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 | OF | SP | RP
2014 Statistics32837146128892.235.293.415.707
2015 Projections568733192481614.241.300.463.763
2015 Outlook: With back-to-back seasons of 30-plus homers in a pitcher-friendly ballpark, there was real excitement about what Trumbo might do in Arizona over a full season. Unfortunately, a fractured right foot limited him to just 88 games, and he hit just 14 homers in that time, thanks in large part to a career-worst HR/FB rate of 14.3 percent. He spent 2012 and 2013 at a lofty 21 percent, but suffered the big drop in 2014 despite posting a career-high 40 percent fly ball rate. Trumbo's still virtually the same guy, though, with bankable power and a batting-average deficiency. His inability to consistently walk holds that average down, as does his lofty strikeout rate. These skills have largely been static throughout his mid-20s, making it unlikely that we'll see a major shift at this point, which also means that his 40-homer potential may not quite materialize.
2014 Statistics527551568261143.288.321.457.779
2015 Projections505591969271162.285.321.467.788
2015 Outlook: The dangers of extrapolation are shown clearly in the case of Adams. He had 17 homers in 108 games back in 2013, which gave him a lot of 20-plus-homer projections for 2014. However, he hit eight of those homers in September 2013, which ballooned his HR/FB rate to 22 percent for the year. He fell to nine percent last year en route to a disappointing 15-homer season. Adams is also a platoon player, which limits his upside. He started only 32 games against lefties and managed just a .528 OPS against them all year. He could push the lower 20s in home runs, but that should be considered the upside, not the expectation. At 26 years old, he's entering what should be his prime years, but he'll need to hit lefties better to take that next step.
2014 Statistics500702581671531.234.334.438.772
2015 Projections459682778501393.255.338.481.819
2015 Outlook: Moss hit only four homers after the All-Star break, and the reason for that became pretty clear in September, when the A's announced he had been playing through a torn labrum in his hip that would ultimately require surgery. Moss had that surgery on Oct. 21 and later was traded to the Indians for second-base prospect Joe Wendle. Ideally, the Indians would like to use him at either first base or DH -- whichever position isn't occupied by Carlos Santana -- with Nick Swisher manning right field. But between Swisher's knee and Moss' hip, there's a lot of uncertainty about who is going to be available and at what capacity. Before the injury, Moss was great, hitting 21 homers with an .878 OPS prior to the All-Star break. If he fully recovers, he might even benefit from the change in ballparks, as he consistently was hurt by his home ballpark in Oakland during the past three years.
2014 Statistics514743092691353.253.349.481.830
2015 Projections512712776711452.248.347.453.800
2015 Outlook: Duda used to be a poor man's Matt Adams. He was a true platoon player with a modicum of power but marginal batting average upside. But in 2014, he traded the batting average upside for a more explosive power profile. The reliability of that power going forward obviously dictates his value, and it looks solid. He didn't need a huge spike in fly balls or HR/FB rate to fuel this surge; it was just a continued maturation against righties combined with a career high in playing time. He may get even fewer than his 125 opportunities against lefties this year now that Michael Cuddyer is around to spell him at first base, but that could be seen as a boon, given his .516 OPS, with just two home runs and 10 RBI against them last year. His value spikes in leagues that use OBP and/or daily lineups.
2014 Statistics5035495835934.270.318.398.716
2015 Projections584711367471019.277.331.411.742
2015 Outlook: Hosmer had a nice October, but it can't completely erase the memories of his 2014 regular season. Though he played just 131 games, he wasn't injured until Aug. 1 and had just a .689 OPS through July, so it's not like he had a nagging, lingering injury all season. Righties found reasonable success against Hosmer, holding him to a .732 OPS, noticeably shy of the league's .766 OPS on average for lefties facing right-handed pitchers. He did hit righties to the tune of an .803 OPS in 2013 and .886 in 2011, so there has been good work by Hosmer on that front in the past. The inconsistency is frustrating, but such is life with a young player, as their growth is almost never linear. He's still just 25 years old, so the upside is still there, but we need to temper what that upside looks like considering he's a first baseman who has yet to eclipse 20 homers.
2014 Statistics494732692821083.259.362.455.817
2015 Projections476702579771203.263.363.471.834
2015 Outlook: It can be easy to overlook LaRoche, as he has essentially been the same player throughout his career. That isn't said critically, however, as he's been a consistently solid contributor and has remained steady into his 30s. In fact, in the past three seasons, his 79 homers are good for 16th in baseball. LaRoche has always hit better in his home park despite rarely having played in a hitter-friendly yard, but now he moves into U.S. Cellular Field, which has been a homer haven for years. The park was eighth in home runs per game (1.86) in 2014, well ahead of the 1.33 mark for Nationals Park. LaRoche has a pair of 30-homer seasons on his ledger and might be primed for a third, but the safe bet is to expect 25 homers and 90 RBI and take anything else as pure profit.
2014 Statistics50262178234600.319.364.496.860
2015 Projections49961197639770.295.348.477.825
2015 Outlook: Morneau was expected to improve with his move to Coors Field, and while he did just that, it wasn't in the way most expected. Instead of adding to his 17 home run total from 2013, he boosted his average by 60 points en route to a National League-best .319 mark. Of course, the only reason he didn't top that 2013 home run figure is the time he missed to a neck injury. Morneau has missed time in five of the past six seasons, so betting on a repeat of his 152 games from 2013 is dangerous. Instead, enjoy the fact that with him playing in Coors, you can get his typical counting production and a boosted batting average despite the games he sits out due to injury.
2014 Statistics4556045560963.277.361.371.732
2015 Projections54373861751083.291.376.405.781
2015 Outlook: Mauer burned a lot of owners in 2014, as the move from catcher (while remaining eligible at the position) to first base was supposed to drive up his production by keeping him healthier and adding volume. Unfortunately, he logged a whopping 10 more plate appearances than 2013. No one was expecting the 2009 power to miraculously come back, but at the very least he was supposed to be a lock for .300-plus AVG; even that fell short. Now he has become a 32-year-old eligible only at first base who has averaged just 10 homers per 162 games played over the last five years. Yes, that's per 162, and of course he never plays 162. If you're power-heavy early in the draft with a star first baseman in place, he might be a useful corner infielder.
2014 Statistics21430122718643.243.306.449.755
2015 Projections491651960501317.265.337.452.789
2015 Outlook: Belt has a dedicated fan base within the fantasy community. Chances are, one guy in your league has continued to go back to the well with Belt and at least had him for three of his four seasons. He keeps doing something to tantalize. His full season in 2013 looked like just the beginning, then he opened the 2014 season with seven home runs in April before a broken thumb limited him to just eight games over the next two months. A concussion all but washed out the second half, necessitating two DL stints and limiting him to just 54 plate appearances in the final two months of the season. The proponents are going to see a fast start that had him pacing toward 30 homers, while the detractors will be leery of what the power spike did to the rest of his numbers, not to mention his 18.2 percent HR/FB ratio, which was well above his previous marks.
2014 Statistics377471549581153.225.327.401.728
2015 Projections394551656561022.244.337.424.761
2015 Outlook: Grandal was getting some sleeper love prior to the trade to Los Angeles, and the move to the Dodgers only makes him more desirable. He had a near-equal strikeout-to-walk ratio in his first two seasons (57 strikeouts and 49 walks), but it was only an 88-game sample, and the strikeout rate specifically ran counter to what he had shown in the minors. He continued to take walks in his first full season of play last year, but the strikeout rate jumped from 17 to 26 percent. His real level probably remains unknown at this point, but at least he is still drawing walks, even with the elevated strikeout rate. After hitting half his homers in the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, he should enjoy the boost Chavez Ravine offers as goes from the 24th-best home run park to the fifth best, according ESPN's Park Factors page.
2014 Statistics33851214940765.293.373.556.930
2015 Projections41958205449946.274.358.487.845
2015 Outlook: Pearce lived his early MLB life as a short-side platoon player on the four corners (first, third, left and right), but a surge against righties resulted in a nice, career year at age 31. He had six homers against right-handers in 488 plate appearances prior to 2014 but hit double that number in just 272 plate appearances while continuing to be a lefty-killer too. The ride appeared over in July, when he managed just a .681 OPS and two home runs, but he caught fire again and closed with a 1.040 OPS and 10 homers in the final two months, despite a lack of full-time play. However, this is his first run of real success against right-handers, and he's too old to map out a legitimate growth pattern. Trusting post-30-year-old breakouts is a fast track to a fifth-place finish, but Pearce should get enough at-bats at DH, with some starts sprinkled in at first base and the outfield corners, to be worth monitoring in deeper formats in 2015.
2014 Statistics5495796641960.271.323.379.702
2015 Projections577611476511020.284.344.412.757
2015 Outlook: Last year, Butler didn't deliver in his one area of reliability: batting average. His career-low .271 represents just his second time below .289 over eight seasons in the big leagues. Worse, his already-weak power evaporated, as he ended up with just nine home runs for the season. Butler still crushed lefties, with a .321 average and .847 OPS, but platooning him in a daily transaction league was about the extent of his value in the fantasy game last year. The move to Oakland certainly won't help the shrinking power, but with a sub-30 percent fly ball rate each of the last three years, the park is almost irrelevant. A move back toward career norms in his BABIP and HR/FB rate should bring the batting average and homers up toward expected levels, but 2012 is a distant memory at this point and appears set to forever stand as his career year.
2014 Statistics415491755781333.248.370.419.789
2015 Projections429592165741472.245.361.450.811
2015 Outlook: Napoli is difficult to project because of his ping-ponging playing time. He's consistently bothered by any number of nagging injuries, and who knows how much the finger and back ailments affected him late in the season. He posted a .186/.326/.354 line in August and September, though he was still doing damage in the rare instances when he made contact, netting five homers and 19 RBI in those final 141 plate appearances. At 33 years old, the injuries are obviously a mainstay for Napoli, but that has been built into his price, making him a relative bargain in the games he does play. Have a contingency plan in place for the 30 or 40 games that he'll miss.
2014 Statistics440562262581091.216.313.398.711
2015 Projections458602270601091.234.326.419.746
2015 Outlook: If there's any sort of think tank set on removing the shift from baseball, check to see if Teixeira is the primary source of funds. The shift has, quite simply, eaten Teixeira's value alive via the continued downsizing of his batting average. Back in 2009 -- his first with the Yankees -- Teixeira had an MVP-caliber season with 39 homers, 122 RBI and a .292 average, but he hasn't sniffed that kind of complete production since thanks to a precipitous drop in his BABIP as a result of the shift. He had five straight seasons of .300-plus BABIP after that 2009 season, but hasn't been north of .268 since, with the difference almost entirely in his results against right-handed pitchers. There is still a decent amount of power here, but the batting average is never coming back as long as he continues to bat lefty.
2014 Statistics569652395671900.223.310.380.690
2015 Projections561632389601970.228.306.394.700
2015 Outlook: Pay no attention to the RBI totals behind the curtain. Howard's 95 RBIs might have you thinking he wasn't too bad in 2014, but the triple slash line tells a different story. A story that isn't safe for work or children. He posted a .223/.310/.380, which is quite far from "not too bad," let alone anything resembling "good." His power cratered, as he would have popped 37 homers with his career HR/FB rate of 26.4 percent. Instead he was well below 20 percent for the second straight season with a 16.1 percent mark. He still ranked in the top 20, but that isn't quite good enough when it is your only source of value. The 23-HR/95-RBI season will trick someone into taking him entirely too early and you don't want to be that person. In addition to the power that is uncertain to return, he is also an injury risk at 35 years old even coming after a 153-game campaign. He played in just 151 games in 2012 and 2013 combined.