Extra Bases: Paul Goldschmidt’s Teammates Cheer His M.V.P. Campaign

Goldschmidt, a first baseman, has made five All-Star teams in a row, and in those five seasons (through the middle of last week) he leads the N.L. in total bases, runs and runs scored, and he trails only Votto in on-base plus slugging percentage. This year’s O.P.S., 1.010, will be a career high if it holds up. Goldschmidt, who has won two Gold Gloves, is also playing stellar defense, and he has 17 stolen bases to go with his .314 batting average, 30 homers and 101 runs batted in.

It is the kind of season that was typical of Jeff Bagwell, the former Astros first baseman who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last month — and it is no coincidence, since Goldschmidt grew up near Houston during Bagwell’s prime. According to Baseball Reference, Bagwell is the player most similar to Goldschmidt through age 28, Goldschmidt’s age for most of last season.

Bagwell won the M.V.P. Award in 1994, when Goldschmidt, who is from The Woodlands, Tex., turned 7. Goldschmidt’s father, David, held up Bagwell and Craig Biggio as baseball role models.

“I remember him telling me about Bagwell being a great base runner,” Goldschmidt said. “As a little kid, you don’t really…

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