Paul Goldschmidt is more than just a power hitter, despite what his 6-foot-3, 245-pound frame (complete with tree-trunk-size guns) might suggest. The first baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks, a National League starter at his position in this year's All-Star Game, hits for average and is a crack defensive player. But power is a major part of his game: He led the league last season in runs batted in and was third when he suffered a season-ending injury in early August. Before getting injured, he was among the top 10 NL leaders in home runs (19) batting average (.300), and on-base-plus-slugging percentage, or OPS (.936). And there's more to his offensive game than his bat: He's quick enough to have stolen 18 bases in his first full season in the majors, 15 in his second, and nine at the time of his injury this year.
He's the all-around spectacular athlete in cleats and a cap, diving and leaping for catches in the field; he won a Gold Glove award in 2013 for his spectacular defense. Arizona was a dismal team this season, but Goldschmidt stood out, as he has since his rookie season in 2011. When the trade deadline came in late July, Goldschmidt was the only Diamondback who was sacrosanct. It's an understatement to say that he and injured pitcher Patrick Corbin are the franchise. Following in the footsteps of the greats who came before him, such as Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, and Stan Musial, Goldschmidt is a sports hero to the bone. And like at least two of them, he's humble to a fault, embarrassed to answer questions about his greatness.