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
31. DJ LeMahieu, Col 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics49459542339710.267.315.348.663
2015 Projections52764445329316.279.320.364.685
2015 Outlook: The Josh Rutledge roadblock has been eliminated for LeMahieu, but he got more than 500 PA last year and didn't really do much with it, so the clearer path to playing time doesn't necessarily enhance his value that much. His value is tied almost entirely to his batting average, but after collecting a .321 AVG in 1,669 minor league PA, he has really been able to hit only in Coors. He has a .315 AVG at home and .236 on the road. His back-to-back seasons with double-digit stolen bases have come with an atrocious 62 percent success rate, so he might be getting a yellow light when it comes to opportunities until he can become more efficient (he stole just two bases in seven attempts in the final three months of the season). On the plus side, he is still just 26 and plays in the best park for offense, so in a league with daily transactions, he might be a useful middle infielder to play on long homestands.
32. Stephen Drew, NYY SS, 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics2711872627751.162.237.299.536
2015 Projections388421346441073.219.297.381.678
2015 Outlook: After waiting until late May for a team to finally sign him in 2014 and proceeding to have the worst statistical season of his career, Drew had to settle for another one-year deal this offseason to go back to the Bronx. As a 31-year-old splitting time between Boston and New York, Drew slashed .162/.237/.299 in 300 plate appearances. His batting average and OBP were the lowest marks in the majors among players with at least 300 plate appearances, and of those players, he was one of just two (Jackie Bradley Jr. being the other) to hit below .200 and slug below .300. The good news is Drew can only be better in 2015, as his BABIP of .194 was also the lowest among big leaguers with 300 plate appearances and the figure contrasted starkly to his career BABIP of .299. Drew figures to get a chance to be the starting second baseman for the Yankees, and prospective owners should view his 2013 numbers in Boston -- 13 homers, six steals, .253 average -- as the ceiling for his age-32 season.
33. Alexi Amarista, SD OF, 2B, 3B, SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics42339540296912.239.286.314.600
2015 Projections40341539266310.246.290.335.625
2015 Outlook: Defensive versatility is Amarista's calling card. While this allows for him to be fantasy-eligible at a number of positions, he still profiles as a well-below-average hitter. In 2014 he played 73 games at shortstop, 26 games in the outfield, 22 games at third base, and 21 games at second base. That versatility may be unmatched, but he slashed just .239/.286/.314 in 466 at-bats, so he has basically no offensive upside. After the Padres addressed holes at third base and the outfield during the offseason, Amarista looks poised to play almost exclusively at shortstop in 2015. He will split time with Clint Barmes, likely sitting when a lefty is on the mound, as he has just a .218 career average against southpaws. Amarista's 12 steals from 2014 represent the one area where he can be of some use in deeper rotisserie leagues.
34. Devon Travis, Tor 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics----------------------
2015 Projections2163242415358.255.303.384.688
35. Luis Valbuena, Hou 3B, 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics478681651651131.249.341.435.776
2015 Projections37149134052831.245.340.423.763
2015 Outlook: Prior to 2014, Valbuena had failed to catch on as a platoon player. While he had regularly struggled against lefties, he wasn't exactly cutting up righties. In fact, his career platoon split is all of six points in OPS, but in 2014 he emerged as a cheap power source on the strong side of a platoon at third base. His 16 home runs were tied with Pablo Sandoval, Matt Dominguez and Juan Francisco for seventh at the position, and Sandoval and Dominguez both had more plate appearances than Valbuena. Of course, holding the spot and fending off Mike Olt was one thing, but with uber-prospect Kris Bryant pounding on the door of the big leagues (43 HRs, 1.098 OPS across Double-A and Triple-A in 2014), the Cubs traded Valbuena to the Astros in January. He slots in atop the depth chart at third base for Houston, though a platoon with Matt Dominguez seems likely.
36. Yangervis Solarte, SD 2B, 3BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics46956104853580.260.336.369.705
2015 Projections2132542219261.263.322.366.688
2015 Outlook: Solarte appeared headed toward the life of a journeyman minor leaguer, as he was showing enough to stick around in the high minors as a utilityman but not enough that anyone wanted to give him a real chance. A blazing-hot spring training (.429 AVG, 1.061 OPS) and a remarkably thin bench for the club earned Solarte a spot with the Yankees. He hit the ground running with multihit efforts in his first three starts and he was somehow hitting .303 by the end of April. In fact, he stayed hot through early June before a frigid slump sent him from .299 to .254 in the span of 18 games. He rapidly began losing time, and then eventually his spot, as he was sent out west to a spot more befitting of his offensive output: San Diego. He was about average there, thanks to a contact-heavy approach that also included the ability to draw walks regularly, but his entirely punchless bat leaves him well short on fantasy value. If he does, in fact, bat atop the remade Padres order, he could grind his way into some value by sheer volume. But otherwise what you see is what you get.
37. Tommy La Stella, ChC 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics3192213136402.251.328.317.644
2015 Projections2272512226252.278.352.352.704
2015 Outlook: La Stella drew some attention last year as someone who could wrestle the second-base job from Dan Uggla and offer some value via a big batting average (career .322 average in the minors), but his punchless bat was stymied (.255 average) despite almost a 1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Now he has been shipped to the "Land of Milk and Middle Infielders," where he will struggle to get any real measure of playing time behind that cluster of star-level talent. Maybe if Javier Baez continues to fan at a 41.5 percent clip, La Stella could get some extra starts, but it is tough to envision a scenario where he is logging meaningful playing time. Even if he did, he's what, a powerless Jeff Keppinger? And Keppinger himself is already powerless. Great.
38. Jose Peraza, Atl 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics----------------------
2015 Projections3024512282627.278.301.338.639
2015 Outlook: Peraza is the Braves' top prospect, and he has more than justified his lofty ranking in his three minor league seasons. Making it to the Double-A level for the first time last season, the 20-year-old exceled there, slashing .335/.363/.422 in 44 games after posting even better numbers across the board in high-A during the first half of the season. Though he's been hitting remarkably well, it's Peraza's speed that is his top asset, as he swiped 60 bags in 75 attempts last season -- his second straight year with at least 60 steals in fewer than 80 attempts. Whether he starts 2015 with the big league club or back in the minors, Peraza should have an opportunity to make the majors relatively early in the season and based on his production throughout the organization's ranks, he should be able to have a real impact immediately.
39. Alberto Callaspo, Atl 2B, 1B, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics4043743940500.223.290.290.580
2015 Projections3233553536411.248.321.334.656
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.
40. 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.
41. Alex Guerrero, LAD 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics13000060.077.077.077.154
2015 Projections119135173252.252.282.454.736
2015 Outlook: After signing a four-year, $28 million contract in October of 2013, Guerrero got just 13 big league plate appearances in 2014, as he spent most of his year at the Triple-A level while Dee Gordon thrived as the Dodgers' second baseman. Guerrero posted an impressive .329/.364/.613 slash line in the Pacific Coast League, buoyed by 15 home runs in just 243 at-bats. His miniscule walk rate (3.9 percent) is cause for some concern, but there's little doubt that he can mash. It remains to be seen how Guerrero fits in with the Dodgers, as his Triple-A production and contract make it hard to justify more time in the minors, but the team is set in the middle infield with Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins. While his role remains uncertain, the 28-year-old Guerrero possesses fantastic upside as a potential middle-of-the-lineup bat.
42. Danny Espinosa, Wsh 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics33331827181228.219.283.351.634
2015 Projections1962141612675.219.280.337.617
2015 Outlook: The Nats let Asdrubal Cabrera walk in free agency, but it was never realistic to think the defending NL Central champs would go into the year with Espinosa as their primary second baseman. Espinosa's continued inability to make regular contact has tanked his value and will put him behind Yunel Escobar on the depth chart to open 2015. At his best -- a term used loosely in this particular instance -- he was striking out more than a quarter of the time, but he somehow managed to blow that out of the water in 2014 with a 33.5 percent strikeout rate, third-highest among batters with at least 350 plate appearances. Even Dan Uggla was embarrassed for him. Over his career, he has averaged 18 home runs and 15 stolen bases per 162 games, but with a triple slash of .228/.299/.387, Espinosa will struggle to find enough playing time to get even half of those totals. At 28, this is who he is.
43. Eric Sogard, Oak 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics29138122313711.223.298.268.567
2015 Projections40853334385315.248.314.324.638
2015 Outlook: Sogard has dug out his niche as the light-hitting, strong-defending second baseman for the Athletics, hitting .235 in his five-year career without much power or baserunning to speak of. Now, Sogard will back up the newly acquired Ben Zobrist and serve as a utility infielder. What little fantasy value Sogard had is now mostly gone, as he won't get enough plate appearances to produce much of anything given his mediocre fantasy stats. It is possible an Oakland player goes down with injury and the ultra-versatile Zobrist moves from second base to fit that position, but even that could be a long shot, given fellow infielder Marcus Semien's ability to play on the left side of the infield and higher ceiling as a younger player than Sogard.
44. Rickie Weeks, Sea 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics2523682925733.274.357.452.809
2015 Projections1321841214383.242.331.409.740
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.
45. Micah Johnson, CWS 2BYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2014 Statistics----------------------
2015 Projections1471631310268.252.294.388.682