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.
2015 Outlook: Lind has become a full-on platoon player, though it is on the strong side, which helps him maintain fantasy relevance. His futility against lefties hit an all-time low in 2014, though that was at least partly due to a lack of opportunities. At 31, the ship has sailed on him improving against lefties and becoming a full-time player again. The shift from Toronto to Milwaukee is neutral from a home run standpoint and he never really needed Rogers Centre to be successful. A career-worst 7.6 percent HR/FB rate ate up his home run total, but his career 15 percent mark suggests he will jump back up in 2015. The biggest change is the elimination of the DH, meaning he must play first base to be in the lineup, but he has played 67 percent of his games in the field during the past four years, so he should be fine. Injuries, primarily to his back, have hampered him in the past, but any negative effects to playing in the field all the time could be mitigated by getting off the Toronto turf.
2015 Outlook: Fresh off his postseason heroics with the Giants, Morse signed a two-year deal to be the Opening Day first baseman for the Marlins. Miami is not an ideal hitting environment, but Morse has enough power to hit 20 homers in any ballpark if he gets enough plate appearances. Last season, Morse fared far better against righties, hitting .293 (compared to a .248 average against lefties). However, for his career, his slash line is almost identical against righties and lefties, so there is reason to believe he will be in the Marlins' lineup almost every day. That will be a change for the better, as he was relegated to corner-outfield duty with the Giants for much of 2014, and his horrific defense kept him out of the lineup enough to noticeably suppress his value. He hit 16 homers in 482 plate appearances last season.
2015 Outlook: Van Slyke was one of the best lefty-killers in the game last year, hitting .315/.415/.630 with eight homers against southpaws in 108 at-bats. He wasn't even that bad against right-handers, hitting .279/.354/.413 against them. Unfortunately for Van Slyke, there's just no room for him, even after the Dodgers traded away Matt Kemp. They still have Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson and Carl Crawford ahead of him, plus Andre Ethier and Chris Heisey still in the mix. It's not too hard to envision Crawford getting hurt, so one starting corner outfield spot could open up, but Van Slyke might require two openings before he starts playing regularly. A trade to another organization might be his best hope for fantasy relevance.
2015 Outlook: Alonso was sidelined for the end of the 2014 season after undergoing forearm surgery, but with throwing and hitting programs already underway, he should be ready to go as a full participant in spring training. His 2014 campaign got off to a poor start, but he was showing signs of turning it around before getting hurt, as he slashed .267/.353/.400 in July and .522/.556/.957 in limited action in August. He continues to be a liability against left-handed pitching, with a career OPS of .648, and he struggled even more against southpaws in 2014 than he did earlier in his career. With the offseason departure of Seth Smith, Alonso should have the inside track on the everyday job at first, but he'll need to stay healthy and likely improve against lefties if he wants to maintain it.
2015 Outlook: Ruf's 2014 campaign was marred by injuries throughout the first half of the season that limited him to just 52 games. He hit well against left-handed pitching, slashing .295/.392/.525 with three home runs in 61 at-bats last year, but he was a liability against righties as he put up a meager .146/.167/.220 line in 41 at-bats. His inability to hit against righties -- though 2014 could just be an outlier, as he has a career .250 batting average against right-handed pitching -- will likely limit the 28-year-old to a platoon role at best, as he could split time with Ryan Howard at first, or make the occasional start in the outfield. Ruf will need to show he can hit more consistently against all pitchers and earn more regular playing time before he can really help out in most fantasy formats.
2015 Outlook: Reynolds was once again the same in 2014 as he's been his entire career: A good power hitter with little other production at the plate. Last year was the second time he's hit under .200 in a season, hitting for a career-low .196, but on the other end of the spectrum, it was his seventh consecutive year with at least 20 home runs, so at least you know what you're getting with the 31-year-old infielder. He signed with the Cardinals, who have Matt Adams and Matt Carpenter slotted in at the corners, so Reynolds probably won't appear in 130 games (or more) for the eighth straight season, but he should be a safe bet to add decent power when he does play.
2015 Outlook: Pena found some extra playing time thanks to the Joey Votto injury (53 games at first base; four in his first nine seasons), but he didn't really do much with it. In fact, all three of his triple-slash figures took significant dips and he added just one home run and four RBIs from 2013 despite a 129-PA boost. The C next to his name is where he draws any of his value, but even at his best it is still limited to obscenely-large mixed leagues or NL-only leagues with two catchers. Playing him at 1B/CI should never be done. Sometimes older catchers experience a late-career power spike, but we haven't seen that from Pena with three sub-.400 SLG totals in his thirties so far. With injuries in two of his last three seasons, Votto isn't guaranteed to stay healthy, but the majority of Pena's playing time will come as a backup to Devin Mesoraco.
2015 Outlook: Callaspo used to have decent value as a utility infielder who could take a walk and avoid striking out and he even had a modicum of pop. For his career, he has just nine more strikeouts than walks and he has reached double digits in home runs four times in his six full seasons. The approach remained strong in 2014, but the power evaporated, and given that he has played the bulk of his career in pitcher-friendly parks, it is hard to just blame it on his being in Oakland, especially since it was a .495 road OPS that really hampered him. He may just be the seat warmer for Jose Peraza in Atlanta, but even with some guaranteed playing time, he isn't particularly appealing. That lineup isn't nearly as potent these days, and with no carrying fantasy skill, he is little more than a Band-Aid to be used exclusively in NL-only leagues.
2015 Outlook: Medica appeared in more than 100 games in 2014, seeing time at first base and in the outfield, but amidst a flurry of offseason acquisitions and the return of a healthy Yonder Alonso, his playing time will likely reduce in 2015 as he takes on more of a utility role. He showed some good power last year, hitting nine homers in just 240 at-bats, but his contact hitting was a bit more concerning. The 26-year-old hit just .213 from July onward, and struck out in more than a quarter of his at-bats. If everyone ahead of him stays healthy, Medica will probably just be a reserve, but if he gets more opportunities, he'll have to work on bringing his average up and his strikeout rate down.
2015 Outlook: It was another disappointing year for Mayberry, a 2005 first-round pick, as he saw his opportunities significantly slashed despite improved results from 2013. He turned in a .722 OPS in 63 games with the Phillies, nearly 60 points above his 2013 mark (.677), but that was over only 138 plate appearances after he logged 384 the year before. Granted, he did miss more than a month because of a wrist injury, but the Phillies had clearly soured on Mayberry even before the injury. After being traded to the Blue Jays at the end of August in a post-deadline waiver deal, he went 5-for-24 with three doubles and a home run in 15 games. To say the 31-year-old was far better against lefties last season would be an understatement -- his OPS against right-handers (.568) was nearly 350 points below his mark against southpaws (.912) -- so his overall line could look much better in 2015 if Mets manager Terry Collins is strict in limiting his exposure to right-handed pitching. That said, Mayberry is unlikely to hold any real value in such a limited role, though he could make for a decent streamer when the matchup is right.