Complete 2015 Projections

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. Jorge Soler, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics89115206241.292.330.573.903
2015 Projections544702377561292.265.330.476.806
2015 Outlook: After abusing minor league pitching to the tune of a .340/.432/.700 slash line with 15 home runs in 236 plate appearances across three levels, Soler was rewarded with a late-August promotion to the big leagues. The right-handed Cuban slugger continued to impress at the plate after settling into the middle of the Cubs lineup, posting a .281 ISO with a .292 batting average and five home runs in 97 plate appearances. However, Soler is not without flaws. His approach predictably took a step back against major league pitching, as he posted a 6.2 percent walk rate compared to 13.4 and 15.2 percent rates he posted at Double-A and Triple-A, respectively. Soler's muscular, 6-4 frame allows him to destroy inside pitching -- especially up in the zone -- but he's hopeless on stuff over the outer third of the plate. This season will be a year of adjustments for Soler now that the book is out, but he has the raw power and the arm to be the Cubs' starting right fielder for a long time.
2. Arismendy Alcantara, ChC 2B, OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics27831102917938.205.254.367.621
2015 Projections3965011412911315.242.295.404.699
2015 Outlook: Alcantara got ahead of some of his more highly touted prospect mates in the Cubs organization in 2014, getting the call to fill the void first at second base and later in center field. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to carry over his production from the minors in his first exposure to major league pitching. Strikeouts were the big culprit for Alcantara, as he whiffed a whopping 31 percent of the time. The bigger problem is that more help is on the way for the Cubs -- between Albert Almora, Javier Baez and Addison Russell, at least one or two guys are bound to be displaced, and Alcantara is likely to be one of them. Even if the Cubs send down Baez to cut down on his prodigious whiff rate, they still have Tommy La Stella available as a superior OBP option. It's silly to dismiss a player after a 70-game sample, but Alcantara will have to dramatically improve on last season's .205 batting average to reestablish a foothold in the Cubs' lineup.
3. Dexter Fowler, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics434618356610811.276.375.399.774
2015 Projections440649367011914.261.366.382.748
2015 Outlook: Everyone expected a dip in production from Fowler upon his leaving Coors Field, and he delivered. Well, "delivered" feels like the wrong word in a sentence such as that. At any rate, he did backslide without the luxury of playing half his games in the mile-high air, but it wasn't quite to the level most expected. He had a .788 OPS in his six seasons with Colorado, and that number dropped to a still-palatable .774 in his debut with the Astros. The loss of Coors is one thing, but the real issue with Fowler is one that has been present throughout his career: an inability to stay healthy. He has a career high of just 143 games played back in 2012 and has averaged 128 games per season over his career. Fowler has thus far failed to deliver seasons commensurate with his raw talent, but his strong on-base skills figure to put him atop the Cubs' lineup following a January trade, a spot which could prove fruitful for runs and stolen bases.
4. Chris Coghlan, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics3855094139817.283.352.452.804
2015 Projections3624163238749.271.344.403.747
2015 Outlook: Coghlan, the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year, resurfaced with the Cubs last May after struggling as a part-timer with the Marlins the three seasons prior. In 432 plate appearances with Chicago, the 29-year-old outfielder rebounded at the plate, posting a .283/.352/.452 batting line with 42 extra-base hits. He didn't overwhelm fantasy owners by any means, with only nine home runs and seven steals, but he was great as an injury stopgap. Coghlan will likely compete with Chris Denorfia and Junior Lake during spring training for a starting role in left field, but even if he doesn't win the job outright, it's possible he'll be deployed on the favorable side of a platoon.
5. Chris Denorfia, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics3303632125709.230.284.318.602
2015 Projections3023962524588.255.310.377.688
2015 Outlook: Following a stint of more than four years with the Padres, Denorfia was traded to the Mariners last summer to give the team another outfield option against left-handed pitching. Things didn't work out as expected, as his down season in San Diego got even worse with the Mariners. Following four consecutive seasons with an OPS of .718 or better, the 34-year-old Denorfia finished 2014 with an ugly .602 mark. While a lower BABIP certainly contributed, Denorfia also saw his strikeout rate spike to 19.6 percent, up from 16.2 in 2013 and 13.6 in 2012. Given his age, the trend should not be dismissed, and neither should his lack of power, following a three-homer season (.088 ISO) over 358 at-bats. Not that power has ever been his forte, but Denorfia at least managed an ISO over .100 in each of the previous four years. He did finish 2014 with nine stolen bases, which is in line with his career norms. After signing a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Cubs, Denorfia likely will settle into a platoon role, with the vast majority of his playing time coming against left-handed pitching. A far better hitter against southpaws for most of his career, Denorfia oddly fared a bit better against right-handers in 2014.
6. Junior Lake, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics30830925141107.211.246.351.597
2015 Projections118144106354.229.266.381.647
2015 Outlook: On the strength of a 2013 campaign in which he posted a .284/.332/.428 batting line, with six home runs and 16 RBIs in 64 games, Lake claimed a spot in the Cubs' 2014 Opening Day lineup. However, as the first couple months of the season unfolded, it became painfully obvious that Lake simply wasn't long for a regular role. He struck out too much, barely walked and struggled mightily against right-handed pitching (.575 OPS for the season). By midseason, he was relegated to bench duty, and his poor performance even earned him a ticket back to Triple-A for a brief stretch late in the year. Overall, Lake had a .211/.246/.351slash line, with nine home runs and 25 RBIs in 108 games, with a horrendous 33.4 percent strikeout rate and 0.13 BB/K. He will head into spring training without a guaranteed roster spot.
7. Ryan Sweeney, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics2072232015330.251.304.338.642
2015 Projections1331431210230.263.317.398.716
2015 Outlook: Following a surprisingly strong showing in 2013, Sweeney had arguably the worst offensive season of his career in his second year with the Cubs. He posted a .251/.304/.338 slash line in 226 plate appearances, with three home runs, nine doubles and no stolen bases. Sweeney logged about 200 at-bats in each of the past three seasons, with just nine home runs and one stolen-base attempt in that span. He gets the vast majority of his playing time against right-handed pitching, and while he's fared better against lefties in a limited sample size the past two seasons, there's no reason to expect that trend to continue in 2015. Sweeney's career-long stats are far better against right-handers, and he'll likely just serve as a reserve outfielder, making spot starts and pinch-hit appearances against righties.
8. Matt Szczur, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics626254110.226.273.355.628
2015 Projections9410077163.245.297.277.574
9. Mike Baxter, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics7000120.000.125.000.125
2015 Projections456134101.222.300.378.678
10. Adron Chambers, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
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11. Jae-Hoon Ha, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
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12. Oliver Zapata, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
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13. Xavier Batista, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
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14. Albert Almora, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
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15. Billy McKinney, ChC OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
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