Complete 2015 Projections

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 | 2B/SS | 1B/3B | OF | SP | RP
     
PROJECTED 2015 SEASON STATS
16. John Jaso, TB C, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics3074294028602.264.337.430.767184
2015 Projections43561125652874.274.359.428.786272
2015 Outlook: Concussions have stifled Jaso's production in each of the past two seasons since a breakout in 2012. His position alone continues to give him value, but with only one season north of 400 plate appearances (that was five years ago), it is really hard to view him as a legitimate option in anything besides AL-only OBP leagues. Even worse, his value took a big hit in those leagues last year, as his walk rate dropped sharply to 8.1 percent after back-to-back seasons north of 15. When healthy, he is still someone to be trusted on the strong side of a catcher platoon, so on a per-at-bat basis, he should remain a productive asset in his first season with Rays. Perhaps he is best used against weaker righties in leagues that allow daily roster moves, given he amassed a .285/.387/.457 triple slash line against them over the past three seasons.
17. Kennys Vargas, Min DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics2152693812630.274.316.456.772111
2015 Projections469571971391090.249.310.420.730255
2015 Outlook: Vargas made the leap from Double-A New Britain to Minnesota and continued to display steady power, as he finished with 26 home runs between the two levels after hitting nine over 234 plate appearances with the Twins in the second half. A switch-hitting DH, Vargas started 53 of 55 games upon debuting with the Twins on Aug. 1, and he served as the team's cleanup hitter for 48 of those contests. A .400 BABIP buoyed a fast start in August, which enabled Vargas to carry a .309/.336/.463 line during his first month in the big leagues, despite a 27.5 percent strikeout rate. He slumped in September, when the BABIP crashed to .258, and if his minor league levels are any indication, his true baseline is somewhere between those extremes. The Twins will likely give Vargas an opportunity to solidify his hold on the DH job during spring training, but he's a candidate to be sent down to Triple-A if he goes through a prolonged slump early in the year. On the flip side, if he proves capable of drawing walks at a rate closer to his Double-A level (10.6 percent), Vargas should stick as a regular and offer a much-needed boost to the heart of the Minnesota lineup.
18. Matt Joyce, LAA OF, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics41851952621112.254.349.383.732216
2015 Projections444571452601134.241.332.396.728236
2015 Outlook: Despite being a straight platoon bat, Joyce had established himself as a solid power source, good for a mid-teens home-run total. His power inexplicably dried up against righties in 2014 with just 8 home runs after clubbing at least 14 in each of the prior three seasons. A drastic shift in his batted-ball profile looks like the culprit. After carrying a fly ball slant throughout his career, he hit more groundballs than fly balls for the first time in his career last year. Add in a big drop in his HR/FB rate and it's no wonder he halved his home run output. Given his history, there is reason for some optimism regarding a bounceback, but if he continues to skid against righties, his playing time could start to dry up. That said, it looks like he could see significant playing time to begin the season, with Josh Hamilton (shoulder) not expected to be ready for Opening Day.
19. Josmil Pinto, Min C, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics1692571824500.219.315.391.70583
2015 Projections1702162321370.253.338.418.75699
2015 Outlook: Pinto showed his tiny sample from 2013 wasn't indicative of an impending breakout, despite earning some sleeper status coming into the season. A massive 21 percent walk rate in April made his production look markedly better than his true talent level. Once pitchers realized they could challenge him more, his production all but vanished (.555 OPS in May and June), and he was demoted in early June, a move made easier by Kurt Suzuki's production. He did hit again once back in Triple-A, but Suzuki was re-signed to a three-year deal, so Pinto remains blocked from a full-time gig. His pop is appealing enough that he could steal some time at DH, especially if Kennys Vargas isn't quite ready for prime time after he skipped Triple-A and held his own for 53 games in the majors.
20. C.J. Cron, LAA 1B, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics24228113710610.256.289.450.739123
2015 Projections37344155617813.260.303.442.745204
2015 Outlook: The arrival of Matt Joyce in Anaheim may throw Cron onto the short side of a DH platoon, robbing the bulk of his fantasy value in the process. However, he'll likely be afforded regular time to begin the year, with Josh Hamilton not expected to be ready following February shoulder surgery. Cron had negligible platoon splits last year (20-point difference in favor of him facing lefties) but he hit lefties (.888 OPS) far better than righties (.810 OPS) during his minor league career. He had an anemic second half of 2014, but that felt more like growing pains than a chronic problem, especially since he floundered against lefties in that time, too. At his best he was as advertised: a power beast who could lengthen a lineup with that home-run threat in the six or seven hole. He never showed enough patience in the minors to believe that his 15 percent strikeout rate would hold at the major league level, but he has to improve upon the four-percent walk rate he had in his MLB debut if he is going to strike out nearly a quarter of the time. Otherwise, he will end up as a severe batting-average liability like former Angels slugger Mark Trumbo.
21. Nick Swisher, Cle 1B, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics36033842361110.208.278.331.608119
2015 Projections374441145451071.241.322.385.707172
2015 Outlook: One of the more bankable 20-HR guys in the game finally hit a wall in 2014 as Swisher clubbed just eight home runs and was limited to just 97 games thanks to injuries on both knees that eventually required surgery. With 12 more home runs, he would have joined Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz as the only hitters with at least 20 every year since 2005. The group of seven who have done it nine out of 10 times is still impressive, though. It isn't completely unreasonable to give him a pass for the busted 2014, but at 34 years old, any expectations of a full rebound should be tempered. The number of 15-HR hitters fell below 100 for the first time since 1995 last year with 94 (there were 120-plus players in 14 of the past 20 seasons), so even a muted Swisher has some value, though his best value remains in OBP leagues, where he can deliver more than just a modicum of power.
22. Dioner Navarro, Tor C, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics48140126932763.274.317.395.712258
2015 Projections2892794021451.277.324.419.742165
2015 Outlook: Wait, so you mean to tell me Navarro's inexplicable 1.123 OPS with six home runs in 71 PA against lefties in 2013, after seven seasons of a combined .703 OPS, wasn't sustainable? Weird. It was enough to earn him a full season of play in Toronto last season, but all that did was expose just how fluky his 2013 was, as he managed fewer total home runs, despite getting just about double the playing time. On the positive side, he did rake in his new home with a .300/.333/.456 slash line and nine of his 12 home runs coming at Rogers Centre. Despite Russell Martin's coming in to take over the catching duties, Navarro is penciled in to be the primary DH for the Blue Jays, so that favorable ballpark remains an asset. Slot him in as a second catcher for long homestands or as a cheap backstop when you want to save money in daily games.
23. Delmon Young, Bal OF, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics2422773010512.302.337.442.779125
2015 Projections37437124416801.273.310.420.730175
2015 Outlook: Young surpassed expectations in his first season in Baltimore, despite getting a modest 35.1 percent of his at-bats against left-handed pitching. While certainly capable of hitting right-handers, Young has typically fared better against southpaws, and he was expected to see a good chunk of his playing time against them. He still finished the year with a surprising .302/.337/.442 slash line, though he managed just seven home runs and two stolen bases over 242 at-bats. While an uncharacteristically high .359 BABIP contributed, Young owns a lifetime .324 BABIP, and his fly ball rate plummeted in 2014. Some regression can be expected, but Young still figures to post a BABIP well above the league average in his upcoming age-29 season. As always, the bigger issues are his lack of plate discipline and inability to play in the field, which should limit his opportunities at the plate. With Travis Snider and Alejandro De Aza offering capable options in the corner outfield spots, Steve Pearce will now challenge Young for starts at DH. Even as an everyday player, Young lacks significant appeal, and the smart money is on Pearce to cut into Young's playing time in a major way in 2015.
24. Mitch Moreland, Tex 1B, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics1671822312430.246.297.347.64468
2015 Projections40450155333990.252.308.423.731208
2015 Outlook: Moreland was one of many Rangers ravaged by injuries, appearing in just 52 games before undergoing season-ending surgery on his left ankle in June. The 29-year-old has posted decent power numbers when healthy, smashing 54 home runs in his past three full seasons, but he struggles to hit for average, particularly against lefties. In his career, Moreland has a .227/.289/.347 slash line against left-handed pitching, which could cause the team to limit his at-bats against southpaws. Regardless, because of his ability to hit the long ball, hitting an encouraging 23 in his last full season in 2013, he could make for a decent play in deeper formats. However, his poor splits and middling average could bring down his value in more standard leagues with not as many roster spots.
25. Jesus Montero, Sea DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics17112030.235.235.412.6477
2015 Projections1611852311360.248.297.404.70181
2015 Outlook: Montero was once again limited to infrequent playing time at the major league level as he spent the majority of last year with Triple-A Tacoma, where he slashed .286/.350/.489 with 16 homers in 97 games. The 24-year-old has had a checkered history since being acquired by the Mariners as part of the trade that sent Michael Pineda to the Yankees in 2012, being suspended for 50 games in 2013 for PED usage, and receiving another suspension in 2014 after an altercation with a team scout, but he remains in the Mariners’ plans. On the field, Montero had a decent year, but he simply hasn't been able to stick at the major league level on a consistent basis, appearing in just 35 games with the Mariners the past two seasons. Barring a particularly strong spring, Montero will likely be headed back to the minors to start 2015.
26. David DeJesus, TB DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics2382461930430.248.344.403.748126
2015 Projections2733552431523.256.342.396.738149
2015 Outlook: Former Rays manager Joe Maddon was strict in regard to DeJesus' usage last season, limiting him to a mere seven at-bats against left-handed pitching. In 231 at-bats against right-handers, DeJesus hit .251/.345/.411, with six home runs and 19 RBIs, respectable numbers but below his career averages (.277/.352/.416), and certainly not good enough to earn him much attention in fantasy circles. At this point in his career, DeJesus' offensive ceiling is well-established, and even if new manager Kevin Cash deploys DeJesus in a similar fashion next season, he'll continue to make for little more than a last-ditch option in very deep AL-only leagues. The 35-year-old will be only DH-eligible in many formats, having appeared in just 15 games in the outfield in 2014.
27. Corey Hart, Pit DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics2321762116592.203.271.319.59071
2015 Projections2882982918682.236.292.382.674120
2015 Outlook: Hart returned from a one-year absence in 2014, but was once again unable to avoid the injury bug and appeared in just 68 games for the Mariners. He struggled for much of his brief stint with the team, hitting a meager .203 in 232 at-bats. The 33-year-old will try to bounce back with another new club, as he signed with the Pirates and figures to back up Pedro Alvarez at first base. There's some reason for optimism if he can remain healthy, as he did bash 30 home runs and hit .270 in his last fully healthy season in 2012, and he has hit 93 homers in his past four seasons, even with all the injuries he faced in 2014. Those days could be behind him at this point, but his production will likely hinge mostly on his ability to stay on the field.
28. Alberto Callaspo, Atl 2B, 1B, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics4043743940500.223.290.290.580183
2015 Projections3233553536411.248.321.334.656174
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.
29. Logan Forsythe, TB 2B, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics3013262625712.223.287.329.616113
2015 Projections2122551919493.236.305.358.66493
2015 Outlook: With a more regular role, Forsythe's 2014 campaign marked an improvement over his 2013 effort. The bar wasn't set too high though in his first season in Tampa as 2013 was a mostly dismal year for him, and his struggles largely carried over from the NL to the AL. In over 300 at-bats, the 28-year-old hit just .223 and had an OPS of .616, and he got even worse as the season went along with his average dipping to .185 in August and .146 in September. Forsythe struggled mightily against right-handed pitching in particular, with a .206/.279/.256 slash line last season. He should see some playing time as a utility infielder, but his inconsistent play at the plate makes him a risky play for both the Rays and prospective fantasy owners.
30. Sean Rodriguez, Pit 2B, DHYEARABRHRRBIBBKSBAVGOBPSLGOPSPTS
2014 Statistics23730124110662.211.258.443.701122
2015 Projections111134166291.225.275.405.68052
2015 Outlook: Fresh off an offseason trade to the Pirates, Rodriguez will try to start anew in Pittsburgh. While there were some positives to take away from his 2014 campaign -- including career highs of 12 home runs and 41 RBIs -- his walks, batting average and on-base percentage dropped while his strikeout rate climbed. He figures to be Josh Harrison's primary backup at second base, but his .200/.214/.452 slash line against righties last season should be a concern even when the 29-year-old does get playing time. For his career, he's at least been able to partially make up for that with serviceable numbers against southpaws, but that too has been on the decline as he hit just .221 against lefties in 2014, his worst production in any full season. Unless he can reinvent himself on a new MLB team, Rodriguez is unlikely to help out most fantasy teams in 2015.