Complete 2014 Projections

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PROJECTED 2014 SEASON STATS
31. Matt Moore*, TB SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics2727150.17614317003.291.308.56354
2014 Projections3131180.08018112003.401.279.05377
2014 Outlook: Despite sporting a sparkling 17-4 record, last season was a step backwards for Moore as his strikeout and walk rates both worsened a smidge. His 4.32 xFIP is a much better indication of his season than his actual 3.29 ERA. Good luck with batted balls in play, as well as a high LOB percentage, masked the skills decline. Still just 24, there is time for the southpaw to realize the promise he displayed coming up through the minors. The key will be improving his control while maintaining a strikeout rate of nearly a batter per inning. Can Moore do it? Absolutely, but with the present state of quality pitching, there's no reason to overpay on the hopes he does.
Stephania Bell: Just days after Aroldis Chapman's scary incident, Moore took a comebacker to the face in a March 23 spring outing. He was fortunate to escape with stitches to close a lacerated lip, although he is expected to undergo X-rays on March 24 to check his jaw and teeth, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Depending on the results, he could potentially still start the season on time.
32. Jeff Samardzija, Oak SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics3333213.2782148004.341.359.01336
2014 Projections3333216.08121812003.791.299.08406
2014 Outlook: On the surface, Samardzija's 2013 numbers look like a step backward. But keep this in mind: He has made tremendous strides in terms of his stamina, culminating in a career-high 213 2/3 innings last year, which represented a 39-inning increase, and his 2013 was effectively marred by a 5.47 ERA from July 1 forward that belied his skill set. Samardzija maintained a similar strikeout, swing-and-miss and walk rates during that span to the same time period in 2012 and the first three months of 2013, and his BABIP from July 1 forward was a bloated .333. He was one of the more attractive MLB trade candidates of the winter and might remain so during the year; what's important to know about this trade possibility is that he has a much higher career ERA in day games (5.05) than night (3.41), and he'd surely garner many more night assignments on any other team. Samardzija's rank might appear generous, but we still see positive things in his immediate future.
33. R.A. Dickey, Tor SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics3434224.27117714004.211.247.09368
2014 Projections3434228.06617515003.871.246.91400
2014 Outlook: Predictably, Dickey's numbers regressed upon the move to the hitting-rich, competitive American League East last season, though the needle might have moved too far in terms of his future analysis. As a member of Team USA's World Baseball Classic entry, Dickey's year was a lengthy one, and back and neck issues dogged him for much of the season's early weeks, resulting in a key skills change: He was unable to recapture the velocity on his knuckleball, which had earned him a Cy Young Award the year before. But in June, the velocity suddenly returned. Dickey's hard knuckler, termed "The Thing," helped him to six wins, eight quality starts, a 3.56 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 14 second-half starts, numbers which were much closer to our preseason expectations for him in Toronto. Those are his ratios to project forward, though as with any knuckleballer, some start-to-start variance should be expected. If Dickey's pitch is dancing at similar speed during spring training, there's every reason to predict a rebound.
34. Cole Hamels, Phi SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics3333220.0502028003.601.168.26401
2014 Projections2929197.04818213003.381.148.31420
2014 Outlook: What is it about Philadelphia Phillies left-handers and bad luck in the win column? After Cliff Lee won only six games in 2012 despite little-to-no change in his peripherals, Hamels scored only eight "W's" in 2013, backed by numbers that weren't all that different than his in any year from 2010 to 12. Telling: Hamels' 17 non-win quality starts last season were the most by any pitcher in the history of baseball, something fantasy owners whose leagues reward for quality starts need to tuck away. His FIP also tells a compelling tale: He had a 3.05 in 2011, 3.30 in 2012 and 3.26 in 2013, showing that both his wins and ERA were misleading. In truth, Hamels is one of the most consistently reliable pure pitchers in baseball, as likely to bounce back in terms of wins/ERA in 2014 as Lee did in 2013. You might not need to spend top-10 pitcher value on him, but he surely belongs in that class. Stephania Bell: Hamels had a few bullpens under his belt but an attempt at throwing live BP left him feeling his arm was "fatigued out" and his progression has been halted. He was already likely to start the season on the DL; this delays the process indefinitely.
35. Michael Wacha, StL SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics15964.219654002.781.109.05163
2014 Projections2929170.05115112003.551.217.99346
2014 Outlook: Sometimes all it takes is a small sample size to completely earn a fantasy owner's trust, especially when that sample size is displayed in its entirety on national television. That was the tale of Wacha's postseason: He made five starts for the St. Louis Cardinals, four of which were quality starts, and had a 2.64 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings. (It's worth noting that in his regular-season finale, he tallied 8 2/3 frames of no-hit baseball.) Now everyone believes in Wacha, and with good reason. He has one of the filthiest changeups in the game, one that both generates many swings and misses and helps keep hitters off-balance against his other offerings. But before you dive in and overspend on Wacha in your draft -- a more understandable strategy in a dynasty/keeper format -- understand that he's not a complete lock. His command of the changeup needs some polish, a fact the Boston Red Sox exploited during his bad World Series outing, and he did have a steep home/road split that could paint a picture of being more matchup than every-start option. Wacha's ceiling, even this year, is high, but we'd like to see more evidence before we vault him another tier (or three) in our rankings.
36. Jon Lester, Oak SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics3333213.16717715003.751.297.47398
2014 Projections3333210.06918016003.901.307.71396
2014 Outlook: Before declaring that the old Jon Lester is back, realize that his 2013 season as a whole was eerily similar to the previous year, with the exception of allowing fewer homers. That is, other than a stellar playoff run that could be clouding perception, he's settled in as a very good, but not great starter who can be counted on for 200-plus innings. In fact, his three-year xFIP string of 3.63, 3.82 and 3.92 suggest that last season was an accurate reflection of who Lester is. There's a place for Lester on a fantasy staff, just not at the front end, not anymore.
37. Andrew Cashner, SD SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics3126175.04712810013.091.136.58340
2014 Projections3030175.04914011003.551.197.20329
2014 Outlook: For years a risk/reward pitching prospect, Cashner finally stayed healthy enough to contribute regularly in 2013; consider that he had never exceeded 111 1/3 innings in any of his first five professional seasons. Pitching in an extremely favorable environment, he experienced a precipitous drop in his strikeout rate, but improved his control by leaps and bounds to make up for it. His 18.1 percent K and 6.7 percent walk rates were both easily his lowest in any single year as a pro. The result was a 2.14 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in 11 second-half starts, and Cashner's more optimistic fantasy owners will point to the 20.8 percent K rate he managed during that span as reason to believe he could offer even more in 2014. His injury history and his 105 1/3-inning workload increase last season are two facts worth tempering enthusiasm. But if you're willing to take a chance, Cashner is one of the few mid-round starters with legitimate top-20 upside.
38. CC Sabathia*, NYY SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics3232211.06517514004.781.377.46300
2014 Projections3030207.05818414004.041.278.00377
2014 Outlook: While it is troubling that Sabathia's average fastball velocity dropped over 1 mph from the previous campaign for the second straight season, he displayed a skill level commensurate with a recent, much more successful season. To wit, he sported identical K's per nine and walks per nine rates in 2010, when he won 21 games with a 3.18 ERA. Last season's .308 BABIP was high, but it was even higher in 2011, when he went 19-8 with a 3.00 ERA. In 2013, Sabathia sported an elevated home run rate similar to 2012 when he went 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA. It was just a confluence of misfortune, where everything that could suffer a little bit did. Gravity should push Sabathia's numbers back in the positive direction, just be skeptical of a full bounce-back since his velocity isn't what it was a few years ago. Stephania Bell: Sabathia's 2013 season came to a close in September due to a hamstring injury. He claims he's fully recovered, and he's been able to throw this offseason, something he couldn't do last year following elbow surgery.
39. Hiroki Kuroda, NYY SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics3232201.14315011003.311.166.71362
2014 Projections3232205.05014714003.821.236.45360
2014 Outlook: Kuroda has quietly outpitched his skills for the past several years, as evidenced by a FIP and xFIP closer to 4.00 than 3.00 since 2011. The primary reason is a BABIP with runners in scoring position shockingly low for three straight seasons (.218 in 2011, .237 in 2012 and .192 in 2013). The chance of this being a sustainable skill is remote, since his strikeout and walk rates suffer with men on base. The safe play is to expect a BABIP correction, which will push his real ERA toward what his FIP and xFIP have suggested the past several seasons: a mark in the high threes.
40. C.J. Wilson, LAA SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics3333212.18518817003.391.347.97430
2014 Projections3333212.08218715003.781.347.94386
2014 Outlook: Following a disappointing 2012 campaign, Wilson improved his peripherals a tad, but the major difference was a big drop in home runs allowed. The catch is that the impetus was a big drop in home run/fly ball percentage, as Wilson sported his highest fly ball rate since 2010. He carries a walk rate above league average and despite last season's rise in fly balls, he's a groundball pitcher prone to allowing hits, so his WHIP will be high. His ERA is at the mercy of a fluctuating home run rate. On the plus side, Wilson is durable, as evidenced by four consecutive seasons topping 200 innings, which boosts his strikeout total. If you can buffer Wilson's ratios, his punch outs and wins potential is certainly useful.
41. Matt Garza, Mil SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics2424155.14213610003.821.247.88298
2014 Projections2626157.04515112003.841.248.66318
2014 Outlook: Garza's brief stint back in the American League with Texas did not go as planned, through his strikeout and walk rates were nearly identical to those spun while with the Cubs. The difference was more hits, especially homers. Now back in the senior circuit, Garza should continue to display above-average rates. His success will revolve around his ability to keep the ball in the rather unforgiving Miller Park. Prior to last season, Garza upped his ground-ball rate to near 50 percent, only to see it fall back below 40 percent last season. Assuming he's able to avoid injury, Garza is a solid midrotation option with some upside if he can avoid home runs.
42. Tony Cingrani, Cin SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics2318104.2431207012.921.1010.32266
2014 Projections2929154.06415710003.511.279.18319
2014 Outlook: The Cincinnati Reds found their silver lining in Johnny Cueto's persistent lat issues: It afforded them an opportunity to get Cingrani acclimated to the majors. A fastball-reliant lefty with a deceptive delivery, Cingrani managed a 2.77 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in his 18 fill-in starts, pitching as effectively during his July/August as in his April/May stints in the rotation. That's evidence in support of his repeat potential, and he's now locked into the starting five thanks to free agent Bronson Arroyo's departure. Understand that, in time, Cingrani might be forced to develop a better secondary pitch rather than rely upon his heater 80-plus percent of the time. Will it happen in 2014? Perhaps, and that possibility is the one thing that should keep your expectations of him grounded; we know you might be itching to expect a big step forward.
43. Dan Haren, LAD SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics3130169.23115110104.671.248.01259
2014 Projections3030176.03215110003.991.187.72320
2014 Outlook: A lost 2013 season could be directly tied to shoulder inflammation that eventually sidelined him for two weeks around midseason: Haren had a 6.15 ERA in his 15 starts before the injury and a 3.29 ERA in 15 starts (plus one relief appearance) after returning. Thankfully for fantasy owners, those positives are in our more recent memory, and now Haren calls pitching-friendly Dodger Stadium his home, with the potent Los Angeles Dodgers backing him. He's a historic WHIP standout, and is in a great situation to bounce back in that category at the bare minimum; he is a stable investment in quality-start leagues or those with sabermetric measures, and one with plenty of bounce-back potential even in traditional rotisserie scoring. Stephania Bell: Haren went many years without a DL stint but the wear and tear of his profession is catching up. His limited hip motion combined with his history of a back injury increases his overall risk, but he works harder than most to stay on the field. Unfortunately, age has a way of catching up.
44. Zack Wheeler, NYM SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics1717100.046847003.421.367.56182
2014 Projections3232188.06916113003.781.297.71345
2014 Outlook: Wheeler, Keith Law's No. 5 pitching and No. 13 overall prospect entering last season, rode a 3.93 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 13 starts in the hitter-friendly Triple-A Pacific Coast League into his first taste of the majors in New York last summer. As was the case in the minors, he was plenty up to the task, going 10-for-17 in quality starts with a 3.42 ERA. As you might expect of any rookie pitcher, Wheeler's command wavered at times, with his K-to-walk rate checking in at a modest 1.83, something he'll need to polish to take another step forward in 2014. That said, he has long profiled as a No. 1 or 2 big league starter, making him a prime dynasty-/keeper-league asset, and he calls one of the more pitching-friendly environments his home. With a strong spring, he might quickly land himself in bargain territory among midrange picks.
45. Danny Salazar, Cle SPYEARGGSIPBBKWSVHDERAWHIPK/9PTS
2013 Statistics101052.015652003.121.1311.25121
2014 Projections2626158.04716710003.821.269.51328
2014 Outlook: Hardly a flamethrower or high-strikeout pitcher during the early stages of his pro career, Salazar succumbed to Tommy John surgery in 2010, and two years later was throwing 95-plus mph thanks to a reworked delivery. He made a huge leap in terms of his strikeout rate in 2013: After posting an 18.1 percent K rate from 2008-12, he whiffed 35.5 percent of the batters he faced in the minors in 2013 and then 30.8 percent in the majors after reaching the Cleveland Indians' rotation in July. Salazar made 10 solid starts for the big club, plus another in their wild-card game, with the strikeouts looking most tantalizing to his fantasy owners. Still, while Salazar's K potential is as good as any young pitcher, the Indians have understandably taken a conservative approach to his workload, which might extend into 2014. He'll probably face an innings cap, meaning any excitement surrounding him should be greater in dynasty/keeper formats. Consider him an intriguing, high-ceiling mid-rounder, but don't let your expectations get the best of you.