Complete 2014 Projections

Position: All | Batters | Pitchers | C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | 2B/SS | 1B/3B | OF | SP | RP
2013 Statistics382581037344715.296.353.427.780260
2014 Projections572851251505731.297.352.439.791411
2014 Outlook: Injuries, his advancing age (he'll turn 31 in June) and the perils of the turf in Toronto threaten to keep Reyes in the high-risk bin of fantasy players. That said, despite his lengthy absence in 2013 -- that a product of an awkward slide on a stolen-base attempt in April -- Reyes managed .296/.353/.427 rates and full-season paces of 17 home runs and 25 stolen bases. This is a player with substantial reward, so long as he recaptures the aggressiveness on the basepaths that he showed during the first 10 seasons of his career; much of that is tied to his confidence in the ankle he hurt last summer. Consider Reyes one of the first shortstops to target in any fantasy league, especially points-based formats, in which his high contact rate and top-of-the-lineup role carry added value.
2013 Statistics545851372515915.277.344.413.757389
2014 Projections614971774597121.275.344.433.778446
2014 Outlook: Kinsler's departure from Texas might fuel fears in his fantasy owners, and to a degree they'd be right: He batted 63 points higher (.294-.231) with 75 points greater wOBA (.377-.302) at Rangers Ballpark comparative to on the road the past three seasons combined. We remind, however, that all players enjoy some degree of home-field advantage, and that Kinsler's road statistics can't be immediately translated to his new home venue; he'd surely perform better at Comerica Park than in his 2011-13 road games. He's leaving one loaded lineup for another, and has already said this winter that his decline in stolen bases was related to an injury, and that he'll be more aggressive on the base paths in 2014. Kinsler remains an attractive power/speed source in fantasy leagues, an on-base specialist better in points-based and walks/OBP leagues, and one of the first second basemen to target on your draft board.
2013 Statistics5518923109661211.319.396.501.897420
2014 Projections5769724105691313.302.381.490.870425
2014 Outlook: A legitimate contender for National League MVP honors in what was a breakthrough 2013, Freeman enjoyed a 60-point bump in batting average not simply on the strength of BABIP luck (his .371 ranked fifth among qualifiers). He got there with some skills bumps: Both his walk and strikeout rates have improved in each of his three big-league seasons, and he set career bests against left-handed pitchers with a .287 batting average and 8.7 percent walk rate. Freeman's power hasn't yet developed to the extent that scouts once predicted, but if that's a result of trading some homers for batting average points, should fantasy owners complain? He's 24 years old with plenty of productive seasons ahead, and one of the more attractive first basemen regardless of format.
2013 Statistics3232214.15624021002.900.9710.08627
2014 Projections3333210.05623116003.341.129.90509
2014 Outlook: The American League's reigning Cy Young award winner, Scherzer wasn't mere traditionalist's choice; in addition to his 21 wins he was a standout in many sabermetric/next-level departments: He finished seventh in the majors in FIP (2.74), second in strikeout rate (28.7 percent), third in swing-and-miss rate (27.9 percent), third in WHIP (0.97) and fifth in weighted on-base average allowed (.257). This transformation, which began approximately the midway point of 2012, was a product of both increased fastball velocity and reliance plus effectiveness of a curveball, which he used particularly to neutralize left-handed hitters. Scherzer is now a four-pitch pitcher with command that ranks among the game's elite, and he's playing for a new deal in 2015. Even if the 21 wins aren't repeated -- experienced owners know how fluky that department -- he could easily repeat as one of the 10 best pitchers in fantasy.
2013 Statistics425622462741401.249.365.480.845263
2014 Projections508813991791674.270.373.567.940376
2014 Outlook: Stanton is one of the most powerful hitters in baseball: Since the date of his major league debut in 2010, he has hit the fourth-most homers (117), has the second-highest home run/fly ball percentage (24.3) and the ninth-longest average home run distance (411.7 feet). In addition, historically speaking, the 117 homers are 10th most among any player before his 24th birthday; his .535 slugging percentage through his age-23 season is also 11th best among those with 2,000-plus plate appearances. However, Stanton still falls short of "elite" status -- those with a legitimate stake at first-round status -- because of a checkered injury history at a young age: He has missed 101 of 590 career games, including for foot, shoulder, oblique, knee and hamstring issues. He also suffers somewhat in terms of quality pitches to hit as well as his counting numbers (runs, RBIs) due to his status as a heart-of-the-order hitter for one of the game's weakest lineups, though, in his defense, Stanton's per-game numbers have been quite good. He's a player who could become that superstar/MVP-caliber performer scouts long predicted as he enters his prime, but bear in mind the injury track record. Stephania Bell: He spent six weeks on the DL in 2013 with a hamstring injury and despite being just 24 years old, Stanton's games played have declined progressively the past two years. Can he reverse the trend?
2013 Statistics3030183.0561918003.001.059.39421
2014 Projections3333194.05422315003.251.1110.35490
2014 Outlook: When it comes to Strasburg, are you an optimist or pessimist? The optimist could point to his seventh-ranked 26.1 percent strikeout rate or eighth-ranked 1.05 WHIP and claim the right-hander again showed he's one of the best in the game at his craft at the mere age of 25. The pessimist could state that Strasburg's No. 17 Player Rater ranking among pure starters represented a disappointing season comparative to draft-day expectations; he was the No. 17 player (and No. 3 pitcher) off the board going by preseason ADP. Optimists should win this one. Strasburg still averaged 95.3 mph with his fastball, only a small decline in velocity, and it was revealed after the season that he had pitched some of the season in pain, resulting in October surgery to remove bone chips. We might see a better Strasburg in 2014, and any innings limitation should be out the window after he threw 183 frames in 2013. He could mount a challenge at the No. 1 pitching spot in any fantasy league, but, at worst, he looks like a top-10 option in any format. Stephania Bell: Strasburg underwent arthroscopic surgery in October to remove debris from his elbow, which may have been responsible for his forearm tightness during the season. He is expected to participate in a normal spring training.
2013 Statistics569107215411213320.285.423.462.885423
2014 Projections589104196410313221.284.408.453.861427
2014 Outlook: One of the most disciplined hitters in baseball, Choo chose one of the most offensively advantageous landing spots for his skill set that he could have this winter, agreeing to a long-term deal with the Texas Rangers. Among players with at least 1,000 plate appearances the past five seasons combined, he had the sixth-highest on-base percentage (.392), a substantial gain for a team that had a mere .324 mark from its Nos. 1-2 hitters yet scored the eighth-most runs in the majors in 2013. Choo's gaudy run total of last season therefore has a good chance at being repeated, and he's a 20/20 capable player especially attractive in leagues that reward him for his walks. He's not a player without weakness -- he batted just .220/.333/.293 against lefties from 2011-13 -- but he's well worth regarding as a building block, even in shallow mixed.
2013 Statistics2727186.22715110003.331.107.28378
2014 Projections3333226.04920417003.231.138.12504
2014 Outlook: After scoring a 2012 Cy Young, Price took a step backwards in overall production in 2013, winning half as many games with an ERA three-quarters of a run higher. A casual glance at his overall stat line, however, does his skills a disservice: He struggled early before requiring a 44-day DL stint for a strained left triceps, but upon his return, he managed a 2.53 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 18 starts, numbers eerily similar to those of 2012. During that hot finish, the primary change was to Price's strikeout rate, which was 20.3 percent (compared to 24.5 percent in 2012), mostly the product of his growing more reliant upon his weak contact-inducing cutter. Any criticism of him, therefore, should hinge upon the injury question, not his skills. Price could easily return to 2012 form, minus approximately 25 K's, but that's still a top-10 fantasy starter.
2013 Statistics3030214.14622611003.071.079.49478
2014 Projections3232213.05222713003.251.119.59495
2014 Outlook: Sale continues to defy the naysayers, who might claim his herky-jerky delivery increases his long-term injury risk or that the elbow issue that haunted him early in 2012 might eventually return. But after two seasons as a top-shelf fantasy starter -- he finished 13th among starters on our Player Rater in 2012 and 11th in 2013 -- Sale has earned our confidence. He has shown no change in velocity, fastball or slider effectiveness, or hints of overusage in two seasons as a full-time starter. Sale has elevated his game to that of an elite fantasy starter, particularly attractive in sabermetric/quality start-oriented leagues, which don't rely on wins (a problem for a pitcher backed by a weak offense such as the Chicago White Sox's).
2013 Statistics52061157260702.294.371.450.821359
2014 Projections54175198563822.312.386.488.874407
2014 Outlook: Even a down season by Posey's standards was a good one; the perception was that his 2013 was a letdown, if only because it couldn't possibly compare to that of his 2012 MVP campaign or his No. 16 overall ADP last preseason. Still, he improved his contact rate, played 148 games for a second consecutive season and managed the No. 7 spot among catchers on our Player Rater. Posey's statistics also compare favorably to all-time catchers; he ranks fourth in slugging percentage (.486), fifth in on-base percentage (.377) and batting average (.308) among catchers through their age-26 seasons. He's a high-average, good-power hitter, one of the few catchers with legitimate ability for .300/25/100 numbers. Make him one of your first catchers off the board, though not quite as soon overall as that second-round status a year ago.
2013 Statistics558942770751618.263.354.464.818345
2014 Projections5717827917414915.271.359.473.832379
2014 Outlook: His was a tale of two seasons. Upton batted .286/.404/.629 with 13 home runs through his first 40 games for the Atlanta Braves, looking like a surefire MVP candidate after years of such career prognostications but then hit just .256/.335/.409 with 14 home runs in his next 109 games, looking more like a league-average right fielder. (Hey, at least he wasn't the worst Upton.) Justin showed little skills improvement during his "cooling" stage, tempering some of those lofty career expectations as he enters his age-26 season. That said, he's still a player who has flashed occasional MVP talent, and one who, again, at 26, is entering the prime of his career. Could this be the season? Perhaps, but it's no longer worth spending that first-round pick to find out.
2013 Statistics62091467529742.271.328.331.659360
2014 Projections63990465569538.277.338.355.693381
2014 Outlook: One of these things is not like the others: 33, 32, 37, 21, 42. Have you figured it out yet? That's right, it's Andrus' career-low 21 steals of 2012, which now appear an outlier after he managed 10 baserunning WAR in 2013, best in the majors; he has the third-most baserunning WAR the past five seasons combined (24). Andrus is a speedster, though unfortunately that is all that he is, relegating him to rotisserie-league building block but one much less useful in points leagues. That said, he might score the No. 2 spot in the Texas Rangers' lineup, wedged comfortably between Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder. Andrus could be a two-category rotisserie performer, adding runs scored to his steals prowess, meaning a repeat or increase in value from his 2013 is within reach.
2013 Statistics6238617795110011.302.353.448.801406
2014 Projections6158221855510615.289.346.449.795407
2014 Outlook: It took 330 big-league games spread over a little more than two calendar years, but late last season Hosmer finally developed into the premier hitter scouts forecasted as far back as the time he was picked third overall in the 2008 amateur draft. From June 1 on, he batted .318 with 16 home runs in 109 games, thanks to an all-fields approach that countered some of the defensive shifts he had faced earlier in his career. Hosmer is that rate power/speed first baseman, but he's also one with a lot of batting-average stability; the sum of his parts makes him a much safer investment than it might seem. You'll pay for it on draft day, with perhaps a top-50 pick in a mixed league, but the potential reward is a player who could finally develop the power those same scouts once predicted: Might 25 homers be within his sights?
2013 Statistics6268930109631857.262.329.478.807382
2014 Projections5988931105641678.259.331.485.816389
2014 Outlook: A power-hitting left-handed bat in a perfect park for that type, Bruce has hit at least 30 home runs in three consecutive seasons, one of only three players who can claim that (Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre are the others). At the same time, Bruce's game has almost entirely moved toward power; this has resulted in rising strikeout rates every year since 2009 and a propensity for streakiness. To the latter point, he batted .246 with one homer in his first 34 games of 2013, .307 with 17 in his next 41. Bruce's power places him in the class of early-round fantasy picks, but his strikeouts are a concern in points leagues, and those who select him need to be patient through his rough patches.
2013 Statistics518843010376884.309.395.564.959471
2014 Projections51380299374892.298.385.544.929439
2014 Outlook: A seemingly ageless veteran, Ortiz continues to rack up All-Star-caliber statistics despite his entering 2014 at the age of 38. In 2013, he became only the seventh player in history to manage a .300-30-100 minimum stat line at the age of 37, and the first in 11 seasons (Barry Bonds, 2002). What's more, Ortiz seems to get more disciplined at the plate each year; he had an 83.8 percent contact rate from 2011 to '13, a substantial improvement upon his 76.1 percent from 2008 to 10, and his walk rate increased slightly, from 13.1 (2008-10) to 13.2 (2011-13) percent. This has come with an occasional penchant for streakiness, but after a postseason like his -- he terrorized left-handed pitchers last October, which answered one of the few questions raised about him earlier in the year -- what cause is there to doubt him? The only reasonable knock on Ortiz is that drafting him locks up your designated hitter spot in the draft's early rounds. But he's also one of the only players who justifies it.