Cockcroft: NL Rookie Report

Originally Published: March 2, 2005
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN Games Fantasy Edge
Fantasy owners are always excited by the new year's crop of rookies, though they're annually the most unpredictable commodities in the game. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at 25 rookies you need to know this spring. All projections for the following players are for 2005 only.

Garrett Atkins, 3B, Colorado: The favorite to start at the hot corner for the Rockies, Atkins led all of minor-league baseball with a .366 batting average last year, bringing his career minor-league mark to .317. But Atkins has a major weakness: His glove; he has committed 66 errors since moving to third base in 2002. Atkins is more of a line-drive type than a power source, but his skills should transform well to Coors. He could easily hit up to .290 with 70 RBI, but don't expect more than 15 homers.

Clint Barmes, SS, Colorado: The other Rockie rookie infielder, Barmes isn't quite as developed a hitter as Atkins, though he's coming off a .328-16-51-20-104 career year with Triple-A Colorado Springs. He makes consistent contact and should see plenty of playing time as the Rockies' leadoff hitter, though you should expect some slumps as he adjusts, especially away from Coors Field. Expect .275-15-50-12 totals.