Complete 2016 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 2016 SEASON STATS
1. Carlos Correa, Hou SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics387522268407814.279.345.512.857
2016 Projections5959223945711724.276.341.467.808
2016 Outlook: Fight the urge to simply extrapolate Correa's amazing numbers from 2015 into a full season because those that do will almost certainly wind up disappointed. Of course he doesn't need to do something like that to still be both the top shortstop and a first-round talent. It is hard to find any discernible flaws in his game, even after just 99 games, but the grind of a six-month major league season alone will breed some cold periods. Keep in mind: no qualified shortstop had better than a .782 OPS last year. Now if that's all Correa does, he won't fulfill that first-round part, but he's a strong bet to deliver the first non-Ian Desmond 20-homer/20-steal season at shortstop. And if one wants to really dream about the upside, think Hanley Ramirez 2007-2009. Ramirez averaged 29 homers, 38 steals, 117 runs, 85 RBI, and a .325 average in those three years. Averaged.
2. Troy Tulowitzki, Tor SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics486771770381141.280.337.440.777
2016 Projections513852477531171.281.352.476.827
2016 Outlook: For the first time in 2016, Tulowitzki is not going to be taken by anyone in the top 20 in a fantasy draft. It has happened year after year despite the fact Tulo hasn't played more than 150 games since the 2009 season and has had one injury issue after another since. Last season, the inevitable happened as he was dealt away from Coors and went to Toronto, where he put up a very disappointing .239/.317/.380 line over 41 games and there too suffered an injury. Like all Rockies hitters, Tulo was amazing at home, but his career .274/.347/.462 slash line away from Coors is nothing to ignore. The shortstop position is not terribly deep in 2016 with youth (Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, Corey Seager) making up most of the higher rankings. If he hits at the top of the lineup and can stay healthy in front of the Blue Jay bombers, then he could score plenty of runs, but health does not generally get better with age.
3. Xander Bogaerts, Bos SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics613847813210110.320.355.421.776
2016 Projections620821579441158.289.339.424.763
2016 Outlook: The Aruban shortstop displayed his plus hit tool and plus glove work last season, putting an end to the talk of a potential move to third base. He took advantage of hitting third for most of the season, and with the help of a slightly inflated batting average (.372 BABIP last season, .338 for his career), he was able to finish top-two in runs and RBI at the position. Bogaerts should remain in the three-hole for Boston in 2016, and while he may not hit .320 again, modest regression would allow him to still challenge for .300. His 10 steals may not sound like much, but it gives him an edge over players like Troy Tulowitzki, Brandon Crawford and Jhonny Peralta. The elephant in the room is Bogaerts' power projection. Scouting reports have always suggested he could hit 20-30 homers in his prime, and while he is just entering his age-23 season, his in-game power could start to click at any moment, which would make him a five-category monster.
4. Corey Seager, LAD SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics981741714192.337.425.561.986
2016 Projections611911887401066.290.335.462.796
2016 Outlook: Seager gave the Dodgers and baseball fans in general a tantalizing taste of his vast talent in his 113 plate appearances at the tail end of 2015. He managed an impressive .337 average despite a below-league-average contract rate, launching four homers and driving in 17 runs in that abbreviated stretch. He produced an impressive .387 BABIP, .561 slugging percentage, and .224 ISO, none of which represented uncharted territory from his minor league track record, and his walk rate was higher than it was during any stop on the farm. Seager projects as the everyday shortstop for the Dodgers heading into 2016, and should have ample opportunity to generate solid power numbers while frequenting the base paths through his considerable ability to hit for average.
5. Francisco Lindor, Cle SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics390501251276912.313.353.482.835
2016 Projections6207113674710823.282.330.415.744
2016 Outlook: Conventional wisdom thought Lindor's glove was MLB ready but there was some concern if his bat could play. After a couple of months at Triple-A where his on-base skills improved across the board, he got the call. What followed was a complete surprise, as much like another more ballyhooed rookie shortstop (Carlos Correa), Lindor enjoyed a power spike completely out of line with his minor league history. Another parallel is Lindor's flyball rate being extremely low so a drop in homers is very likely. Further, sustaining a .348 BABIP is unlikely even though, with his very good contact rate, speed and groundball rate, Lindor's batting average floor is still solid. Factor in the fact that the sophomore is entrenched in the two-hole and the runs and steals should remain high. Just don't pay for last year's power.
6. Jose Reyes, Col SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics48157753266224.274.310.378.688
2016 Projections55166965326227.289.326.394.720
2016 Outlook: Even with the benefit of playing his home games in two of the league's most hitter-friendly environments, Reyes posted the lowest batting average and OBP numbers since his rookie season in 2015. An oblique injury in April undoubtedly contributed to his slow start before forcing him to the disabled list, and an Achilles injury early in the season popped up again in September. Perhaps the latter ailment can justify the drop off in stolen bases (24), but he would have made a run at another 30-steal campaign without the DL stint. At his peak, Reyes had a combination of double-digit home-run power and 50-steal speed that made him a perennial early-round target. As the odometer reading has increased, he's experienced a steady decline in pop, and his ISO has fallen in each of the last four seasons, bottoming out at .104 in 2015. Traded to Colorado as part of the Troy Tulowitzki deal in July, Reyes scuffled at the plate after the trade. On the books for at least two more seasons for a total of $48 million, the number of teams interested in acquiring him is likely very limited. That list likely became shorter during the offseason when Reyes was arrested in Hawaii on charges of domestic abuse. Subsequently, Reyes is facing disciplinary action from Major League Baseball as a result of the incident under the league's new domestic violence policy.
7. Elvis Andrus, Tex SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics59669762467825.258.309.357.667
2016 Projections60270569468329.266.317.350.668
8. Ian Desmond, Wsh SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics5836919624518713.233.290.384.674
2016 Projections5957421664718217.240.298.405.704
2016 Outlook: After a disastrous start to the season that saw him batting just .211 with seven home runs at the All-Star break, Desmond pulled it together in the second half, as he hit .262/.331/.446 -- comparable to his 2013 Silver Slugger campaign (.280/.331/.453) -- and mashed 12 homers in the season's final 74 games. Even in a down year, Desmond was a four-category contributor, as he also stole 13 bases, scored 69 times and knocked in 62 runs. Desmond's free agency could easily see him move to a better hitter's park than Washington's large Nationals Park, so a return to 20 home runs shouldn't be counted out for Desmond in 2016.
9. Brandon Crawford, SF SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics507652184391196.256.321.462.782
2016 Projections527711773461255.260.325.433.758
2016 Outlook: Crawford managed to once again demonstrate improvement in every major offensive category in 2015, the fourth consecutive season that he's accomplished the feat. The 29-year-old, already a perennial Gold Glove contender, set new career highs in at-bats, runs scored, hits, doubles, homers, RBI, batting average and slugging percentage, and also enhanced his already-stellar defensive resume. Crawford's 21 homers in 2015 more than doubled his previous high of 10, a stark increase even when factoring in that he'd improved his home run numbers in each prior season as well. If he happens to approximate his poor 77 percent contact rate from 2015 and his career-high 16.2 percent HR/FB rate experiences some regression, Crawford will likely see his power numbers come back towards the mean. Regardless of some potential fluctuations in performance at the plate, he'll enter 2016 armed with a six-year, $75 million extension complete with a no-trade clause, cementing his opportunity to build on his recent success.
10. Jung Ho Kang, Pit 3B, SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics42160155828995.287.355.461.816
2016 Projections494681666321146.279.347.443.791
11. Jhonny Peralta, StL SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics579641771501111.275.334.411.745
2016 Projections571641873521172.275.338.429.767
12. Addison Russell, ChC 2B, SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics475601354421494.242.307.389.696
2016 Projections537721763421506.248.305.410.715
2016 Outlook: Of all the Cubs' rookies, Russell garnered the least attention. Part of that was by design as the club grew more reliant on his defense at shortstop than counting on offensive production. In fact, Russell hit out of the nine-hole, a favorite Joe Maddon ploy. Unfortunately, the attempt to get a second leadoff man didn't come to fruition as Russell's contact rate fell precipitously, fueling a rather anemic .307 on-base percentage. With nearly a full season under his belt, look for the 22-year-old infielder to cut down on the strikeouts, though not enough to work his way much higher in the order. The element of Russell's game that did not manifest during his rookie campaign was speed. As his confidence grows, so will the running opportunities. Still, so long as Russell is buried in the order, his production, despite sneaky power, will be tempered.
13. Erick Aybar, Atl SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics59774344257315.270.301.338.639
2016 Projections60372453297015.275.310.360.670
14. Brad Miller, TB SS, OFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics4384411464710113.258.329.402.730
2016 Projections5055616594911411.261.326.428.753
15. Alcides Escobar, KC SSYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPS
2015 Statistics61276347267517.257.293.320.614
2016 Projections61073353247922.262.296.328.624