As part of C70's roundtable series for the Cards Conclave blog, I asked the group where Paul Goldschmidt will rank on the all-time Cardinals home run list now that he will be in town for the foreseeable future. For context, and courtesy of Baseball Reference, here is the current Cardinals career home run leaderboard, 1-20:
If you want to do the math in your head as you read along, remember Goldschmidt is signed to be a Cardinal through at least the 2024 season, so six full seasons. Without further ado...
Alex Crisafulli (@alexcards79): Good morning fellow Cardinals fans and friends. I have attached a list from Baseball Reference with the top-20 franchise leaders in home runs. Now that Paul Goldschmidt has agreed to be with the club for the foreseeable future, where do you think he is on this, if on the list at all, upon when his playing time with the club comes to a close? Feel free show your math or just your answer.
I'm going bold - because why not, we're a few days away from Opening Day, and I feel like being as optimistic as is reasonably possible - and say that he just edges out Sunny Jim for eighth place. Dare to dream, I say.
Daniel Shoptaw (@C70 - Cards Conclave): Taking into consideration the new ballpark, the aging curve, the chance of injury, interleague opponents for the next five years, Jeff Albert, and the possibility of the DH coming to the NL, I scientifically* come up with 163 home runs over the six years Paul Goldschmidt is under contract for the Cardinals. That would slot him in tenth currently, though Carpenter probably winds up further up on this list.
*By scientifically, I mean I threw some numbers together that looked good and added them up.
Rusty Groppel (@hes_verygood - Redbird Daily): Given health, the 8th or 9th spot seems about right. His career average for healthy years (145+ games) is 30.3. His 162-game average is 31. If you dock him a couple because he’s out of the desert he is around 27-29 per year. That’s 162-174. I like the idea of maintaining that 30+ HR average and pushing right up to Bottomley.
I really would like to see at least 191 because that gets him to a nice even 400 in his career. That would probably require an extra year, or two, extension down the road when he can DH (ugh). If the DH is in fact in the NL by 2035, then that extension seems possible and he may be challenging Mac and Ray Ray before it’s said and done. But that’s me getting ahead of myself.
Mark Tomasik (@retrosimba - Retro Simba): If Paul Goldschmidt averages 25 home runs per year over 5 years, that would be pretty good and would place him nicely above George Hendrick (122) for 19th on the Cardinals’ all-time list at 125. Whether Goldschmidt plays for the Cardinals beyond 5 years - he’ll turn 37 after his contract expires - will depend on whether he’s still producing 25 or so homers a season.
StlCardsCards (@stlcardscards): I think he will hit a home run for every million dollars he is paid (wow this game is pricey), so I see him getting in the 145-150 range. If this starts looking accurate, I’d urge the Cardinals to up his salary so he hits more.
His final place is up for debate. Matt Carpenter could block him out with a good year this year, and if his option is picked up could absolutely clinch it next year. Of couse by this time I fully expect Gorman to be in the 225-250 range. I’m speaking conservatively since he hasn’t made the majors yet, and is sure to be intentionally walked several times an inning.
Finally let’s not forget that we can expect Yadi to hit 10-15 bombs each of the next 6 years and beyond, and will probably get a bump when Fangraphs discovers in a few years that he’s missing about 40 from his total, though we may not be able to count those for decades to come as Keith Law is bound to sue any adjustment that might make him look any more stubborn on the greatest catcher of our time. The litigation might keep the courts busy for years, especially if he’s allowed to filibuster and rant from the stand.
I’m sorry, what were we talking about?
Josh Gilliam (Pitchers Hit Eighth): Gonna cheat and give Goldy an even 200 just because he will end his career much like Yadi - year to year with the Cards as long as he wants to lace 'em up.
Thanks to all the participants. If you have your own thoughts on the matter, please feel free to let them be known in the comments below. And don't forget to marvel at Mark McGwire's place on the above list, which he accomplished in fewer than 2,300 plate appearances with the Cardinals. Time to drag out the ole statue.