2015 Outlook: Pinto showed his tiny sample from 2013 wasn't indicative of an impending breakout, despite earning some sleeper status coming into the season. A massive 21 percent walk rate in April made his production look markedly better than his true talent level. Once pitchers realized they could challenge him more, his production all but vanished (.555 OPS in May and June), and he was demoted in early June, a move made easier by Kurt Suzuki's production. He did hit again once back in Triple-A, but Suzuki was re-signed to a three-year deal, so Pinto remains blocked from a full-time gig. His pop is appealing enough that he could steal some time at DH, especially if Kennys Vargas isn't quite ready for prime time after he skipped Triple-A and held his own for 53 games in the majors.
2015 Outlook: Smith was one of the only offensive bright spots in San Diego last season, hitting .266/.367/.440 with 12 home runs in 520 plate appearances, but he became expendable after the Padres revamped their entire outfield with a flurry of trades in December. Smith was subsequently traded to Seattle, where he'll presumably enter a platoon situation in right field with Justin Ruggiano to open 2015.
2015 Outlook: Wait, so you mean to tell me Navarro's inexplicable 1.123 OPS with six home runs in 71 PA against lefties in 2013, after seven seasons of a combined .703 OPS, wasn't sustainable? Weird. It was enough to earn him a full season of play in Toronto last season, but all that did was expose just how fluky his 2013 was, as he managed fewer total home runs, despite getting just about double the playing time. On the positive side, he did rake in his new home with a .300/.333/.456 slash line and nine of his 12 home runs coming at Rogers Centre. Despite Russell Martin's coming in to take over the catching duties, Navarro is penciled in to be the primary DH for the Blue Jays, so that favorable ballpark remains an asset. Slot him in as a second catcher for long homestands or as a cheap backstop when you want to save money in daily games.
2015 Outlook: Young surpassed expectations in his first season in Baltimore, despite getting a modest 35.1 percent of his at-bats against left-handed pitching. While certainly capable of hitting right-handers, Young has typically fared better against southpaws, and he was expected to see a good chunk of his playing time against them. He still finished the year with a surprising .302/.337/.442 slash line, though he managed just seven home runs and two stolen bases over 242 at-bats. While an uncharacteristically high .359 BABIP contributed, Young owns a lifetime .324 BABIP, and his fly ball rate plummeted in 2014. Some regression can be expected, but Young still figures to post a BABIP well above the league average in his upcoming age-29 season. As always, the bigger issues are his lack of plate discipline and inability to play in the field, which should limit his opportunities at the plate. With Travis Snider and Alejandro De Aza offering capable options in the corner outfield spots, Steve Pearce will now challenge Young for starts at DH. Even as an everyday player, Young lacks significant appeal, and the smart money is on Pearce to cut into Young's playing time in a major way in 2015.
2015 Outlook: Moreland was one of many Rangers ravaged by injuries, appearing in just 52 games before undergoing season-ending surgery on his left ankle in June. The 29-year-old has posted decent power numbers when healthy, smashing 54 home runs in his past three full seasons, but he struggles to hit for average, particularly against lefties. In his career, Moreland has a .227/.289/.347 slash line against left-handed pitching, which could cause the team to limit his at-bats against southpaws. Regardless, because of his ability to hit the long ball, hitting an encouraging 23 in his last full season in 2013, he could make for a decent play in deeper formats. However, his poor splits and middling average could bring down his value in more standard leagues with not as many roster spots.
2015 Outlook: Murphy served a platoon role in right field during his first season with the Indians, putting a poor 2013 behind him to post a .262/.319/.385 slash line in 462 plate appearances. The 33-year-old managed only eight home runs, however, marking it the first time that he's failed to reach double digits in that category in his career. No longer a factor on the basepaths, with three steals in 10 attempts over the past two seasons, Murphy needs to regain his power stroke in 2015 to get back on the fantasy radar.
2015 Outlook: The Brewers shifted Weeks into the small side of a second base platoon with Scooter Gennett in 2014, acknowledging the move as an upgrade to their everyday lineup even though Weeks was in the final year of a multi-year contract that paid him $11 million. Outside of the occasional stretch where Gennett was sidelined by injury, Weeks played mostly against left-handed starters, accumulating a .274/.357/.452 line with eight home runs in 286 plate appearances. The increase in average -- he failed to top .230 in either 2012 or 2013 -- can be attributed to a spike in BABIP, as his 2014 mark (.355) was 50 points above his career average. After signing a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mariners in February, Weeks appears primed to spend the season primarily as a bench option. Defensively, Weeks has never played a position other than second base, but with Robinson Cano fully entrenched at the position, the Mariners plan to try Weeks at the corner outfield spots. If he can make the transition, Weeks could see occasional time in left field against southpaws, but that role likely wouldn't prove very fruitful for fantasy purposes.
2015 Outlook: Montero was once again limited to infrequent playing time at the major league level as he spent the majority of last year with Triple-A Tacoma, where he slashed .286/.350/.489 with 16 homers in 97 games. The 24-year-old has had a checkered history since being acquired by the Mariners as part of the trade that sent Michael Pineda to the Yankees in 2012, being suspended for 50 games in 2013 for PED usage, and receiving another suspension in 2014 after an altercation with a team scout, but he remains in the Mariners’ plans. On the field, Montero had a decent year, but he simply hasn't been able to stick at the major league level on a consistent basis, appearing in just 35 games with the Mariners the past two seasons. Barring a particularly strong spring, Montero will likely be headed back to the minors to start 2015.
2015 Outlook: Former Rays manager Joe Maddon was strict in regard to DeJesus' usage last season, limiting him to a mere seven at-bats against left-handed pitching. In 231 at-bats against right-handers, DeJesus hit .251/.345/.411, with six home runs and 19 RBIs, respectable numbers but below his career averages (.277/.352/.416), and certainly not good enough to earn him much attention in fantasy circles. At this point in his career, DeJesus' offensive ceiling is well-established, and even if new manager Kevin Cash deploys DeJesus in a similar fashion next season, he'll continue to make for little more than a last-ditch option in very deep AL-only leagues. The 35-year-old will be only DH-eligible in many formats, having appeared in just 15 games in the outfield in 2014.
2015 Outlook: Hart returned from a one-year absence in 2014, but was once again unable to avoid the injury bug and appeared in just 68 games for the Mariners. He struggled for much of his brief stint with the team, hitting a meager .203 in 232 at-bats. The 33-year-old will try to bounce back with another new club, as he signed with the Pirates and figures to back up Pedro Alvarez at first base. There's some reason for optimism if he can remain healthy, as he did bash 30 home runs and hit .270 in his last fully healthy season in 2012, and he has hit 93 homers in his past four seasons, even with all the injuries he faced in 2014. Those days could be behind him at this point, but his production will likely hinge mostly on his ability to stay on the field.
2015 Outlook: Callaspo used to have decent value as a utility infielder who could take a walk and avoid striking out and he even had a modicum of pop. For his career, he has just nine more strikeouts than walks and he has reached double digits in home runs four times in his six full seasons. The approach remained strong in 2014, but the power evaporated, and given that he has played the bulk of his career in pitcher-friendly parks, it is hard to just blame it on his being in Oakland, especially since it was a .495 road OPS that really hampered him. He may just be the seat warmer for Jose Peraza in Atlanta, but even with some guaranteed playing time, he isn't particularly appealing. That lineup isn't nearly as potent these days, and with no carrying fantasy skill, he is little more than a Band-Aid to be used exclusively in NL-only leagues.
2015 Outlook: Sano is still someone who should be watched primarily by owners in keeper leagues, but it is starting to look like he could make his big league debut later this season. In the minors, only Joey Gallo can match Sano’s power potential, and he wasted no time launching a monster home run off Gerrit Cole early in spring training. While his hit tool will never approach his 80-grade raw power, he should be capable of hitting .250 or .260 at his peak, which, paired with 40-plus homers, would still make him a top-25 fantasy option. At 21, he is already starting to look too massive to stick at third base, meaning first base, DH or a corner outfield spot could all be eventual landing spots with the Twins. Look for him to force his way to the big leagues in August or September, leaving the door open for him to hit five or 10 bombs in 2015. Sano, not Byron Buxton, is the stud hitting prospect on the Twins worthy of a flier in really deep single-season leagues.
2015 Outlook: With a more regular role, Forsythe's 2014 campaign marked an improvement over his 2013 effort. The bar wasn't set too high though in his first season in Tampa as 2013 was a mostly dismal year for him, and his struggles largely carried over from the NL to the AL. In over 300 at-bats, the 28-year-old hit just .223 and had an OPS of .616, and he got even worse as the season went along with his average dipping to .185 in August and .146 in September. Forsythe struggled mightily against right-handed pitching in particular, with a .206/.279/.256 slash line last season. He should see some playing time as a utility infielder, but his inconsistent play at the plate makes him a risky play for both the Rays and prospective fantasy owners.
2015 Outlook: Fresh off an offseason trade to the Pirates, Rodriguez will try to start anew in Pittsburgh. While there were some positives to take away from his 2014 campaign -- including career highs of 12 home runs and 41 RBIs -- his walks, batting average and on-base percentage dropped while his strikeout rate climbed. He figures to be Josh Harrison's primary backup at second base, but his .200/.214/.452 slash line against righties last season should be a concern even when the 29-year-old does get playing time. For his career, he's at least been able to partially make up for that with serviceable numbers against southpaws, but that too has been on the decline as he hit just .221 against lefties in 2014, his worst production in any full season. Unless he can reinvent himself on a new MLB team, Rodriguez is unlikely to help out most fantasy teams in 2015.