Pre-Draft Player Rankings

26 Chris Sale (CWS - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 25.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 12 4 0 174.0 208 2.17 0.97
2015 Projections 16 7 0 197.0 214 2.80 1.02
3 Year Average 13 9 0 193.3 209 2.79 1.06
Outlook: Sale led the AL with a 10.8 K/9 and 178 ERA+, but a month-long stay on the disabled list with a flexor strain curtailed his innings in such a way that he only finished third in the Cy Young race. Still, opposing left-handed batters managed just a meager .393 OPS against him, while hitters of all stripes only hit .137 against his slider. He allowed one run or fewer in 14 of his 26 starts, and struck out eight or more in 14 of his 26 starts. Sale looks to be the ace of the White Sox staff for the 2015 season, and should continue to be one of the top AL starters on the board.
27 David Price (Det - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 26.4
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 15 12 0 248.3 271 3.26 1.08
2015 Projections 14 9 0 224.0 221 3.35 1.14
3 Year Average 15 8 0 215.3 209 3.05 1.09
Outlook: In the surprise move of the 2014 trade deadline, Price was shipped from Tampa to Detroit. In 23 starts for the Rays, Price went 11-8 with a 3.11 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 189 strikeouts and 23 walks in 170.2 innings. He had a couple of rough starts after joining Detroit, but the results were similar. His 271 strikeouts ranked first in the majors and easily eclipsed his previous career high of 218 strikeouts. Price’s fastball no longer sits in the 95-mph range it did earlier in his career, but he has offset that dip by developing one of the more effective cutters in the league. Price will return to the Tigers for at least one more season before hitting free agency. Leaving the pitcher-friendly confines of Tropicana, not to mention Tampa’s usual stellar defense, could result in a slight dip in Price’s peripheral stats over the course of a full season, but Detroit will provide more run support than the star southpaw is accustomed to seeing, which will lead to plenty of wins. Entering his age-29 season, Price will be the Tigers’ ace and the ace of many fantasy squads.
28 Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY - CF)
DL15
ADP: 34.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 149 575 71 16 70 39 .271
2015 Projections 129 506 70 9 50 35 .289
3 Year Average 119 485 69 10 50 35 .282
Outlook: The Yankees were big spenders in free agency after the 2013 season, and Ellsbury's seven-year, $153 million contract was a pillar of their new roster. Although his walk rate (7.7%) was in line with his career average, his .328 on-base percentage was nearly 20 points below his career mark (.347). Ellsbury spent some time as the team's No. 3 hitter, swatting 16 homers – his highest total since 2011 – and driving in 70 runs (the second best mark of his career). He showed more favorable splits in his new home park (.303/.370/.451), but it should be noted that nine of his home runs were hit on the road in 2014. Late season injuries to his left ankle and right hamstring likely kept him from eclipsing the 40-steals mark for the fourth time in his career, as he stole just two bases in September after racking up 37 steals through the first five months.
29 Josh Donaldson (Tor - 3B)
Healthy
ADP: 32.8
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 3B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 158 608 93 29 98 8 .255
2015 Projections 135 506 80 25 78 6 .294
3 Year Average 130 487 72 21 75 6 .271
Outlook: There was much discussion last offseason as to whether Donaldson's 2013 season was a fluke, but after a second straight year of finishing in the top-10 of the AL MVP vote, it is pretty clear that Donaldson is here to stay. Donaldson improved on his power stats with 29 homers and 98 RBI, but the one black eye on his season was his large drop in batting average. After a sparkling .301 in 2013, Donaldson managed to only hit .255 in 2014. This drop can be attributed to a horrific slump from early June until the All-Star break where Donaldson hit .158 over a 133 at-bat stretch that was spurred by a ridiculously low .165 BABIP. His overall BABIP fell from .333 in 2013 to .278 in 2014. Traded to the Blue Jays in late November, Donaldson will move into a more hitter-friendly environment and an excellent lineup, which could further bolster his counting stats – particularly in the power categories – in 2015.
30 Michael Brantley (Cle - LF, CF)
Healthy
ADP: 33.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: LF-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 156 611 94 20 97 23 .327
2015 Projections 150 584 75 12 70 16 .300
3 Year Average 152 573 74 12 77 17 .300
Outlook: Arguably the biggest breakout player of 2014, Brantley doubled his power output and was a 20-20 player for the Indians en route to finishing third in the AL MVP voting. Prior to last season, Brantley had never slugged above .402 as a big league player, which will undoubtedly lead to questions about his ability to sustain his new level of production. Handling fastballs better than he did in the past, Brantley's HR/FB rate climbed from 6.8% in 2013 to 12.7% last season. That he was able to significantly increase his home-run production without selling out in his approach bodes well for his chances of another strong season in 2015 (his strikeout rate was a career-best 8.3%). Even if he's more likely to hit .300 with 15 homers and 15 steals than repeat the .327 average with another 20-20 effort, Brantley has all of the tools necessary to remain a steady five category player in the heart of the Cleveland lineup.
31 Madison Bumgarner (SF - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 28.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 18 10 0 217.3 219 2.98 1.09
2015 Projections 15 11 0 205.0 199 2.84 1.06
3 Year Average 16 10 0 209.0 203 3.06 1.08
Outlook: Bumgarner's price is almost certainly headed sky-high at the 2015 draft table. After a regular season that included career highs in innings, strikeouts (rate and total), walks (rate and total) and wins, he was already rising higher into the ranks of the elite starters. During the postseason on the biggest stage, he posted a 1.03 ERA in 53 innings with a 7.5 K/BB ratio. However, lost in the celebration is the fact that he logged 270 innings while continuing to chuck his slider at a 34.9% clip. His heavy slider rates increase injury risk, and while few guys scream workhorse more than Bumgarner, no one is impervious. Adam Wainwright used to the hold the mantle as Mr. Durable Workhorse who would be a lock for 200-plus innings a year...until he went down with Tommy John surgery. This isn't a projection of injury for Bumgarner, but rather a call for caution when investing, as there is less risk within the top five.
32 Jose Reyes (Tor - SS)
DL15
ADP: 35.8
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 143 610 94 9 51 30 .287
2015 Projections 143 557 80 9 45 28 .278
3 Year Average 132 545 79 10 48 28 .288
Outlook: Reyes' second season with the Jays was right in line with expectations, as he was able to avoid the injuries that ruined his 2013 season and split the difference between his 2011 and 2012 campaigns while setting the table in a potent Toronto lineup. Of some concern is that his walk rate tumbled from 8.1% in 2013 to 5.8% last season, shaving 25 points from his on-base percentage, but he experienced a similar slide in 2010 before recovering to a level close to his career mark (7.1%). Reyes still offers great speed, and he piled up 30 steals for the fourth time in the last five seasons. In addition to his contributions on the basepaths, Reyes has averaged 10 home runs annually since 2012, and his ability to avoid strikeouts (11.1 K%) provides value in the form of a stable batting average (career .291, above .282 in each of the last five seasons).
33 Johnny Cueto (Cin - SP)
DTD
ADP: 34.3
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 20 9 0 243.7 242 2.25 0.96
2015 Projections 12 9 0 172.0 149 3.04 1.08
3 Year Average 15 7 0 173.7 154 2.54 1.06
Outlook: 2014 was a big year for Cueto -- he proved both that his previous successes were not a fluke and that he could stay healthy through the course of a full season even with his unique delivery. Cueto didn't merely maintain his improved performance from 2011 and 2012, he reached a whole new level, striking out 25.2% of the hitters he faced, compared to 19.1% in 2012. The Reds had the easiest decision of the offseason when they exercised their $10 million option on him for 2015, but now they have a much more difficult decision. Cueto will be a free agent after 2015, and most of their best prospects are pitchers. Can they sign Cueto to a long-term deal, or will they be forced to deal him for a much-needed bat?
34 Bryce Harper (Was - LF, RF)
Healthy
ADP: 40.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: RF-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 100 352 41 13 32 2 .273
2015 Projections 129 490 81 20 55 10 .278
3 Year Average 119 436 70 18 50 10 .273
Outlook: Another season, another injury-plagued disappointment for Harper and his fantasy owners. Torn ligaments in his thumb kept him below 400 plate appearances, and even when he got back on the field, he didn't look much like a mythical wunderkind with a bat made of lightning. As the injuries pile up it's understandable to worry that he'll never become the player his draft table sticker price suggests, but don't jump off the bandwagon just yet. Over the last two months of the season, he hit 10 of his 13 home runs and looked much like the batter he was in 2013, and with an offseason to heal his thumb he should be able to come out launching bombs this April. Harper's still just 22 (nine months younger than Kris Bryant, to put that in perspective) with three major league seasons under his belt, and players with that resume are still far more likely to be stars than busts. Once he figures out the whole staying healthy business, the 40-plus home run seasons will come in bunches.
35 Stephen Strasburg (Was - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 36.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-3
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 14 11 0 215.0 242 3.14 1.12
2015 Projections 15 10 0 194.0 208 3.37 1.13
3 Year Average 12 9 0 185.7 210 3.10 1.11
Outlook: While it wasn't the breakout season his owners were likely expecting, Strasburg's 2014 was still his most successful to date, in no small part due to the fact that he managed to stay healthy. His 215 innings pitched and NL-leading 242 strikeouts (tied with Johnny Cueto) were career bests, as was his 1.8 BB/9 rate. Although his 3.14 ERA wasn't exactly elite, he certainly didn't hurt owners in that category, and his 1.12 WHIP actually landed him in the NL's top 10. Strasburg's arsenal (94-97 mph fastball, absurd high-80s changeup, and knee-buckling low-80s curve) still makes scouts drool, but he's finally showing signs of adding some savvy to his repertoire as well. Given that he won't turn 27 until mid-2015, there's little reason to think that he's hit his peak already. Health willing, top-tier ratios to match his strikeout rate should be on their way sooner rather than later.
36 Carlos Gonzalez (Col - LF, RF)
Healthy
ADP: 42.0
CHG: 0.0
Depth: RF-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 70 260 35 11 38 3 .238
2015 Projections 128 497 80 26 79 19 .296
3 Year Average 105 390 65 20 64 15 .287
Outlook: Gonzalez carried plenty of risk heading into last season, as he was limited to 110 games in 2013 and chose to bypass surgery on a sprained finger that had bothered him throughout the second half. Still, the elite-level production Gonzalez showed when healthy prompted many to bet on the outfielder’s upside, but that gamble never came close to paying off. Gonzalez hit a paltry .258/.311/.458 over the first two months before developing a small tumor in his left index finger in June that resulted in a DL stint. He was never the same after returning in July, batting .188 with a 36.2% strikeout rate over his 69 plate appearances, with his season ultimately ending in August when knee surgery was deemed necessary. While Gonzalez expects to be ready for spring training, his days as an annual 20-steal threat look to be over, and his struggles prior to suffering the finger injury cast doubt on his ability to reemerge as a top-flight hitter as well. The Rockies could explore trading the 29-year-old before his health or skill set deteriorates any further.
37 Justin Upton (SD - LF)
Healthy
ADP: 43.3
CHG: 0.0
Depth: LF-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 154 566 77 29 102 8 .270
2015 Projections 150 563 88 24 73 11 .258
3 Year Average 151 559 93 24 80 11 .272
Outlook: Most owners didn't profit much from Upton's production in 2014, but they got their money's worth. He supplied 29 homers (.221 ISO), good enough for fourth in the NL, and drove in a career-high 101 runs while slightly improving his average and matching his stolen base total from 2013. The 27-year-old also set a less distinguished career high with 171 strikeouts (26.7% K%), matching his brother's number and joining him in the Braves' record books for most strikeouts in a single season. Upton walked less (9.4% BB% from 11.7%) and finished with a .169/.233/.325 batting line in September, but he's a proven fantasy commodity at this point and should garner significant interest on draft day yet again. His move to Petco Park after an offseason trade to the Padres figures to result in a downgrade in power production for Upton (17.9% HR/FB with Atlanta), but his presence in the middle an improved lineup should help his counting stats.
38 Adrian Gonzalez (LAD - 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 42.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 159 591 83 27 116 1 .276
2015 Projections 154 595 72 21 95 1 .286
3 Year Average 158 601 76 22 108 1 .290
Outlook: In standard, 12-team 5x5 mixed leagues this past season, Gonzalez was a top-six first baseman in terms of fantasy value. Last season, only he and Miguel Cabrera hit at least 25 home runs, at least 40 doubles, and drove in at least 100 runs. The increase in power was nice, but Gonzalez’s .276 batting average, while still 25 points above the league average, was still his worst in a full season of play. His days of double-digit walk rates and high OBPs are officially behind him, but the rest of his skills are stable and he is a very low-risk player, having only missed a handful of games over the past six seasons. He’s not a sexy pick, but stability is attractive and Gonzalez should once again be good for 155-plus games, 100 runs driven in, and 20-plus home runs. His projections are as close to set-it-and-forget-it as you can get.
39 Hunter Pence (SF - RF)
Healthy
ADP: 46.3
CHG: 0.0
Depth: RF-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 162 650 106 20 74 13 .277
2015 Projections 160 619 92 22 86 12 .265
3 Year Average 161 632 95 24 92 13 .271
Outlook: If memes are a solar system, Pence is the sun. It would hardly be surprising if Pence ate his pizza with a fork, preferred baths to showers or hated bacon. There is nothing typical about the way he plays the game, but his unique approach generates consistently excellent results. Durability is the crux, as Pence has missed just 16 games in the last seven seasons combined –- while being included in two midseason trades during that span. In each of those seven seasons, Pence has hit at least 20 home runs, scored 75 runs and driven in 70, often providing better counting stats than those floors, including a career-high 106 runs in 2014. As a five-category contributor, Pence is a rock, albeit a rock who very eerily resembles Marv from “Home Alone,” the crook who nearly spoiled two Christmases for young Kevin McAllister in the early 90s.
40 Ryan Braun (Mil - RF)
Healthy
ADP: 42.7
CHG: 0.0
Depth: RF-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 135 530 68 19 81 11 .266
2015 Projections 124 477 70 23 76 14 .287
3 Year Average 117 451 69 23 77 15 .295
Outlook: Braun appeared in 135 games last season after playing in just 61 the year before, but he was limited by injuries for the second year in a row, and finished with an OPS far below the career .938 mark he owned entering 2014. Braun underwent surgery to repair a nagging thumb injury during the offseason and reported feeling much better, but the Brewers may not be able to determine whether the procedure was successful until spring training. Even in a down year, Braun put up above-average power numbers and stole 11 bases, however, every component of his slash line has fallen in each of the last three years, and he no longer carries the first-round grade he previously owned. The lineup around Braun remains strong, so the counting stats should be there if he stays healthy, even if his days of providing elite production are over.
41 Adam Wainwright (StL - SP)
DL60
ADP: 40.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 20 9 0 227.0 179 2.38 1.03
2015 Projections 14 9 0 206.0 177 3.31 1.18
3 Year Average 18 10 0 222.3 194 3.04 1.11
Outlook: Wainwright showed no signs of slowing down in his age-32 season, going 20-9 and posting career-best marks in ERA (2.38) and WHIP (1.03), while striking out 179 batters in 227 innings. Wainwright also threw five complete games, three of them shutouts (also a career high), on his way to finishing third in the Cy Young vote, marking his fourth top-three finish for the award. Owners shouldn't be overly concerned with Wainwright's age (33) heading into 2015, as he's only thrown 2,334.2 professional innings, which he started as an 18-year-old, compare that with Felix Hernandez (almost five years younger than Wainwright) who's thrown 2,367 innings since going pro at age 17. While age certainly factors in, Wainwright hasn't had the workload that most aces his age have had thus far in his career and he's a good bet to continue his dominant ways for at least the next year or two.
42 Starling Marte (Pit - LF, CF)
Healthy
ADP: 57.8
CHG: 0.0
Depth: LF-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 135 495 73 13 56 30 .291
2015 Projections 105 406 66 12 38 34 .310
3 Year Average 106 391 58 10 36 28 .281
Outlook: Marte slightly improved upon his numbers from his first full season in 2014, slashing .291/.356/.453 with 13 homers and 30 stolen bases in 545 plate appearances. When Pittsburgh moved him out of the leadoff spot to seventh in order, he strung together four multi-hit performances in the next seven games and never looked back. His RBI total improved from 35 to 56 (year over year) and he ended up batting mostly fifth against left-handed pitching. A .373 BABIP appears ripe for regression, but he's never dipped below a .333 BABIP in six pro seasons. Marte, who signed a six-year, $31 million extension in March of 2013, played a more-than-capable center field when Andrew McCutchen went on the DL. After bottoming out June 8 with a .230 batting average, the 26-year-old hit .338/.397/.529 in 305 plate appearances. Provided he stays healthy -- he's been hit by 41 pitches the last two seasons -- expect another strong campaign from Marte.
43 Ian Kinsler (Det - 2B)
Healthy
ADP: 44.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 2B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 161 684 100 17 92 15 .275
2015 Projections 162 629 99 16 74 17 .269
3 Year Average 151 628 97 16 79 17 .269
Outlook: While the days of Kinsler posting 30-30 seasons are likely a thing of the past, he proved to still be a very valuable fantasy commodity in his first season with the Tigers. Kinsler slashed .272/.307/.420 in 684 at-bats. He led all second basemen in RBI (92), while ranking in the top five at the position homers (17), doubles (40), hits (188) and runs (100). For the most part, his offensive production met or surpassed his final season in Texas. The only area Kinsler saw a dip was in his walk rate, which dropped to a career-low mark of 4.0% and resulted in a lower on-base percentage than normal. His strikeout rate (10.9%) was on par with past seasons and he posted a stellar 88 percent contact rate, so it appears Kinsler went with a more aggressive approach at the plate and hasn’t seen a drop in his skill set. On the defensive side of the ball, Kinsler had one of his better seasons, posting a 13.0 UZR and career-high .988 fielding percentage. Turning 33 in June, it’s clear that Kinsler’s best days are behind him, but he also proved in 2014 that he still has plenty of gas left in the tank. He’ll once again be the everyday second baseman for Detroit while hitting at or near the top of the lineup.
44 Chris Davis (Bal - 1B, 3B, DH)
Healthy
ADP: 50.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 127 450 65 26 72 2 .196
2015 Projections 139 527 81 35 87 2 .245
3 Year Average 142 516 81 37 98 3 .254
Outlook: Davis was one of the largest disappointments in fantasy baseball during the 2014 season, and he failed to get back on track after suffering an oblique injury in late April. To make matters worse, Davis failed a second test for amphetamines late in 2014 and missed the rest of his disappointing season. It was later revealed that despite a medical need for Adderall, Davis did not have an exemption for its use in 2013 or 2014. If the big seasons of Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, and Jhonny Peralta post-PED suspension are any indication, discounting Davis in 2015 due to the 2014 performance would be a mistake. It's also worth noting that he's been approved for an exemption to take Adderall again in 2015. Davis can still hit 30-plus home runs in his sleep, offering a reasonable floor even if he's unable to return to his 2013 level again.
45 Corey Dickerson (Col - CF, LF)
DL15
ADP: 59.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 131 436 74 24 76 8 .312
2015 Projections 128 500 80 21 68 7 .284
3 Year Average 100 315 53 14 46 5 .298
Outlook: Though he opened the season in a reserve role, Dickerson might have been the Rockies’ offensive MVP by the end of it. When injuries to Michael Cuddyer and Carlos Gonzalez opened up playing time, Dickerson took full advantage, smacking a team-leading 24 homers, adding a dash of steals, and batting .312, a mark that would have placed him fourth in the NL had he logged 24 more plate appearances to qualify. Likely locked into a starting role for 2015, Dickerson won’t fly under the radar this season, but he isn’t necessarily a safe bet to fully replicate his production, either. Dickerson saw a 363-point drop in OPS on the road last season and was mediocre against lefty pitching, posting a .308 OBP while striking out in more than a quarter of his 98 plate appearances. The latter deficiency puts him at risk of slipping back into a platoon role with Drew Stubbs, potentially hurting his counting totals. Dickerson will carry the most utility in formats with daily lineup moves, where he can be better optimized when the park and pitcher handedness favor him.
46 Albert Pujols (LAA - 1B, DH)
Healthy
ADP: 49.4
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 159 633 89 28 105 5 .272
2015 Projections 127 493 64 18 73 4 .254
3 Year Average 137 544 74 25 91 5 .274
Outlook: Pujols aimed to redeem himself in 2014 after missing most of the previous season due to plantar fasciitis, and started off that pursuit with a bang, tallying a .927 OPS with nine home runs in April. The 34-year-old's production vacillated for much of the rest of the season while he dealt with minor ailments, but he still finished the year with a 272/.324/.466 line, 28 home runs and 105 RBI. While the counting numbers bounced back somewhat, it was hardly a vintage season, as Pujols' walk rate reached a career-low 6.9% and he failed to tally a .200 ISO for the second consecutive year. Pujols said in November that he is optimistic about his prospects in 2015, as he will head into the season with a healthy right knee, which has not been at full strength since 2012. While it seems like a reach to expect more from Pujols in 2015, he could be a relatively cheap source of home runs and RBI once again.
47 Jonathan Lucroy (Mil - C)
DL15
ADP: 48.3
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 153 585 73 13 69 4 .301
2015 Projections 124 481 56 13 65 5 .291
3 Year Average 132 474 59 14 70 6 .297
Outlook: Lucroy languished in anonymity for a few years, but he became a household name last season after smashing a league-best 53 doubles and finishing fourth in NL MVP voting. His home run and RBI numbers dipped a bit, but he also hit .300 and finished with the most at-bats among all catchers by playing at first base as well, something he figures to do again in 2015. Lucroy isn’t hiding any longer -- he will be among the first catchers taken in fantasy drafts this spring, and rightfully so.
48 Zack Greinke (LAD - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 46.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-2
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 17 8 0 202.3 207 2.71 1.15
2015 Projections 14 9 0 200.0 193 3.25 1.16
3 Year Average 16 6 0 197.3 185 2.96 1.16
Outlook: Greinke has evolved into one of baseball’s best pitchers and oddly, he doesn’t really get much attention for it. Part of that is the presence of Clayton Kershaw, but Greinke seems to have been lost in the shuffle a bit with the emergence of so many incredible arms. Unfortunately, this doesn’t usually pay any fantasy dividends, because while he doesn’t get as much as ink as his rotation mate or a lot of the other stud arms in the National League, that doesn’t usually drop his price at the draft table. It is almost as if he has just become boringly awesome, kinda like Mike Mussina. You were never overwhelmingly excited to roster Mussina, but he carried a rightfully high draft price each year and consistently delivered on that investment. On the field, Greinke took his strikeout rate back up (25.2%) after a dip in 2013, while also dropping a career-best walk rate (5.2%) on the league. Expect another big season from the Dodgers’ second ace and don’t be afraid to pay market value for his services.
49 George Springer (Hou - RF)
Healthy
ADP: 59.2
CHG: 0.0
Depth: RF-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 78 295 45 20 51 5 .231
2015 Projections 127 465 75 37 83 7 .256
3 Year Average 78 295 45 20 51 5 .231
Outlook: With nothing left to prove in the minors, Springer made his much-anticipated major league debut for the Astros in mid-April. He struggled initially, hitting .182 in 14 homer-less games before finally flashing his power potential when the calendar flipped to May. The 25-year-old hit .294 with 10 long balls and 25 RBI during the month, which brought much relief to fantasy owners who had been anxiously awaiting his callup. Springer did have issues making contact (61%) and he struck out at an incredibly high rate (33%), but he still turned in a respectable stat line, hitting .231/.336/.468 with 20 home runs, 51 RBI and five steals before knee and quadriceps injuries interfered in July, ultimately ending his season. Expected to be fully healthy entering camp, Springer is likely to run more on the basepaths than he did in his rookie season, which bodes well for those who invest in the powerful outfielder. A 40/20 season is certainly attainable if he maintains his health over a full season.
50 Jon Lester (ChC - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 48.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 16 11 0 219.7 220 2.46 1.10
2015 Projections 18 8 0 212.0 204 2.65 1.07
3 Year Average 13 11 0 212.7 188 3.64 1.26
Outlook: The A's traded for Lester as part of their push to go all-in for a World Series title last season, but he let A's fans down in the AL Wild Card Game, allowing six runs in 7.1 innings and failing to hold a late four-run lead. After a terrible 2012 (4.83 ERA), Lester has dropped his ERA by more than a full run in consecutive season, putting up a 2.46 ERA in 2014. He got his strikeout back up to 9.0 K/9 after it had slipped into the 7.0-range in back-to-back seasons, and his durability continues to increase his value, as he's made at least 30 starts in every season since 2008. Lester became a free agent after his short stint in Oakland, and landed a six-year, $155 million deal in December to head up the Cubs' rotation.
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