the D-backs All-Star has produced quite a body of work, not too far away from the numbers produced by that superstar first baseman of a few decades ago: Don Mattingly.
Extra effort for Goldschmidt
Goldschmidt doubled, tripled, walked and knocked in two runs Thursday in the D-backs' 10-2 win over the Pirates.
He has 46 extra-base hits in 2014, which are tied with Jay Bell in 1999 for the fourth most for a D-backs player in the first half of any season. Goldschmidt now trails leader Luis Gonzalez (2001) by nine.
Goldschmidt's 30 doubles are the second most for an Arizona player by the All-Star break, behind Gonzalez's 32 in 2003. Goldschmidt is the 58th player (and second this season, joining Miguel Cabrera) to have at least 30 doubles by the All-Star break. Craig Biggio owns the most for a National League player, with 38 in 1999.
Over the past three seasons, Goldschmidt owns an extra-base-hit percentage of 11.03. Among all players in history who collected at least 1,500 plate appearances from their age-24 through age-26 seasons (there have been 787 of them), Goldschmidt's extra-base-hit percentage would place him among the top-40, and among the top-12 among first basemen. The other first-sackers at this elite level: Mattingly, Jimmie Foxx, Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira, Lou Gehrig, Frank Thomas, Todd Helton, Joey Votto, Johnny Mize, Hal Trosky and Dave Orr.
Pearce making most of his playing time
Baltimore's Steve Pearce went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and two steals in a 5-2 win over Texas.
Pearce has 24 extra-base hits in 174 plate appearances (he has made 37 starts this season), and is slashing .338/.397/.618/1.014. For all players with between 150 -250 plate appearances (there are 107 of them), Pearce is second in batting (Toronto's Adam Lind leads, with a .341), is fifth in on-base percentage (Lind leads, at .412), is second in slugging (the Reds' Devin Mesoraco leads at .645) and is second in OPS (Mesoraco leads at 1.026).
Pearce is the first Orioles player since Luis Aparicio on April 22, 1965, to put together a game with at least two extra-base hits, two RBIs, and two steals. Before Aparicio, no member of the franchise had done this since Bing Miller on June 29, 1926, in a victory for the St. Louis Browns over the Tigers.
The Orioles collected six doubles with zero round-trippers in their win over the Rangers. Before this game, their most recent victory this year in a homerless effort had come on April 26 in a 3-2 decision over the Royals.
Altuve on historic pace
In the Astros' 5-2 loss to the Angels, Jose Altuve went 3-for-5 with a double. Altuve leads the AL with a .347 average and 37 steals, and he ranks second in the league with 26 doubles.
With 121 hits, 26 doubles, and 37 steals, Altuve is the first player in the All-Star era to reach all these numbers in the first half of a season. There have been three players in the All-Star era to reach the All-Star break with at least 37 stolen bases and a batting average of at least .340: Joe Morgan in 1975 (.345 with 40 steals), Rickey Henderson in '85 (.357 and 41) and Kenny Lofton in '94 (.378 and 45).
Carpenter cuts Giants down to size
Matt Carpenter collected a pair of doubles, drew a walk, scored a run and helped lead the Cardinals to a 7-2 win over the Giants in San Francisco.
In 61 career plate appearances against the Giants, Carpenter owns a 1.240 OPS with a slash of .519/.574/.667. This exceptional line covers play since 2012, and it gives Carpenter the 15th-highest OPS for any player against any opponent since that year (minimum 60 plate appearances).
Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun owns a 1.491 OPS against the Phillies since 2012, for the highest mark. Among the 14 players ahead of Carpenter, Cabrera appears four times, with outstanding OPS marks against the Rays (1.397), Yankees (1.306), Orioles (1.304) and Red Sox (1.287).
Here and there
• Cabrera collected his 31st and 32nd doubles of the season in the Tigers' 8-1 victory over the Rays. Cabrera's 32 two-baggers place him in a tie for the 18th most by any player before the All-Star break, and three behind Magglio Ordonez's 2007 total for the most for any Tigers player. Cabrera's 444 career doubles leave him 11 behind Pujols for the second-most in history for a player through his age-31 season. Ducky Medwick leads the way with 483.
• In the Phillies' 5-4 victory over the Marlins, Ben Revere collected his 24th stolen base of the season. Revere's total ties him with Larry Bowa (1974) and Jimmy Rollins (2008) for the seventh-most steals for a Phillies player before the All-Star break. Juan Samuel had 40 in 1984 for the team mark.
• Masahiro Tanaka allowed four runs in seven innings and improved to 12-3 as the Yankees defeated the Twins, 7-4. Tanaka owns a 2.27 ERA. He is the third first-year pitcher to record at least 12 wins before the All-Star break, joining Boo Ferriss (15-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 1945) and Wayne Simpson (13-1 with a 2.69 ERA in '70).
• Carlos Beltran hit his 367th career home run to break out of a tie with Lance Berkman and take sole possession of fourth place for the most longballs in history for a switch-hitter. In some of the other counting categories among switch-hitters, Beltran's current status is not quite as high, but still lofty. He ranks sixth in total bases, fifth in extra-base hits and seventh in RBIs. Among all switch-hitters with at least 5,000 plate appearances, Beltran's 121 OPS+ stands tied for 14th all-time.
• In the Dodgers' 3-2 win over the Rockies, Zack Greinke picked up his 11th win of the year to tie for the NL lead. The right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) in eight innings, and dropped the ERA for the team's starters to an MLB-best 3.00. The most recent season in which Los Angeles' starting staff took a 3.00 ERA or a lower into the All-Star break was 1991, when the club's starters posted a 2.88 mark in the first half.
• In the Angels' win over the Astros, Mike Trout picked up his 23rd double of the season for his 198th career extra-base hit. Trout is two shy of matching Mickey Mantle's total through the Hall of Famer's age-22 season. When Trout gets there, he and Mantle will be tied for the 11th most in history for any player through his age-22 campaign.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.