2014 Outlook: Now 39 years old and coming off the most injury-marred of his 19 big-league seasons, Jeter's downside is growing by the year, and there's a legitimate danger that his name brand will cause him to be overpriced on draft day. He played only 17 games in 2013, unable to fully recover from an ankle injury suffered during the 2012 postseason, though as spring training dawned, he appeared on track to be ready on or soon after Opening Day 2014. Jeter should occupy his usual spot in the upper third of the New York Yankees' lineup, and even at his age he's a capable enough hitter against left-handed pitchers to fuel his run total, not to mention be a handy option for daily-league owners seeking favorable matchups. AL-only owners should still squeeze middle-infield value out of him, but beware overrating him based upon his history.
2014 Outlook: Dunn is the epitome of the "three-true-outcomes" slugger, having either walked, struck out or hit a home run in almost exactly 50 percent of his career trips to the plate, that the highest such rate of anyone in baseball history (minimum 5,000 plate appearances). As he has aged, more of those outcomes have shifted into the strikeout column, as he has the second- (2011), fourth- (2012) and 29th-highest (2013) K rates of any hitter in a single season of 450-plus PAs, all of those comprising his past three seasons. Dunn is more of a specialty player, valuable in leagues that reward walks and on-base percentage, but more of a liability in Rotisserie leagues which weight batting average. And with the Chicago White Sox sporting a new first base/DH candidate in Jose Abreu, Dunn's at-bats are at greater risk now than they were a half-decade ago.
2014 Outlook: Profar's presence was one of the primary reasons the Texas Rangers traded Ian Kinsler in November; they wanted to clear an everyday role for the 21-year-old, who has long been touted as a future All-Star. A regular gig might do some good, as Profar struggled mightily in separate big league stints in 2012 and 2013 totaling 94 games, though only once during that span did he make more than five consecutive starts at the same position. In the best-case scenario, he might thrive in his new role, hitting for double-digit power with the 20-steal potential he exhibited in the minors, perhaps earning the No. 2 spot in the lineup to fuel his runs total. In a lower-end, albeit not worst-case, scenario, he might struggle to hit much more than he did in 2013, and lock into a PA/counting number-suppressing No. 8 or 9 lineup spot. Profar's range of outcomes are wide, but his ceiling is projected among the 10 best middle infielders in fantasy baseball as early as this year, and that makes him an appealing mid-rounder, not to mention a building block in dynasty/keeper formats. Stephania Bell: Profar entered camp with some shoulder tendinitis but seemed to be moving past it. On March 22, however, Profar suffered a new injury to his shoulder while turning a double play. The team announced Profar will miss 10-12 weeks with a torn muscle in his shoulder, but it's worth noting the recovery time for muscle tears is difficult to predict accurately.
2014 Outlook: Morales was a free agent as spring camps opened, teams hesitant to invest, knowing he would come at the cost of a draft pick. Don't take that as a knock on his fantasy value, as he would remain a clear mixed league asset should he land with a team with a wide-open first-base picture. Morales' contact rate has risen slightly the past two seasons, and in 2013, he improved by leaps and bounds as a right-handed hitter, batting .282/.353/.440 on that side. He is a lot more consistent than fantasy owners might be willing to give him credit for being, and remember, he has played the entirety of his career in parks that aren't great for power. In the right situation, he might be quite a midround value.
2014 Outlook: Injuries to their other backstops forced the Chicago Cubs to summon Navarro last summer, and as a fill-in he enjoyed the best campaign of his 10-year career, including a ridiculously good .361/.451/.672 stat line as a right-handed batter. He parlayed that into a starting gig with the Toronto Blue Jays, where he'll join a deeper lineup to boost his runs/RBIs and enjoy one of the more favorable hitting environments in baseball. Navarro is a good enough defender to remain consistently in the lineup, and he makes enough contact to be a worthy No. 2 option in deep mixed or AL-only formats.
2014 Outlook: Reynolds, the owner of baseball's single-season strikeout record (223, in 2009) and three of the six instances of 200-K campaigns in history (also 2008, 2010), finds himself in a fight for playing time this spring, a non-roster invitee battling for the Milwaukee Brewers' first-base role. He's plenty capable of swatting 30-plus homers, and hitter-friendly Miller Park would only help his cause, but his fly-ball rate and isolated power have slipped the past two years, to the point that he might find himself in a platoon. NL-only and deep-mixed owners can take a chance on his considerable power potential, but doing so requires them to address his batting-average shortcomings. Know the risks.
2014 Outlook: Knee issues limited Willingham to 111 games last season and perhaps explained his precipitous drop in power production. Entering 2014, he'll return to the Minnesota Twins healthy and hungry as he plays out the final year of his deal. Plus, he still possesses the high walk rate and pop that makes him an especially attractive selection in sabermetric-oriented formats. Bear in mind that Target Field plays better for right-handed power than most think; he did hit 35 homers for the Twins two years ago. Don't forget him as a bounce-back candidate in AL-only and deep mixed formats.
2014 Outlook: Jaso might be a niche fantasy player, but if your league rewards his strengths, he's a sneaky little late-rounder. He's a noted walker -- he has a 15.4 percent rate and .391 on-base percentage the past two seasons combined -- and he's catcher-eligible, a viable No. 2 option in AL-only or points-based format. The Oakland Athletics also pick Jaso's spots well, starting him almost exclusively against right-handers, meaning he's more useful in leagues that afford daily transactions. He might no longer be prominent in the team's catching plans, but he still qualifies there and should accrue a fair share of time at DH in 2014.
2014 Outlook: After two seasons of reaping the benefits of the American League and its designated-hitter rule, Doumit returns to the National League, where he'll be forced to fight for at-bats between catcher and the corner outfield spots with the Atlanta Braves. It's a puzzling arrangement; he'll pair with Evan Gattis, a fellow all-bat, no-glove catcher, but both have defensively minded Gerald Laird around to thieve at-bats. Doumit's fantasy appeal is less in Atlanta than it was in Minnesota, primarily because of diminished playing time; think of him as more the Pittsburgh Pirates model of 2007-11 -- injury risk and all -- than the one we saw the past two seasons.
2014 Outlook: The second longest-tenured player with his current team behind only Derek Jeter, Konerko returns to one of the most cluttered first base/DH pictures he has seen in his 16 years with the Chicago White Sox. Jose Abreu's arrival threatens to cut into Konerko's playing time somewhat, but that's a decision that makes some sense, as Konerko begins 2014 at the age of 38 and riding a three-year pattern of declining OPS. Back issues might have made his career decline appear more extreme in 2013 than was reality, but even with a mild rebound, Konerko is more AL-only than mixed asset, and he has more of a look of a daily-league, play-against-lefties type, having batted .313/.398/.525 against southpaws last season.
2014 Outlook: Pinto burst onto both the major league and prospect scene in 2013, as he slashed .309/.400/.482 between Double- and Triple-A while flashing improved enough defense that he was no longer a liability behind the dish, and in a 21-game stint for the Minnesota Twins he batted .342 with four home runs to convince the team to shift Joe Mauer to another position permanently. Still, the Twins brought in veteran tutelage in Kurt Suzuki, affording them the luxury of returning Pinto to the minors, or making him a little-used backup. Pinto would need a strong spring to capture half or more of the gig, but if he does, he's an intriguing AL-only or deep-mixed No. 2 catcher with upside.
2014 Outlook: Through his first three big league seasons, Chisenhall has looked more the part of third-base platoon man than a future above-average regular, which is why winter chatter that Carlos Santana might see time at the hot corner was taken so seriously. Chisenhall still appears the Cleveland Indians' likely starter, at least against righties, as he has an OPS 102 points higher against them than lefties. AL-only owners can plug him in as a corner infielder.
2014 Outlook: Ibanez's 2013 was a tale of two seasons in the power department: He belted 24 homers in the first half, which ranked fifth in the majors, but only five in the second half, which ranked 135th. Most of that could be explained by a ridiculously fortunate 26.1 home run/fly-ball percentage in the first half, followed by a 9.4 percent in the second half, the latter closer to his true value. As was the case last season, Ibanez isn't in a great power environment in L.A., and at 41 he's more likely to decline than progress statistically. Still, he can hit a few out for an AL-only team or be a mixed-league plug-in should he experience a hot spell.
2014 Outlook: Callaspo is ticketed for a utility role with the Oakland Athletics this season, a candidate to sneak in starts at any of the four infield positions as well as designated hitter. Considering his career lefty/righty splits, he'll be a handy bench bat for a team that likes to capitalize upon platoon advantages. He's a .300/.346/.420 lifetime hitter against left-handers, so AL-only or deep mixed owners whose leagues afford daily transactions should be mixing and matching only those assignments.
2014 Outlook: One on hand, San Diego wouldn't have traded a commodity like Luke Gregerson to get Smith if it didn't plan to use him. On the other, in spite of hitting left-handed, if everyone else in the Padres outfield is healthy, Smith could be the fifth-best option. However, since two of the better options are the injury-prone Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin, Smith will get his time. It won't be enough to make Smith mixed-league worthy, but he may get more playing time than expected, which makes him the ideal reserve for deep leagues.