Don't worry, I have Goldschmidt
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The other day, I received a pretty alarming text message from one of my friends.

These were the first four words of it: "I'm trading Prince Fielder."

Noooooooooooo!

How could he do this? I hadn't felt this betrayed since the eighth season of Entourage.

I swear, I was this close to un-friending him on Facebook.

He must have known I was about to scream at him because this is what his next text message said: "Don't worry ... I have Paul Goldschmidt."

Then a strange calm fell over me. Suddenly, the sacrilegious act of trading Fielder didn't seem quite so heinous.

So, long story short, I didn't call the cops on him.

Don't worry ... I have Goldschmidt. What a powerful sentence.

Why didn't Mitt Romney use that as his campaign slogan? It's beautiful.

You're telling me you wouldn't buy that shirt if you saw it on the shelf at Urban Outfitters?

Guess who else is buying into the Goldschmidt craze? The all-knowing, all- powerful Matthew Berry.

The Talented Mr. Roto recently said he'd take Goldschmidt over Albert Pujols and that the choice wasn't even that hard for him.

And why not? The Diamondbacks first baseman is hitting .323 with 12 HR and 36 RBI this season.

In my eight-team league, Goldschmidt (which is an impossible last name to spell, by the way) was taken with the eighth pick of the tenth round (No. 78 overall). Seven first baseman were drafted ahead of him including Fielder at No. 10.

Oops.

Check out where Goldschmidt ranks among MLB first baseman in the following categories.

AVG: 3rd (.323)

HR: 2nd (12)

RBI: 4th (36)

OBP: 3rd (.408)

SLUG: 2nd (.611)

OPS: 3rd (1.019)

WAR: 1st (2.8)

Goldschmidt is on pace to finish the year with 42 HR and 127 RBI. Somebody hand this man a Triple Crown. And no, I don't mean a Budweiser.

Plus, he can actually run a little bit. He swiped 18 bases a year ago and he already has four steals in 2013. That's more than Fielder has in the last four seasons.

Last year Goldschmidt was pretty good (.286, 20 HR, 82 RBI). But now he's video game cover good.

The key to Goldschmidt's stellar season has been his improved approach against righthanders. Last season, Goldschmidt had a pitiful .257 average in 342 encounters with righties. In 2013, he's hitting .333 against them with 7 HR and 26 RBI.

Timing is everything in fantasy and boy did I learn that the hard way with Goldschmidt. After Goldschmidt got off to a slow start last April, I didn't feel like waiting around so I let him go. All he did the rest of the way was hit .298 for somebody else with 19 HR and 74 runs driven in.

It's no coincidence that the Diamondbacks are in first place. Goldschmidt's 2.8 wins above replacement are the second most in MLB. His teammate Gerardo Parra leads the majors in that category with a WAR of 2.9.

Parra might have the edge in WAR but he's still way behind Goldschmidt in ESPN.com's fantasy rankings. In fact, Milwaukee's Jean Segura and reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera are the only players ranked higher than Goldschmidt at the moment.

Did I mention he's only 25? If you're in a dynasty league, it looks like you won't have to worry about first base for the next five years.

Welcome to the Paul Goldschmidt bandwagon, everybody. You're welcome to join. I think we have a few seats left near the back.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Jesse Pantuosco at jpantuosco@sportsnetwork.com.