Complete 2015 Projections

ESPN's projections are the product of an analysis of a player's past performance, growth or regression potential and expected playing opportunity. While the overall ranking is based in large part on the player's projected performance, it also takes into account risk factors such as age, injury history and past statistical fluidity, the players' ceiling (upside), as well as positional and categorical scarcity.

Position: All | Batters | Pitchers | C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | 2B/SS | 1B/3B | IF | LF | CF | RF | OF | DH | SP | RP
     
PROJECTED 2015 SEASON STATS
1. Hector Rondon, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics64063.1156342912.421.068.95
2015 Projections67073.0216834002.961.188.38
2015 Outlook: Rondon illustrates how hard it is to project the ultimate closer for any ball club without an established ninth-inning man. Once a starting pitching prospect in the Indians' organization, Rondon had to go under the knife and missed the entire 2012 season. The Cubs snagged him in the Rule 5 draft prior to the 2013 season and put him in the bullpen, where his initial season was pretty choppy -- though not surprising, given that Rondon had never pitched in the majors or out of the bullpen -- but Chicago had to keep him on the roster because of his Rule 5 status. But in 2014, when everyone above him fell apart, Rondon was given his chance to close and ran with the job. He struck out more than 24 percent of the hitters he faced while walking just 5.9 percent. Rondon's a ground-ball pitcher too, which allows him to keep the ball in the park, even at the Friendly Confines. For all the improvements the Cubs made, they didn't bring in too much competition for the job -- just Jason Motte, who didn't look like a closer candidate upon his return from injury last year. More save opportunities for the improving Cubs should come in 2015, which makes Rondon a bit of a sleeper.
2. Neil Ramirez, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics50043.2175333171.441.0510.92
2015 Projections50050.0265222224.681.449.36
2015 Outlook: Ramirez saw his first bullpen action as a professional when he broke in with the Cubs in 2014 and took to it quite well, logging a 1.44 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 43 2/3 innings. At one point, he converted three saves before giving way to Hector Rondon as the Cubs' full-time closer. There are a couple of indicators that would suggest that Ramirez won't repeat such gaudy ratios in 2015, however. First, Ramirez walked 9.6 percent of the batters he faced; while that's better than his minor league track record as a starter, it's still not closer-worthy. He also spent time on the DL last season with a triceps injury, and one has to wonder whether he'll hold up as a max-effort pitcher. Nonetheless, Ramirez could develop beyond his rookie-year results in terms of his strikeout and walk rates, which could lead to him remaining in a high-leverage role in the Cubs' bullpen.
3. Pedro Strop, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics65061.0257122212.211.0710.48
2015 Projections74068.0327550193.311.249.93
2015 Outlook: Strop was a sleeper pick in fantasy drafts last year, as many people believed he'd overtake Jose Veras as the Cubs' closer. Sure enough, Veras was supplanted, but the job went to Hector Rondon instead of Strop. That's not to say the 29-year-old wouldn't have succeeded in the ninth inning. In fact, he was phenomenal in a setup role for Chicago, amassing 21 holds with a 2.21 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 71 strikeouts in 61 innings. Strop will likely return to the setup role to open 2015 and be first in line to close games for the Cubs should Rondon falter.
4. Felix Doubront, ChC RP, SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics211479.233514005.541.565.76
2015 Projections50050.020432004.501.447.74
2015 Outlook: Doubront was moved from the Red Sox to the Cubs just prior to the trade deadline in 2014, and benefited greatly from the change of scenery. Prior to the trade, he struggled to the tune of a 6.07 ERA and 1.60 WHIP with 43 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings. In his four starts with the Cubs, however, he managed to post a 3.98 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. With multiple additions to the rotation in the offseason, most notably Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, it's hard to see Doubront pitching in the rotation in 2015. He will likely compete for a long-relief or middle-relief spot out of the bullpen, but there is no guarantee he will hold onto a roster spot out of spring training.
5. Jason Motte, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics29025.09171014.681.526.12
2015 Projections45045.014442254.001.318.80
2015 Outlook: Motte signed with the Cubs in the offseason after struggling through the 2014 season with the Cardinals that included stints on the disabled list because of back and elbow injuries. He finished the campaign with a 4.68 ERA and 1.52 WHIP, his worst marks since 2009. The veteran also saw his strikeout numbers dip below one per inning again, while his strand rate (80.2 percent) was a bit above his previous two seasons in 2011 and 2012. Motte also struggled with walks (3.24 BB/9) and really struggled to keep the ball in the yard (2.52 HR/9). If he is able to right the ship in 2015, Motte could be the fallback option for the Cubs should Hector Rondon fails to produce in the closer role, making him an option in deep leagues.
6. Brian Schlitter, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics61056.1193120124.151.374.95
2015 Projections49055.0193730143.761.366.05
7. Justin Grimm, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics73069.0277050113.781.259.13
2015 Projections70070.0276030124.241.397.71
2015 Outlook: Grimm immediately shifted from starter to reliever when he was picked up by the Cubs from the Rangers in 2013, and the result has been a fairly serviceable reliever. Grimm delivered 69 innings with an average 3.78 ERA, but he had a strong 3.20 FIP backing up his numbers. He could take another step forward in 2015 as a reliever, as he's still only 26 and has encouraging peripherals. The Cubs might also experiment with him as a starter if their rotation depth becomes dire, but that's only an emergency situation. He was also terrible as a starter, never delivering an ERA below 5.00 in his three seasons in that role with the Rangers. Going forward, any value tied to Grimm should be as a reliever and a reliever only.
8. Blake Parker, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics18021.04241015.141.3310.29
2015 Projections34035.015422023.341.3110.80
9. Jacob Turner, ChC RP, SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics2818113.033716016.131.605.65
2015 Projections50050.018332004.681.505.94
10. Francisley Bueno, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics30032.17200054.181.335.57
2015 Projections35035.013242003.601.376.17
11. Phil Coke, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics62058.020415153.881.536.36
2015 Projections59050.019393054.141.567.02
12. Gonzalez Germen, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics25030.114310004.751.459.20
2015 Projections35035.016322024.631.518.23
13. Zac Rosscup, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics18013.112211019.451.9514.18
2015 Projections15015.011191004.201.5311.40
14. Eric Jokisch, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics4114.14100001.881.536.28
2015 Projections20020.07161004.501.407.20
15. Dallas Beeler, ChC RPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9
2014 Statistics2211.0760003.271.554.91
2015 Projections20020.08121004.501.505.40