FLB: Rookie Starters

Updated: May 25, 2006, 3:04 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN Fantasy Games
Everyone loves a rookie. Maybe it's the appeal of something new, or the intense desire of a fantasy owner wanting to be first to unearth the next Pedro Martinez or Johan Santana. Whatever the reason, rookie chasing is as abundant as ever in most leagues this season.

Take a look at some of the ownership percentages of this year's rookie class of pitchers: Justin Verlander is at 100 percent ownership in AL-only leagues, 99.9 percent in mixed formats. Cole Hamels is at 100 (NL), 99.3 (mixed). Casey Janssen is at 96.8 (AL)/14.0 (mixed). John Koronka is at 95.8 (AL)/3.9 (mixed).

While it's certainly fun to own "the next big thing," there's another trait common among rookie pitchers, or young pitchers entirely: Unpredictability. The promise of excellent statistics is what draws us to these kids, but so many seem to cause nothing but heartache. Felix Hernandez's owners can tell you all about that feeling this season. Maybe "King Felix" seemed like the perfect candidate to avoid the mandatory adjustment period young pitchers face, but in reality, all kids take time to get comfortable in the majors.

ALSO SEE