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. Jose Abreu, CWS 1B, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics5568036107511313.317.383.581.964
2015 Projections5977834100551443.286.355.513.868
2015 Outlook: Abreu took the league by storm in 2014, hitting 10 home runs in two of his first three months, with an injury to his left ankle seemingly the only reason he didn't complete the feat in May as well. The power faded after the All-Star break, but his production remained strong, as Abreu traded the homers for base hits and walks. Despite just seven home runs in the second half (compared to 29 in the first), his OPS dipped just 24 points thanks to a .350 average and .435 OBP. Was the ankle a cause in this power slide or was it just the regression of his obscene 35 percent HR/FB rate from the first half? The latter seems most likely, but it gave him a chance to show how good he is at hitting. He'll remain a power-hitting force, and when you pair 30-plus homers with an average that should again exceed .290, the result is a truly elite fantasy commodity.
2. Alexei Ramirez, CWS SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics622821574248121.273.305.408.713
2015 Projections628751264237824.275.305.393.698
2015 Outlook: Ramirez had stolen 20 or more bases before, and he had homered at least 15 times in a season before, but until 2014 -- his age-32 campaign -- he hadn't done both in the same season. In doing so, he was a top-five fantasy shortstop in standard mixed leagues. Despite his free-swinging ways, Ramirez was able to produce in each of the counting categories while hitting for a decent average. Even as a free swinger, he hits for good average and has shown little volatility in that department thanks to a consistently league-average BABIP. At age 33, it is going to be tougher for him to continue stealing 20-plus bases a year, but manager Robin Ventura has given Ramirez the green light to take bases when opportunities are there.
3. Melky Cabrera, CWS OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics56881167343676.301.351.458.808
2015 Projections52676136044647.298.352.441.793
2015 Outlook: Cabrera was one of a handful of impressive offseason acquisitions by the White Sox, and, fortunately for fantasy owners, he goes from one great hitting environment (Rogers Centre) to another in U.S. Cellular Field. A plus-plus hit tool is Cabrera's meal ticket in both real life and fantasy. He has hit better than .300 in three of his past four seasons, and last year's .301 average was good for fifth among qualified hitters. Though he missed the final 22 games of the season with a broken pinky finger, he finished with 16 home runs and six steals. Similar counting stats should be present in the switch-hitter's age-30 season. Cabrera should also be a good source of runs, as he will play almost every day, likely hitting second in Chicago's lineup, right ahead of Jose Abreu.
4. Adam LaRoche, CWS 1BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics494732692821083.259.362.455.817
2015 Projections476702579771203.263.363.471.834
2015 Outlook: It can be easy to overlook LaRoche, as he has essentially been the same player throughout his career. That isn't said critically, however, as he's been a consistently solid contributor and has remained steady into his 30s. In fact, in the past three seasons, his 79 homers are good for 16th in baseball. LaRoche has always hit better in his home park despite rarely having played in a hitter-friendly yard, but now he moves into U.S. Cellular Field, which has been a homer haven for years. The park was eighth in home runs per game (1.86) in 2014, well ahead of the 1.33 mark for Nationals Park. LaRoche has a pair of 30-homer seasons on his ledger and might be primed for a third, but the safe bet is to expect 25 homers and 90 RBI and take anything else as pure profit.
5. Adam Eaton, CWS OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics48676135438315.300.362.401.763
2015 Projections54290437539220.271.345.380.725
2015 Outlook: Leadoff hitters on teams with productive middle-of-the-order bats are typically good values on draft day, and Eaton figures to be no different. He missed 35 games with a variety of minor maladies but still managed to score 76 runs in 538 plate appearances. There are some concerns about Eaton's ability to stay healthy for a full season due to his aggressive style of play, but there is no denying his qualifications as a leadoff hitter when healthy. He offers virtually no power, but he hit .300 with a .362 OBP and 15 steals last season. The average was aided by good fortune on balls in play (.359 BABIP), but even if he hits .280 for a full season, he could approach 100 runs and 20 steals. Eaton, who turned 26 this offseason, is basically a finished product, but he has the ability to be a three-category contributor for years to come.
6. Avisail Garcia, CWS OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics1721972914444.244.305.413.718
2015 Projections435551454241058.267.312.407.719
2015 Outlook: At 6-4, 240 pounds and just 23 years old until June, Garcia has a lot of projection left in his game, specifically in the power department. He has never hit double-digit homers in a season, but he has also never topped 260 plate appearances in parts of three seasons. Garcia missed 70 percent of the 2014 season after undergoing shoulder surgery in mid-April but still managed seven home runs and four steals in just 190 plate appearances. A career .272 hitter, Garcia should be able to improve upon the unlucky .244 average (.285 BABIP) he put up last season. Going into the spring, he appears to have a good shot at holding the every-day right-field job on the South Side, and if he can just stay healthy, a 20/10 season could be within reach, with the potential for even more power down the road.
7. Micah Johnson, CWS 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics----------------------
2015 Projections1471631310268.252.294.388.682
2015 Outlook: Johnson is competing with Carlos Sanchez this spring to be Chicago’s starting second baseman in 2015, and for fantasy purposes, Johnson is far and away the more appealing option. While Sanchez may have the defensive edge, Johnson, 24, has the speed to put up 25-35 steals if he can find his way to 500-plus plate appearances. Even if he wins the job, veterans like Emilio Bonifacio and Gordon Beckham, who will both be used in utility roles, could steal some starts at second base, but it seems like the White Sox want to award the starting job to one of the two youngsters to take advantage of the versatility of the veterans. Johnson’s batting average probably won’t be anything special and he won’t hit for much power, but for someone who can be had at the very end of drafts, Johnson could be a nice source of speed if he can win the job at the keystone on the South Side.
8. Tyler Flowers, CWS CYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics407421550251590.241.297.396.693
2015 Projections402421744251530.219.278.383.661
2015 Outlook: Flowers ascended through the minors as a legitimate prospect with the Braves and even cracked some top-100 lists back in 2009 and 2010, but he has never been able to turn that minor league promise (.876 OPS in 2,233 PA) into major league production. A guy who strikes out too often is said to have a hole in his swing; with a career strikeout rate of 35 percent in 1,034 PA as a major leaguer, Flowers seems to have seven or eight in his. The power is somewhat alluring, especially in two-catcher leagues, but how much longer will the White Sox dole out playing time to a late-20s backstop who isn't showing any real signs of improvement?
9. Emilio Bonifacio, CWS 2B, OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics39447324268526.259.305.345.650
2015 Projections43252325339631.241.296.317.613
2015 Outlook: Bonifacio was one of the hottest hitters in baseball last April, slashing .337/.385/.406 with 10 steals in 24 games with the Cubs. His blistering start quickly became an afterthought, however, as he hit .214 with two steals in May before an oblique injury suffered in June sidelined him for more than a month. Chicago traded Bonifacio to Atlanta at the deadline, and he served in a utility role as a part-timer in the Braves' lineup. The soon-to-be 30-year-old still has plenty of speed, however, and he'll look to reclaim a starting role with the White Sox this spring after inking a one-year deal with the South Siders in January.
10. Conor Gillaspie, CWS 3BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics4645075736780.282.336.416.752
2015 Projections4134784436680.269.327.402.729
2015 Outlook: In 2013, Gillaspie managed a hint of value by popping 13 home runs, but he didn't contribute positively anywhere else, which certainly limited his appeal. In 2014, it looked like he traded some of that power output for incremental gains everywhere else, but in actuality he collected a ton of base hits in the first two months of the season (.351 AVG) while being held homerless,s and then spent the final four months as the guy we saw in 2013 (.255 AVG, 7 home runs). It was still an improved season, but this isn't exactly a growth stock ready to explode. He likely deserved at least a few more home runs based on his batted-ball profile, but combining the double-digit power with the .282 AVG seems unlikely especially as someone with a playing-time cap based on his inability to hit lefties.
11. Gordon Beckham, CWS 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics4465394422813.226.271.348.618
2015 Projections2092652013352.249.300.378.678
2015 Outlook: Remember the promise Beckham showed as a rookie back in 2009? How could you? It was ages ago! Perhaps most impressive about Beckham is the fact that he has averaged more than 500 PA per season in the five years since, despite never coming anywhere near that level, which, by the way, wasn't even all that special (.808 OPS in 430 PA). WAR isn't necessarily a fantasy-relevant statistic, but it is worth noting that he had 2.5 WAR according to Fangraphs in that 2009 debut but has accumulated just 2.8 since then. If you can't force your child to be left-handed so he can pitch in the majors until he's 53 years old, you should at least make sure he can somewhat adequately man multiple infield positions because that will extend a baseball career by years as well.
12. Geovany Soto, CWS CYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics8081116190.250.302.363.665
2015 Projections1471951613430.238.300.395.695
2015 Outlook: Currently a free agent, Soto has been a serviceable hitter at catcher for the past couple of years and could land in several places if he's willing to take a low-commitment deal. The former Rookie of the Year is now 31 and can either be a premium backup or low-ceiling starter for certain teams. He was able to cut down from his astronomical 32.6 percent strikeout rate in 2013 to a better, but still high, 21.8 percent. That should be encouraging for potential buyers, as it reduces the likelihood of the batting-average free fall that can sometimes hit high-strikeout veterans. We won't know Soto's role or the number of starts he gets until he signs with a team, so a true outlook will have to wait until he puts pen to paper.
13. Carlos Sanchez, CWS 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics1006053251.250.269.300.569
2015 Projections1631811410335.245.294.319.613
14. Matt Davidson, CWS 3BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics----------------------
2015 Projections1812162216600.221.296.365.660
15. George Kottaras, CWS CYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics304356160.233.351.533.885
2015 Projections901161518370.200.333.422.756