Three months ago, Baltimore starter Jeremy Guthrie wasn't anywhere near the top 300 fantasy players taken in mock drafts across this fantasy-obsessed land of ours. Now he's my first-half fantasy rookie of the year.
Guthrie is 6-foot-1, 200-pounds of walking, talking proof that fantasy baseball is a maddening -- and wonderful -- pursuit. He posted a 6.98 ERA in nine games with Cleveland last year, earning him his release through waivers this winter despite the fact that he was the 22nd overall pick in the 2002 draft. Heck, if Anna Benson's hubby doesn't rip his rotator cuff and Jaret Wright's shoulder doesn't get sore in April, Guthrie might be laboring away in obscurity down in Norfolk as we speak. As it is, he's 4-2 with a 2.63 ERA, a 0.89 WHIP, 69 strikeouts and only 15 walks in 96 big league innings. With any kind of professional bullpen behind him, he'd be knocking on seven or eight victories, and remember, this is coming from a guy pitching in the AL East.
Who are the other rookies who've shaken up the fantasy world, either unexpectedly or predictably? Without further ado, here's my fantasy rookie all-star team, with some position-by-position notes both about who's been best so far in '07, and who might contribute most for the rest of the season. All statistics are through Sunday's games.