Complete 2014 Projections

Position: All | Batters | Pitchers | C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | 2B/SS | 1B/3B | IF | LF | CF | RF | OF | DH | SP | RP
     
PROJECTED 2014 SEASON STATS
31. Buster Posey, SF C, 1BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics52061157260702.294.371.450.821
2014 Projections54175198563822.312.386.488.874
2014 Outlook: Even a down season by Posey's standards was a good one; the perception was that his 2013 was a letdown, if only because it couldn't possibly compare to that of his 2012 MVP campaign or his No. 16 overall ADP last preseason. Still, he improved his contact rate, played 148 games for a second consecutive season and managed the No. 7 spot among catchers on our Player Rater. Posey's statistics also compare favorably to all-time catchers; he ranks fourth in slugging percentage (.486), fifth in on-base percentage (.377) and batting average (.308) among catchers through their age-26 seasons. He's a high-average, good-power hitter, one of the few catchers with legitimate ability for .300/25/100 numbers. Make him one of your first catchers off the board, though not quite as soon overall as that second-round status a year ago.
32. Justin Upton, Atl OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics558942770751618.263.354.464.818
2014 Projections5717827917414915.271.359.473.832
2014 Outlook: His was a tale of two seasons. Upton batted .286/.404/.629 with 13 home runs through his first 40 games for the Atlanta Braves, looking like a surefire MVP candidate after years of such career prognostications but then hit just .256/.335/.409 with 14 home runs in his next 109 games, looking more like a league-average right fielder. (Hey, at least he wasn't the worst Upton.) Justin showed little skills improvement during his "cooling" stage, tempering some of those lofty career expectations as he enters his age-26 season. That said, he's still a player who has flashed occasional MVP talent, and one who, again, at 26, is entering the prime of his career. Could this be the season? Perhaps, but it's no longer worth spending that first-round pick to find out.
33. Elvis Andrus, Tex SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics62091467529742.271.328.331.659
2014 Projections63990465569538.277.338.355.693
2014 Outlook: One of these things is not like the others: 33, 32, 37, 21, 42. Have you figured it out yet? That's right, it's Andrus' career-low 21 steals of 2012, which now appear an outlier after he managed 10 baserunning WAR in 2013, best in the majors; he has the third-most baserunning WAR the past five seasons combined (24). Andrus is a speedster, though unfortunately that is all that he is, relegating him to rotisserie-league building block but one much less useful in points leagues. That said, he might score the No. 2 spot in the Texas Rangers' lineup, wedged comfortably between Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder. Andrus could be a two-category rotisserie performer, adding runs scored to his steals prowess, meaning a repeat or increase in value from his 2013 is within reach.
34. Eric Hosmer, KC 1BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics6238617795110011.302.353.448.801
2014 Projections6158221855510615.289.346.449.795
2014 Outlook: It took 330 big-league games spread over a little more than two calendar years, but late last season Hosmer finally developed into the premier hitter scouts forecasted as far back as the time he was picked third overall in the 2008 amateur draft. From June 1 on, he batted .318 with 16 home runs in 109 games, thanks to an all-fields approach that countered some of the defensive shifts he had faced earlier in his career. Hosmer is that rate power/speed first baseman, but he's also one with a lot of batting-average stability; the sum of his parts makes him a much safer investment than it might seem. You'll pay for it on draft day, with perhaps a top-50 pick in a mixed league, but the potential reward is a player who could finally develop the power those same scouts once predicted: Might 25 homers be within his sights?
35. Jay Bruce, Cin OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics6268930109631857.262.329.478.807
2014 Projections5988931105641678.259.331.485.816
2014 Outlook: A power-hitting left-handed bat in a perfect park for that type, Bruce has hit at least 30 home runs in three consecutive seasons, one of only three players who can claim that (Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre are the others). At the same time, Bruce's game has almost entirely moved toward power; this has resulted in rising strikeout rates every year since 2009 and a propensity for streakiness. To the latter point, he batted .246 with one homer in his first 34 games of 2013, .307 with 17 in his next 41. Bruce's power places him in the class of early-round fantasy picks, but his strikeouts are a concern in points leagues, and those who select him need to be patient through his rough patches.
36. David Ortiz, Bos DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics518843010376884.309.395.564.959
2014 Projections51380299374892.298.385.544.929
2014 Outlook: A seemingly ageless veteran, Ortiz continues to rack up All-Star-caliber statistics despite his entering 2014 at the age of 38. In 2013, he became only the seventh player in history to manage a .300-30-100 minimum stat line at the age of 37, and the first in 11 seasons (Barry Bonds, 2002). What's more, Ortiz seems to get more disciplined at the plate each year; he had an 83.8 percent contact rate from 2011 to '13, a substantial improvement upon his 76.1 percent from 2008 to 10, and his walk rate increased slightly, from 13.1 (2008-10) to 13.2 (2011-13) percent. This has come with an occasional penchant for streakiness, but after a postseason like his -- he terrorized left-handed pitchers last October, which answered one of the few questions raised about him earlier in the year -- what cause is there to doubt him? The only reasonable knock on Ortiz is that drafting him locks up your designated hitter spot in the draft's early rounds. But he's also one of the only players who justifies it.
37. Jose Bautista, Tor OF, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics45282287369847.259.358.498.856
2014 Projections50791338787976.266.375.509.884
2014 Outlook: One of the best raw power hitters in baseball -- his 152 home runs since the beginning of 2010 trail only Miguel Cabrera's 156, and they are 26 more than third place in the category during that span -- Bautista has fallen somewhat into injury-risk territory recently, having appeared in only 210 games combined the past two seasons because of wrist, back, ankle and hip issues. His 2013 represented his second consecutive year ended prematurely in August, this time because of a bone bruise in his hip, though all reports on his health during the winter were positive. Bautista's skills might be slowly declining, understandable for a 33-year-old, but he's still capable of approaching 40 home runs at the expense of a middling batting average; his on-base and slugging percentages, however, should remain good. He's an early-round pick in traditional rotisserie leagues, and a more attractive one, albeit with risk, in more sabermetric scoring formats. Stephania Bell: Bautista recovered nicely from wrist surgery a year ago but ended his 2013 season early with a bone bruise in his hip. He was healed by November and enters the spring healthy.
38. Yadier Molina*, StL CYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics50568128030553.319.359.477.836
2014 Projections50564157735546.321.366.485.851
2014 Outlook: A late bloomer, Molina has developed into one of the most reliable catchers in fantasy, and frankly the most valuable catcher in the on-field game, where his defensive prowess carries additional weight.
39. Josh Donaldson, Oak 3BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics579892493761105.301.384.499.883
2014 Projections568892594671178.280.359.479.838
2014 Outlook: One of 2013's biggest breakout stories, Donaldson's success dates back to the final month of 2012, a small hint that he might not be mere one-year wonder. From 2010-13, he played a near identical number of games at both the Triple-A (252) and major-league levels (247), and look at how similar his numbers: .270/.354/.486 rates in Triple-A, .277/.350/.460 in the majors. Those batting averages do show potential for regression, but in Donaldson's defense, his walk-rate gains last season give hope it'll be minimal, while his power probably shouldn't suffer. He's a player who succeeded as a result of growth, not some fluky result, and it's time to trust him as a building block in all scoring formats, targeting him in the early rounds.
40. Albert Pujols, LAA 1B, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics39149176440551.258.330.437.767
2014 Projections56483279754746.280.345.482.827
2014 Outlook: After 12 consecutive seasons of first-ballot Hall-of-Famer statistics, Pujols finally suffered some adversity in 2013. Painful plantar fasciitis plagued him for much of the season, resulting in a partial tear that ended his season in July, and statistics that across the board represented career worsts. Pujols' prognosis for 2014 has improved -- he had resumed taking batting practice in November and was on track for a full spring training -- but at the same time, his home run total, batting average, on-base percentage and OPS have all declined in each season since 2008. He is following the natural downslope of a career that a slugger faces, and the history of comparable Hall of Fame talents isn't positive; at 34 years old, many of them had productive seasons, but hardly numbers worthy of MVP votes. Pujols' power might return -- this bears the closest watching during camp -- but understand that he is not the same player who scored MVPs in 2005, 2008 and 2009. Don't let the name brand cause you to reach in drafts. Stephania Bell: Pujols says his left foot is much improved compared to last year, but one wonders if wear and tear from so many games over the years is catching up.
41. Brandon Phillips*, Cin 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics606801810339985.261.310.396.706
2014 Projections596881894368911.275.321.418.739
2014 Outlook: After a winter of trade rumors, Phillips thankfully returns to the Cincinnati Reds, with whom he'll once again call a hitter-friendly ballpark his home and will again occupy a premium lineup spot (second, fourth or fifth, in all likelihood). Here's why that's important: Phillips has hit 95 of the 160 homers during his Reds career at Great American Ball Park, and his Reds scored the third-most runs in the National League in 2013. His skills have begun to decline slightly, which is understandable for a player set to turn 33 midseason, but he is also one of only 15 players to have hit at least 75 home runs and stolen at least 75 bases the past five seasons combined. Phillips is one of the most consistent, well-rounded second basemen in fantasy, though his modest walk and rising strikeout rates do make him a slightly riskier early-rounder in points-based or sabermetrically inclined scoring formats.
42. Adrian Gonzalez, LAD 1BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics583692210047981.293.342.461.803
2014 Projections6258024107531091.296.349.472.821
2014 Outlook: Though no longer the top-10-overall fantasy talent he was three short years ago -- he finished eighth on our 2011 Player Rater -- Gonzalez has quietly settled in as one of the more consistently reliable performers at his position. Since he became a regular in 2006, he has appeared in the second-most games (1,274), driven in the fifth-most runs (860), scored the 12th-most runs (716) and produced healthy .296/.371/.505 offensive rates. What's more, Gonzalez has shown a remarkable penchant for exploiting the confines of his ballpark: In Boston, his ability to hit with power to the opposite field helped him boost his batting-average and doubles totals, but in Los Angeles, he has taken somewhat more of a pull approach, knowing that left field is considerably more expansive in Dodger Stadium than at Fenway Park. Gonzalez might no longer be a lock for a .300-plus batting average or 30 home runs, but it's within reason to argue that he'll reach either plateau. And if he's a .295-25 performer in the deep Los Angeles Dodgers lineup, he might be a sneaky value in rotisserie leagues.
43. Ryan Zimmerman*, Wsh 3B, OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics568842679601336.275.344.465.809
2014 Projections582862788581276.282.347.478.825
2014 Outlook: Though Zimmerman's 2012-13 shows a much more consistent .280/25/85 performer than fantasy owners tend to give him credit for, his critics do raise important points. Injuries have long been an issue -- he averaged 133 games during the past six seasons -- his eroding defense at third base lends legitimacy to chatter that the Washington Nationals might eventually shift him across the diamond to first base and both his strikeout and swing-and-miss rates have risen in back-to-back seasons. For 2014, however, Zimmerman retains his third-base eligibility -- and he'll probably keep it at least through 2015, too -- meaning that, once again, he should settle in as a top-10 mixed-league third baseman and top-75 overall player. At this stage of his career, however, any upside from that status might be gone.
44. Yoenis Cespedes, Oak OF, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics529742680371377.240.294.442.737
2014 Projections5578327934413712.260.320.463.783
2014 Outlook: After a breakthrough 2012 in the States, Cespedes regressed badly in 2013, his strikeout rate rising (23.9 percent, up from 18.9), walk rate dropping (6.5 percent, down from 8.0) and both his batting average and BABIP plummeting by identical 52-point margins. This resulted in a 92-spot decline in Player Rater standing -- 28 spots among outfielders alone -- and a second consecutive season with a DL stint because of a hand injury continued to fuel questions about his long-term health as it relates to his violent swing. Cespedes still has massive power, however, as his isolated power and fly-ball and line-drive rates remained consistent in the two years, and if he enjoys any correction to his BABIP, he could recapture at least some of his 2012 fantasy stock. After all, he did finish 2013 with a .314/.337/.570, six-homer September, and a strong spring could increase his draft stock. It might be prime time to buy a rebound.
45. Joe Mauer*, Min C, 1B, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2013 Statistics44562114761890.324.404.476.880
2014 Projections553821373801015.311.397.452.849
2014 Outlook: After many years of chatter that his bat was too valuable to risk having him wear the tools of ignorance on a daily basis, Mauer finally was moved off catcher this winter: He'll be the Minnesota Twins' everyday first baseman in 2014. It took a season-shortening concussion in August to force the Twins' hand, but there are many fantasy advantages that result: Mauer should take less wear and tear at first base, increasing his chances at racking up games and plate appearances, and he'll remain catcher-eligible throughout 2014 in ESPN leagues, while accruing the larger number of PAs typical of a first baseman comparative to a catcher. That's big news for this batting-average/line-drive specialist; a .300-plus hitter, not to mention a .400-plus on-base artist, carries much more weight in those categories the more times he comes to the plate. (Incidentally, Mauer's .323 career batting average is tops among active players.) Take this to heart especially in points-based leagues; the case can be made that Mauer will pace the position in the format. But even in rotisserie leagues, he's one of the best at his "position" ... well, his eligible fantasy position of catcher. Stephania Bell: Mauer's season ended in August due to a concussion, the result of a foul tip to his mask. He was symptom-free by October, and with the full-time move to first base this year, he should have an easier time staying in the lineup.