Complete 2014 Projections

Position: All | Batters | Pitchers | C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | IF | LF | CF | RF | OF | SP | RP
     
PROJECTED 2014 SEASON STATS
16. Curtis Granderson, NYM CF, LF, RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics2143171527698.229.317.407.723140.5
2014 Projections5498724737017914.233.323.426.749403.5
2014 Outlook: Don't race to affix the "injury-prone" label to Granderson; recognize that his 101 missed games last season were largely the result of two unfortunate hit-by-pitch incidents, one during his very first at-bat of spring training, the other 31 plate appearances following his return from the DL. Those effectively ruined his year, but not his winter payday, as he hopped aboard the seven train to Flushing to join the New York Mets. It's the ballpark change, not Granderson's health, that warrants greater concern, as he has historically been a feast-or-famine, yank-flies-to-right slugger; that is a style perfect for Yankee Stadium's short porch, but less so with all the right-field nooks and crannies at Citi Field. His power numbers might suffer, his low batting average is a liability in Rotisserie leagues and his high strikeout rate a problem in leagues than penalize for them, but the mere prospect of a 30- even if not 40-homer campaign makes him a modest bounce-back candidate.
17. Billy Hamilton, Cin CFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics199012413.368.429.474.90244
2014 Projections34247322309256.237.298.310.608256
2014 Outlook: Four of the 21 100-steal seasons in the history of baseball were recorded by a player named Billy Hamilton, a 19th-century Hall of Famer who played for the Kansas City Cowboys, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Beaneaters. Now another Billy Hamilton vies to join that group -- assuming he can accrue the requisite playing time. For those familiar with scouting terms, Hamilton's speed is an "80-plus" on the 20-80 scouting scale; if the scale extended further, he'd surely grade higher. This Cincinnati Reds speedster has a clear path to a premium gig: Center field and the leadoff spot are his for the taking. Hamilton, however, lacks the polish one would expect from a projected starter, having one season's experience in the outfield under his belt and having suffered a precipitous three-plus-percent drop in his walk rate between Triple-A and the majors in 2013 (7.0 percent, down from 10.3 from 2009-12 in the lower minors). Picking him is speculating on his one tremendous tool (speed), and that makes him a far more valuable asset in rotisserie formats than points-based leagues, where his flaws will detract from his totals. Can you afford a one-category performer, and one largely untested in the majors? He's the ultimate risk/reward play in rotisserie play entering 2014.
18. B.J. Upton, Atl CFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics391309264415112.184.268.289.557159.5
2014 Projections4776518575016426.231.304.403.707332
2014 Outlook: Upton's 2013 was historically bad: His .184 batting average was fourth-worst in modern history among players with at least 400 plate appearances, with his 33.9 percent strikeout rate coming in at 10th-worst. Things started badly and didn't improve, and got to the extent that the Atlanta Braves were rumored to be considering demoting him to the minors. Instead, they granted him only 30 starts in their final 67 regular-season games. Upton provided zero evidence to hint at a 2014 rebound. Any such hope hinges entirely upon previous history, such as his 23-homer, 36-steal annual averages from 2010-12. He's plenty capable of approaching that form, though his rising strikeout rate also hints that any "rebound" might still land him short of it. In rotisserie leagues, Upton might be worth the late-round gamble. In leagues that have on-base percentage, perhaps he's not.
19. Christian Yelich, Mia LF, CFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics24034416316610.288.370.396.766164
2014 Projections5658114587015818.280.359.441.800407
2014 Outlook: Although delayed, first by the Miami Marlins' conservative approach to his advancement and then by injuries (plantar fasciitis and abdominal ailments), Yelich's arrival in the majors was positive in 2013. Just as he had in the minors, he hit for average with a healthy-enough walk rate to drive his on-base percentage, and he maintained the double-digit speed he had showed over his entire minor league career. The latter is his route to fantasy superstardom; Yelich is capable of 20-plus steals, and adding any batting average points or homers to his totals would drive him up the Player Rater. Still, he's not without weakness: He batted a miserable .165/.245/.231 against left-handers despite playing regularly against both sides, and had a similarly large platoon split in the minors. Yelich must make those adjustments. For the immediate future, that makes him more of a mid- to late-round draft pick in mixed leagues, with greater value in formats with more transaction flexibility. For the long term, though, he could be a five-category stud well worth a greater investment today.
20. Michael Bourn, Cle CFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics525756504013223.263.316.360.676324
2014 Projections583816505014330.257.318.353.671367.5
2014 Outlook: It'd be understandable if you're hesitant to draft Bourn this season. After all, he's a speed-oriented fantasy player whose stolen base total plummeted in 2013, and one who succumbed to minor surgery on his hamstring in October. Even more troubling, Bourn's walk total slipped, dropping from 10.0 percent in 2012 to 7.0 percent, a concern considering he's a .271 career hitter who needs those walks to drive his on-base percentage and therefore fuel his steals total. Now 31, Bourn is probably closer to the player we witnessed in 2013 than the one who averaged 58 steals per year from 2009-11, but in his defense he'll continue to get opportunities to play, and therefore improve, because the Cleveland Indians are paying him so much ($41 million more over the next three years). Consider him a mid-round steals target, nothing more. Stephania Bell: After suffering an injury while base stealing, Bourn underwent minor surgery on his left hamstring in mid-October. The procedure should actually help avert persistent problems with scarring.
21. Brett Gardner, NYY CF, LFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics539818525212724.273.344.416.759393.5
2014 Projections514777445211730.259.334.391.726374.5
2014 Outlook: Gardner's 2013 batting average was in line with his history, but it took some luck with his hit rate to make up for a marked rise in strikeouts. Even more concerning was the fact that Gardner did not run as much as in the past. This could have been an attempt to keep him healthy, but if he isn't running, he isn't an asset, fantasy or otherwise. Gardner is slated to open the season with a regular job, but his playing time is always a mystery since he could easily fall into a platoon or be banished to the bottom of the order. It's fine to use Gardner to embellish your speed, he's just no longer suited to be a primary source.
22. Austin Jackson, Sea CFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics552991249521298.272.337.417.754381.5
2014 Projections5549413525613712.276.344.430.774393.5
2014 Outlook: After an encouraging 2012, Jackson took a significant step backward last season. His walk rate went backward, he was less aggressive on the basepaths, and by October he was swinging at everything: He batted .214 and whiffed 18 times in 47 trips to the plate during the playoffs. As such, the Tigers acquired Ian Kinsler during the winter, increasing the likelihood that Jackson would occupy a mid- to bottom-third spot in the lineup, decreasing his number of plate appearances and potentially adversely impacting his counting numbers. Now 27, Jackson still has time to take that next big step in his career, but his contact rate simply doesn't have the look of a future All-Star's. He's more a rotisserie asset who is overrated in points leagues, and even in the former he might be more of a 15-homer/10-steal candidate than a budding 25/20 fantasy star.
23. Adam Eaton, CWS LF, CFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics2504032217445.252.314.360.674161
2014 Projections544898415710823.267.350.382.732391
2014 Outlook: Eaton hasn't had much luck in the injury department during his young career: His 2012 ended prematurely due to a broken hand, and he suffered an elbow injury during spring training that cost him the first 61 regular-season games of 2013. Last year, he never seemed to be his usual self in terms of power and speed, but he'll get a fresh start this year with the Chicago White Sox, presumably taking over as their regular center fielder. It's a cluttered outfield picture, somewhat threatening Eaton's at-bats, and he needs to improve his walk rate to the 11.5 percent mark in his minor league career or 13.6 percent in his brief 2012 stint, but there's a very real chance he could quickly develop into a 10/30 performer who hits atop the lineup. With a strong spring, he'll surely soar up draft boards.
24. Alejandro De Aza, Bal CF, LFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics6078417625014720.264.323.405.728406.5
2014 Projections4796812464111420.273.336.418.753334
2014 Outlook: De Aza's first full season as a starter rates a success on the heels of a career-high 17 homers, but closer inspection reveals an across-the-board drop in his slash line spurred by a big jump in strikeout rate. This is even more relevant since De Aza may not have the luxury of full-time at-bats to pump up the counting stats. His present role is in a platoon, as Adam Eaton is slated to take over full-time duties in center field. This renders De Aza an intriguing player in AL-only formats, since a trade or an injury to an outfielder will propel him back to regular status. Just don't assume he'll maintain last season's career-best power pace; some give-back should be expected.
25. Colby Rasmus, Tor CFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics417572266371350.276.338.501.840303.5
2014 Projections508722473461482.260.325.467.792360
2014 Outlook: Before citing Rasmus' batting average and declaring he's finally playing up the hype, take note of the fact that his already poor contact rate got even worse, his spike in average the result of bloated BABIP only partially supported by hitting a few more line drives. To put it another way, Lady Luck smiled fondly upon Rasmus last season, and some regression should be expected. On the other hand, Rasmus is showing some tangible growth in the power department, as his home run/fly ball rate has increased significantly each of the past two seasons. His homer total was dampened by missing the last two months with an oblique injury then a freak accident as an errant throw hit him in the eye. There's a very good chance that Rasmus continues the power surge, but be warned that he has only topped 500 at-bats once in his career.
26. Ben Revere, Phi CFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics31537017163622.305.338.352.691199
2014 Projections51558025285535.280.318.320.638310.5
2014 Outlook: When someone says "I can always draft speed later," what they're really saying is, "I can always draft Ben Revere later." Last season's league change did nothing to dissuade that opinion, as Revere was on a pace to swipe 40 bags before he broke his foot in mid-July. Now healthy, expect Revere to pick up where he left off, running every chance he gets. The downside to Revere is he has yet to hit a homer in 1,400 Major League plate appearances. The good thing is that his batting average is an asset, so you can absorb the lower average from a slugger if necessary.
27. Michael Brantley, Cle LF, CFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics556661073406717.284.332.396.728399.5
2014 Projections53567868436314.280.334.387.721379.5
2014 Outlook: If you're looking for reliability and durability, Brantley fits the bill. His skill set is steady but unspectacular. A low fly ball rate depresses any potential power breakout, but a solid line drive rate in tandem with an excellent contact rate offer some upside in average that could result in more steals, especially if he can maintain the improved success rate displayed last season.
28. Dexter Fowler, Hou CFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics4157112426510519.263.369.407.776329.5
2014 Projections5307513468615619.257.364.404.768377
2014 Outlook: Fowler's departure from Coors Field this winter spawned understandable concerns about his fantasy potential going forward, as he had .298/.395/.485 career triple-slash rates at Coors, compared to .241/.333/.361 on the road. As we remind, all players enjoy some degree of home-field advantage, so his road rates can't immediately be translated across the board. However, in Houston, Fowler's fantasy appeal might be relegated to a 15/15 candidate with a hint more appeal in leagues that use on-base percentage over batting average. He'll hit high in the lineup, his walks fueling his run total, but he's due to suffer some sort of drop in performance on his new team. Tread carefully.
29. Angel Pagan, SF CFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics2804453023369.282.334.414.749209
2014 Projections49882555407120.265.319.386.704369.5
2014 Outlook: When is an inside-the-park homer a bad thing? When you injure your hamstring and miss half the season, that's when. That's exactly what happened to Pagan in late May and, unbeknownst at the time, it turned out to be a harbinger of the Giants' season. Other than understandably not running much when he returned for the final month, Pagan's season was as expected: a decent average with a smattering of power. The bottom line is Pagan is what he has been for a couple of years, a very viable source of cheap speed without completely giving up on homers. And this season, he may even be a little cheaper coming off an injury.
30. Avisail Garcia, CWS RF, CFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2013 Statistics244317319593.283.309.422.731148.5
2014 Projections460561453231169.287.327.430.757289
2014 Outlook: The Chicago White Sox's primary haul in last July's three-team Jake Peavy trade, Garcia batted .304/.327/.447 in a 42-game stint for his new squad, setting himself up for a starting role entering 2014. Those stats, however, don't grant the promise of a substantial breakthrough, even if his power should play well in U.S. Cellular Field. Garcia is a noted free-swinger, making him susceptible to slumps, which is a concern for a player fighting for at-bats in a crowded outfield. He's an intriguing, up-and-coming talent, but he's more fringe candidate in mixed leagues rather than one you should target in AL-only formats.