2016 Outlook: Bryant's rookie season was a virtuoso performance, complete with parts of at least seven games in each outfield position and even a game over at first base. This is less relevant for fantasy purposes since he came up just shy of the 20-game plateau in the outfield, but it shows a measure of acumen for the game that shouldn't go unnoticed. Lost in the fervor over his amazing power potential is the fact that Bryant posted the fifth-best BABIP in baseball (.378) en route to just a .275 average. Unless he improves the strikeout rate (31 percent, tied for the highest in MLB), his batting average is at risk. He was tied with Chris Davis, a profile you should look at when trying to assess Bryant. Davis has averaged .256, 40 homers, 103 RBI, and 83 runs over the last four seasons with some incredible highs, but also the 2014 meltdown. There is a lot to love with Bryant, but he's not at all risk-free.
2016 Outlook: With just three full seasons under his belt, Marte's skill set is remarkably stable. His slash line in each of the past three seasons has held steady and he's put up double-digit home run and stolen base totals in each of the past three years. He does not walk much, which limits his stolen base upside. He also hits too many groundballs, which limits his homer upside. Nevertheless, there is one area where he has shown year over year improvement: making contact. His strikeout rate has improved each of the past four seasons and he made a rather large improvement last season even if it didn't show up in his batting average or his on-base percentage. He's more likely to bat .300 than he is to hit 20 homers in 2016, but the speed is real and he's a five-category producer that will go off the boards early.
2016 Outlook: Cespedes' offseason was a rollercoaster. But like any rollercoaster, it would up where it started, and Cespedes is once again a Met, this time for a full season. Lost in the fawning over his late-summer, early-fall with the Mets is the fact that he was having a really good season with Detroit prior to the trade. Of course, he almost doubled his production in about 60 percent of the plate appearances, but it should be noted that he had a great season start-to-finish; it wasn't a weak or modest start saved by the New York run. Now, can he repeat? No, of course not. His Mets numbers were about a 45/120 pace. He can definitely log a second straight 100-run/100-RBI season, though. The Mets' lineup is strong top-to-bottom with a league average or better contributor in every spot, plus some interesting platoon potential to leverage the bench. They should be able to avoid the pitfalls that beset last year's team and created the need for the Cespedes trade in the first place.
2016 Outlook: Upton's OPS dipped below .800 for just the third time in his nine-year career last season with the Padres, due in part to the lowest BABIP (.304) since his rookie season. Still, he was awfully productive in terms of counting stats, notching 25-plus homers and 18-plus steals for just the third time in his career, thanks largely to the improved hitting dimensions in San Diego. Petco Park actually ranked as the 10th-best place to hit homers in 2015, while Upton's new home, Comerica Park, ranked 26th, according to ESPN's park factors. The organization change is not all bad news, however. Detroit was ninth in stolen-base attempts last season, despite finishing 27th with a 61.9% success rate, so there's no reason to think Upton won't have the green light in many situations, which should allow him to push for double-digit steals again. He'll also have a chance to top last year's run totals, potentially hitting in front of Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez in a potent Tigers lineup.
2016 Outlook: Only Jose Altuve and Miguel Cabrera have a better batting average than Brantley's .319 over the past two seasons. It's hard to find a better pure hitter than Brantley, who posted a strikeout rate below 10 percent for the third time in four years in 2015 and actually walked more times (60) than he struck out (51). However, Brantley's power production dipped, as he fell from 20 home runs to 15, 97 RBI to 84, and 94 runs scored to 68. Brantley remains an extreme groundball hitter -- his 1.45 GB/FB in 2015 was the lowest of his career -- and as such a repeat of his 20-homer power from 2014 would be a surprise. His recovery from offseason shoulder surgery pushed deep into spring training, and he had some trouble bouncing back after his first couple spring games, but it sounds like Brantley has a chance to be ready relatively early on, if not on Opening Day.
2016 Outlook: After opening his 2015 campaign at Double-A, Schwarber played his way into a prominent place in the Cubs' lineup during the second half, including the team's postseason run in October. He forced the issue for regular playing time by adjusting quickly to big league pitching, showing impressive power (.241 ISO, 16 homers in 273 plate appearances) and the ability to draw walks at a good clip (13.2 BB%), albeit with the propensity to strike out (28.2 K%) at a steady rate. Thanks to a thumb injury suffered by Miguel Montero in July, the Cubs put Schwarber behind the plate for 21 games last season, giving him enough time at the position to qualify as a catcher in most leagues for 2016. As catchers go, only Buster Posey can match Schwarber's ability with the bat. Defensively, it remains to be seen if Schwarber's strong arm and high marks for work ethic will lead him to become a passable defender in left field, and there is a bit of uncertainty as to how the outfield situation will shake out with Jason Heyward and Dexter Fowler both now in Chicago, but Schwarber still projects to open the season with a regular role and a valuable run-producing spot in one of the league's best lineups.
2016 Outlook: It has now been three consecutive seasons in which Braun has failed to get to 600 plate appearances, thanks in part to suspensions as well as injuries. The latest injury was a bulging disc in his back that prematurely ended his 2015 season and required surgery in early October. The 30/30 version of Braun is likely gone for good, as he does not hit as many fly balls these days as he once did. But the 20/20 version we saw last year is certainly repeatable, as long as the recovery from the back surgery is 100 percent and the nerve injury in his hand is resolved as well. The concern with Braun is that his supporting cast is not as strong as it once was, and there's talk of further paring down the roster. Braun could see fewer pitches to hit as teams decide to deal with the contact-challenged hitters behind him in the lineup.
2016 Outlook: When a hitter is 29 years old, he usually is a finished product. Well, unless he was a pitcher through his early 20s, took some time off then resurfaced with the hopes of making it as an outfielder. The Diamondbacks took a chance on this talented Venezuelan and they've struck gold. Peralta refined his patience and improved against lefties to the point where he'll be the regular clean-up hitter for one of the most prolific attacks in the league. Peralta's .368 BABIP and spike in home runs-per-fly-ball rate last season will put him on the radar of many that would otherwise overlook him. Both marks should fall back some, though Peralta's raw production should rise since he's in line for full-time at-bats. He has less power than the typical four-hole hitter but should be productive with Paul Goldschmidt frequently on the pond, though the loss of A.J. Pollock does put a damper on that.
2016 Outlook: It's rare that leaving a team that led the league in runs scored the previous season benefits a leadoff hitter, but that's exactly the case for Revere. Most of the Blue Jays' lineup is in scoring position when they step in the batter's box, mitigating the need for Revere to run. Now back in the Senior Circuit as a member of the Nationals, the veteran speedster will be asked to replace the spark Denard Span gave them at the top of the order. Revere sports one of the best contact rates in the league, taking full advantage of his speed by hitting mostly groundballs and line drives. The Nationals let Span run, so there's no doubt Revere will have the green light more often than not. If the meat of the order can stay healthy, Revere has a chance to set a career high in runs for the second straight year.
2016 Outlook: Polanco didn't bust out in his first year as a full-time player, as he failed to reach double-digits in home runs and he hit just .256/.320/.381. Still, there was a lot to like, as Polanco used his speed to mash 35 doubles and six triples, steal 27 bases and score 83 runs. It's easy to see room for growth for Polanco if a few of those doubles turn into home runs and a few of his caught stealings (10 in 37 attempts) turn into successes. He's shown the ability to hit home runs in the minors (16 in 2012, 12 in just 115 games in 2013), and at the age of 25 next season, he's getting to the stage where he can start generating more power out of his body. The tools are all there, so now he just has to harness the gifts.
2016 Outlook: Yelich scuffled in April and May, likely due to a back strain he suffered during the first month of the season. He was a completely different player from June on, although he missed time in the second half due to a knee contusion. With a .342/.392/.473 line in the second half (57 games), Yelich did everything other than provide home-run power, but the spike in extra-base hits after the All-Star break is an encouraging sign going forward. The fences at Marlins Park will be moved in for 2016, but Yelich's batted ball profile includes a career 61.9 GB%, which will continue to limit his long ball output barring adjustments to his swing and approach. Just 24 years old, Yelich offers a rare combination of plate discipline, bat control and the ability to spray line drives to all fields. Even if he simply sticks with what has worked for him through his first two-and-a-half big league seasons, Yelich should be an asset in batting average, runs scored, RBI and steals as the Marlins' No. 2 hitter.
2016 Outlook: "The sky is falling" sums up how Dickerson's prospective owners felt about the 26-year-old lefty slugger after he was dealt from Colorado to Tampa Bay in late January. However, there are reasons to pump the brakes on eulogizing his status as a mixed-league outfielder. Coors Field has been only a marginally better place for left-handed power than Tropicana Field over the past three years, and three AL East parks -- Camden Yards, Yankee Stadium and Rogers Centre -- are among the best places in MLB for lefties to hit homers. However, his batting average could see a noticeable dip, as few environments can match Coors Field in that regard. That said, now that he is in Tampa Bay where there are platoon partners at the ready, he will no longer be exposed to many southpaws. His career .261/.297/.442 road slash line against righties may represent a realistic floor, since the Coors Field factor negatively affects hitters on the road, as breaking balls break differently away from Colorado. After a year-long bout with plantar fasciitis, it is impossible to assume he'll be healthy for all of 2016, as that specific ailment can flare up at any moment, and the move from grass to the turf in Tampa Bay probably won't help matters. Assuming he gets platooned, and given the injury concerns, Dickerson has more value in shallower leagues with daily roster moves.
2016 Outlook: While the Red Sox were hopeful that Ramirez could make a smooth transition to handle left field upon signing him to a four-year deal last offseason, he struggled to handle the position from Day 1. At the plate, he started the season on a high note, posting a .283/.340/.609 line with 10 home runs and 22 RBI through his first 25 games with Boston. Things spiraled out of control from there, however, as a collision with an outfield wall during a May game led to a shoulder injury. Ramirez was unable to get back on track despite returning to the lineup a few days later. His numbers after the injury included a .239/.275/.372 line and nine homers over his final 80 games, a far cry from his early-season production. Moreover, shoulder fatigue prevented him from appearing in a game after Aug. 26. Ramirez told reporters that he was pain-free in early December, and he will head to spring training with the goal of learning a new position for the second consecutive year, this time shifting back to the infield to play first base.
2016 Outlook: Grichuk hammered 47 extra-base hits in just 350 plate appearances in 2015, showing why the Angels were enamored enough with him to draft him one slot before they took Mike Trout back in 2009. But Grichuk also showed why the Angels were willing to deal him away, as he struck out an absurd 110 times, a Russell Branyan-esque 31.4 percent strikeout rate. Grichuk made enough hard contact to post a .276 batting average in 2015, but it will be hard to match that again unless he can significantly improve his contact skills. There's a lot to like with anybody who can mash 17 home runs in just over a half-season's worth of plate appearances, but pitchers have seen him now and may be able to adjust to his whiff-happy ways. The power is worth a gamble, but don't be shocked if the bottom falls out of Grichuk's batting average.
2016 Outlook: The 34-year-old super utility player may have finally found a lineup where his production will seem truly utilitarian. He will no longer be asked to carry an offense; rather, he will simply have to get on base so the thumpers behind him can drive him in. Zobrist is on a run of four straight seasons with double-digit homers, 75-plus runs and a batting average of .270 or better. That kind of production is hard to find, especially from someone who qualifies at second base. Hitting either first or second in the Cubs' lineup will allow him to easily clear 75 runs again, and he will also get the benefit of playing in the best hitter's park of his career. The only potential drawback is that Javier Baez may earn some starts at the keystone, but Zobrist's ability to play the outfield may keep him in the lineup even on those days. Of bigger concern may be losing his plum spot in the lineup to Addison Russell should the young shortstop get back on track at the dish this season.