FLB '05: Rookie Outlook

Updated: January 28, 2005, 2:19 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN Games Fantasy Edge
When considering rookies, fantasy owners need to remember that first-year players usually come with the most risk, because they haven't yet been tested at the highest level of competition. While it's exciting to draft a new, unknown player, you're also taking a chance he might not be ready for the majors. So which members of the freshmen class are worth our attention? Listed below are the best fantasy bets among the 2005 rookie class.

Sophomores by name, rookies at heart: The following four players no longer qualify for Rookie of the Year honors, yet most owners will think of them as rookies.

Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota: Yes, he had just 107 at-bats, but sadly, Mauer amassed 47 days on the active roster in 2004, two more than the rookie limit. It's what he did in those 107 at-bats that makes Mauer such a promising youngster; he hit .308 with six homers.