Complete 2015 Projections

Season:

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 | IF | LF | CF | RF | OF | SP | RP
     
PROJECTED 2015 SEASON STATS
16. Brandon Moss, Cle 1B, LF, RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics500702581671531.234.334.438.772372.5
2015 Projections459682778501393.255.338.481.819361.5
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.
17. J.D. Martinez, Det LF, RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics441572376301266.315.358.553.912356
2015 Projections503582277331346.278.324.483.807358
2015 Outlook: Martinez might have been the biggest surprise of 2014 -- both in fantasy and real terms -- as the Tigers signed him to a minor league deal in March, only to see him slash .315/.358/.553 with 23 home runs in 123 games in the big leagues. A part-time player upon being called up in late April, Martinez eventually locked down a prominent place in the order as the team's No. 5 hitter while taking over as the Tigers' starting left fielder. Boasting a career-high .238 ISO, a mark that ranked 12th among hitters with at least 450 plate appearances, Martinez topped the .300 batting average threshold by making consistent hard contact. Not surprisingly, he had a very high BABIP (.389), more than 50 points above his career norm. Strikeouts have always been an issue for Martinez, and despite last season's breakout, he still fanned in 26.3 percent of his plate appearances. Even with his improved ability to spray the ball all over the field, Martinez is more likely to trend back toward his career .272 batting average than repeat last season's .315, but he could prove to be a cheap source of power again in 2015 with an opportunity to reprise his role behind Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the Tigers lineup.
18. Wil Myers, SD RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics3253763534906.222.294.320.614176
2015 Projections5577218755815910.241.312.391.703363.5
2015 Outlook: The notion that the Rays might look to trade Myers would have seemed absurd following his 2013 rookie of the year campaign, and while it still came as a surprise when it happened this offseason, his 2014 was disappointing enough that the move did not necessarily send shockwaves through the industry. He missed 70 games with a fractured wrist in the middle of the summer, but his performance when he was on the field was just as concerning as the health of his wrist long term. Myers hit .227 with five home runs in 224 plate appearances before the injury and .213 with just one home run in 137 plate appearances after returning. Moving to an even more extreme pitchers' park in San Diego and increasingly pronounced struggles against lefties both rank near the top of the list of measurable concerns. There are also questions about Myers' work ethic, but those are far more speculative. It's hard to not view the fact he has now been traded twice after playing just 175 games in the big leagues as a bit of a red flag, but at just 24 years old, his raw hitting ability and pedigree offer reasons for cautious optimism going forward, and the Padres do have a rebuilt offense.
19. Jayson Werth, Wsh RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics534851682831139.292.394.455.849462.5
2015 Projections43169156262908.292.386.464.850369
2015 Outlook: Some will look at Werth's dip in home runs last season and automatically assume that at 35, his power production is bound to decline again in 2015. Not so fast. His HR/FB rate was all the way down at 9.4 percent, nearly half of his 2013 mark (18.2 percent) and almost five percent lower than his career average of 14.2 percent. Granted, his ISO fell by more than 50 points, but Werth improved his contact rate to a career-best 83 percent and his average fly ball distance decreased by less than six feet. Power aside, Werth is still an on-base machine, having finished third in the NL in OBP behind only Andrew McCutchen and Giancarlo Stanton last season, and he remains a steady contributor in average, RBI and runs. He also has enough speed to approach double-digit steals, and the move to left field -- a slightly less demanding position than right -- may help him avoid the types of nagging injuries he fought through last season.
20. Oswaldo Arcia, Min RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics372462057311271.231.300.452.752244.5
2015 Projections501662478411563.246.312.455.767347
2015 Outlook: In the current power-deprived environment, a player such as Arcia with the ability to hit 20 home runs in just 410 plate appearances has value in most formats despite his noticeable flaws. Arcia has not shown a good eye on breaking balls, and he typically cannot handle fastballs up in the zone. These deficiencies in his approach led to a 31 percent strikeout rate, which was ninth worst among hitters with 400-plus plate appearances. Arcia also has a .224/.266/.347 career slash line against lefties, so he should handle the strong side of a left-field platoon in 2015. Even with a shoddy approach and questions about his ability to play every day, it's too early to pigeonhole a 23-year-old whose plus raw power has already started to show up in games. With better health (he missed seven weeks with a variety of injuries in 2014) and a little luck (.292 BABIP last season) he could best his 2014 numbers, but he's already squarely on the radar in fantasy.
21. Carlos Beltran, NYY RF, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics40346154937803.233.301.402.703263
2015 Projections45559206141944.257.320.446.766326
2015 Outlook: Beltran's first season in Yankee pinstripes did not go quite according to plan. He missed 38 games due to injuries, most of which were related to his right elbow, from which bone spurs were removed at the end of the season. Beltran is expected to be fully healthy for the start of 2015, but durability still lingers as the primary concern heading into his age-38 season. He tried to play through the bone spurs last year, and his performance suffered because of it, though a .252 BABIP also played a major part in Beltran's .703 OPS -- his lowest mark since the 2000 season. Considering he hit 24 home runs with a .296 average in 2013 with St. Louis, there's reason to believe he could post similar numbers with good health in 2015. Of Beltran's 15 home runs last season, 12 went out to right field, so the hope remains that he will take full advantage of the short porch in Yankee Stadium in a full season.
22. Lorenzo Cain, KC CF, RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics471555532410828.301.339.412.751327
2015 Projections576678603512927.262.307.372.679364.5
2015 Outlook: A postseason star because of his defensive heroics and the beneficiary of a .380 BABIP (.301 batting average) in 2014, Cain will probably come off the board a little too early in fantasy leagues this season. He missed 17 games with a groin strain and still managed to steal a career-high 28 bases. However, the only other time he has stolen that many bases in a season as a professional was in 2006, when he stole 34 at low Class A with the Brewers. With that in mind, owners should be happy to get 20 steals out of Cain, especially with his turning 29 in April. In addition, his batting average should regress toward his .279 career mark without an inordinate amount of luck on balls in play, and he has never been an overly patient hitter (six percent career walk rate), so his OBP should also take a step back from his .339 mark of 2014. Kansas City's lack of thumpers in the middle of the lineup might benefit Cain, as he fits into the 2- or 3-hole as well as anyone they've got, but this still projects to be a mediocre offense, so above-average counting stats might not be there.
23. Curtis Granderson, NYM RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics564732066791418.227.326.388.714386.5
2015 Projections5407723657315310.231.326.413.739383.5
2015 Outlook: Granderson was able to reestablish himself as a sufficient power threat at the age of 33 last season. It's not on par with the back-to-back 40-plus-homer seasons he had with the Yankees from 2011 to 2012, but hitting 20 home runs while playing half his games at Citi Field is a notable accomplishment. The good news is that the Mets have decided to move the right-field fences five feet in along the line and 10 feet closer in right-center. Considering all 20 of Granderson's homers last season were to right or right-center, this can hardly be considered a coincidence. He's got a pretty safe floor of 20 homers in 2015, with the potential for five or six more if he can stay healthy. Unfortunately, Grandy hit a career-low .227 last season after hitting .229 in 2013 and .232 in 2012. Considering the Mets play him almost every day, an average that low can do a lot of damage in rotisserie leagues. Entering his age-34 season, Granderson should be viewed as cheap outfield power who will need to be surrounded by some high batting averages to help hide his inefficiencies.
24. Michael Cuddyer, NYM RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics19032103114303.332.376.579.955178
2015 Projections483661967401068.265.321.455.776355
2015 Outlook: One of the worst-kept secrets in baseball this offseason was that the Mets wanted Michael Cuddyer, and they got their man for a two-year, $21 million deal. Even with the fences getting moved in at Citi Field, this is a brutal change of scenery from a fantasy perspective. Last season, Cuddyer missed seven weeks with right and left hamstring injuries, plus another 10 weeks with a fractured shoulder, and yet he still managed to hit 10 home runs with a .332 average in just 205 plate appearances. Those numbers would be shocking if he had not hit .332 with 20 homers in 540 plate appearances the previous season with the Rockies. Cuddyer's track record before Coors Field was that of a good-but-not-great hitter with 20-homer pop. It's certainly possible he can continue to be that player as a 36-year-old in his new home ballpark, but the days of him hitting .300, let alone .330, are likely over.
25. Steven Souza, TB RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics23222370.130.231.391.62212.5
2015 Projections370511253459517.262.344.422.765290.5
2015 Outlook: Souza only hit .130 in his time with the Nationals, but will go down in team history thanks to his amazing catch to preserve Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter. Now in Tampa Bay as the Rays' major prize in the Wil Myers trade, the Rays hope Souza will develop into a middle-of-the-order bat at a corner-outfield spot, where he was blocked by Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth in Washington. Souza wasn't a very heralded prospect until he blew the doors off in Triple-A, hitting .350/.432/.590 and leading the International League in all three triple-slash statistics. While that production is very impressive, there should be some worry over whether Souza's strikeouts will balloon in everyday play in the majors and limit him to just being a Quadruple-A player.
26. Torii Hunter, Min RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics54971178323894.286.319.446.765389.5
2015 Projections49363146422974.278.313.428.741323.5
2015 Outlook: An everyday player who's about to turn 40 seems like a disaster waiting to happen. However, to Hunter's credit, he's played in 140-plus games in eight of the past nine seasons, so perhaps he'll accomplish that feat again with the Twins in what may be his swan song. Returning to the team that drafted him in the first round back in 1993 makes for a nice story, but it obviously does nothing for his fantasy value. Hunter proved true to his .286 average last season, as his .311 BABIP was right in line with his career mark. That batting average over potentially 550-plus plate appearances is the crux of Hunter's fantasy value. No longer hitting behind Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez will likely impact his counting stats, but he has hit 15-plus home runs in nine straight seasons, so that seems like a safe projection for him in 2015 if he stays relatively healthy.
27. Josh Reddick, Oak RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics36353125428631.264.316.446.763267.5
2015 Projections46667186743954.253.316.442.758343.5
2015 Outlook: A knee injury held Reddick to just 396 plate appearances in 2014, but he was quite productive when he played, particularly against right-handed pitchers. All 12 of his home runs last season came in his 288 plate appearances versus righties, against whom he hit .280, while he hit just .222 with two extra-base hits in 108 plate appearances against lefties. Reddick's splits would probably result in a strict platoon on some teams, but Oakland has barely any impact outfield bats, so Reddick should still see plenty of action against southpaws. It might not seem like it, but Reddick will only be 28 this season, so he should still be in his prime. The A's offseason moves leave uncertainty in the middle of the lineup heading into 2015, but Reddick could slot in as the No. 3 hitter, in which case he will almost certainly provide value in mixed leagues.
28. Nick Markakis, Atl RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics64281145062844.276.342.386.729409
2015 Projections60080125060843.275.343.385.728387
2015 Outlook: It was an eventful offseason for Markakis, as he signed a four-year contract with the Braves in December, then had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck that same month. The expectation is that the 31-year-old outfielder will be able to return to action this spring and will not miss any regular-season games, but it's a situation prospective fantasy owners will need to monitor closely. Markakis is going from one of the better lineups in baseball in Baltimore to a less-favorable field and one of the worse lineups in the game, particularly after the Braves traded Jason Heyward and Justin Upton for less-impactful pieces this offseason. He should hit atop Atlanta's lineup, but Markakis is on the wrong side of 30, lacks impact tools and is recovering from significant surgery. Markakis has had 700-plus plate appearances and hit above .270 in six of his last eight seasons, which is very impressive, but with significant decline in either area, he would lose most of his fantasy value, as the power and speed numbers simply won't be there.
29. Avisail Garcia, CWS RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics1721972914444.244.305.413.718120
2015 Projections435551454241058.267.312.407.719275.5
2015 Outlook: At 6-4, 240 pounds and just 23 years old until June, Garcia has a lot of projection left in his game, specifically in the power department. He has never hit double-digit homers in a season, but he has also never topped 260 plate appearances in parts of three seasons. Garcia missed 70 percent of the 2014 season after undergoing shoulder surgery in mid-April but still managed seven home runs and four steals in just 190 plate appearances. A career .272 hitter, Garcia should be able to improve upon the unlucky .244 average (.285 BABIP) he put up last season. Going into the spring, he appears to have a good shot at holding the every-day right-field job on the South Side, and if he can just stay healthy, a 20/10 season could be within reach, with the potential for even more power down the road.
30. Michael Saunders, Tor RFYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics2313883426594.273.341.450.791175.5
2015 Projections3826115514610610.264.340.469.809299
2015 Outlook: Saunders has quietly been pretty productive the past three seasons. His 162-game average is right on the cusp of 20 homers and 20 stolen bases, but the problem is he has never come close to 162 games played. Injuries have held him under 140 games in each of those three seasons, with a pair of DL stints limiting him to just 78 in 2014. Safeco Field in Seattle has been a hindrance for Saunders throughout his career, as well. . In fact, last year’s .785 OPS at home was his first total north of .695 at home, though it came in just 113 PA. The shift to Toronto should bode extremely well not just because of the ballpark, but also because that deep lineup should offer plenty of run-producing opportunities. Unfortunately, the injury issues reared their ugly head again, with Saunders suffering a torn meniscus in his knee after stepping on a soft spot around an underground sprinkler during the initial days of spring training. Thus, he will have to wait until after the All-Star break to start capitalizing on his improved situation.