Pre-Draft Player Rankings

4 Miguel Cabrera (Det - 1B, DH)
Healthy
ADP: 5.4
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 159 611 101 25 109 1 .313
2015 Projections 157 588 109 37 121 2 .337
3 Year Average 156 596 104 38 128 3 .329
Outlook: For most players, a slash line of .313/.371/.524 with 25 homers, 191 hits, 109 RBI, 101 runs and an All-Star berth would be considered a career-defining campaign, but for a back-to-back AL MVP award winner, it was considered a down year. Cabrera undoubtedly took a slight step back in 2014, as his .895 OPS was the lowest since he joined the Tigers in 2008. His ISO dropped to .211, which was the lowest since his 2003 debut season. On a positive note, Cabrera continued to hit the ball on a line most of the season, posting a career-best 24.8% line-drive rate while also posting a contact rate above 80.0% for the seventh consecutive season. He also finished the regular season on a tear, hitting .379/.409/.709 with eight homers and 18 RBI in September. There were some obvious reasons for Cabrera’s statistical dip. The Tigers' slugger saw his HR/FB rate dip to a career-low 14.0%, well below the 23.0 and 25.4% he posted in 2012 and 2013, respectively. He also dealt with a lingering bone spur in his ankle for much of the season, which eventually led to offseason surgery in late October. Cabrera’s surgery was more serious than anticipated, as he had two screws inserted to stabilize a stress fracture in the navicular bone. He won’t be evaluated again until late January, and depending on those results, his availability for Opening Day could be in question. Assuming Cabrera makes a full recovery by spring training, he’ll remain one of the premier options at first base as he enters his age-32 season.
5 Paul Goldschmidt (Ari - 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 7.7
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 109 406 75 19 69 9 .300
2015 Projections 139 512 87 24 85 13 .293
3 Year Average 138 507 87 25 92 14 .296
Outlook: Last season was a mirror image of 2013 for the fantasy stud in terms of his batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. That is where the good news ends. Goldschmidt missed 51 games with a broken hand and was unavailable to owners for the final two months of the season. At the point of his injury, his RBI total was just 55 percent of what it was in 2013 because the team around him was rather awful. With a full season, he would have likely matched his stolen base total from 2013 and swiped at least 10 bases for a third straight season, as a first baseman. Even for a young player, Goldschmidt’s skills are stable. His strikeout rate is slightly below league average, but he offsets that with a well-above-league-average walk rate. He doesn’t get himself into trouble chasing pitches and in a time where offense is tapering off, this guy flat out rakes. Goldschmidt is first-round material again in 2015.
7 Jose Abreu (CWS - 1B, DH)
Healthy
ADP: 9.0
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 145 556 80 36 107 3 .317
2015 Projections 151 574 82 37 99 2 .312
3 Year Average 145 556 80 36 107 3 .317
Outlook: Things could not have gone much better for Abreu in his first MLB season. The Cuban expat entered the year with some questions about whether his swing would hold up to advanced pitching, but Abreu displayed an advanced work ethic that made the transition nearly seamless. He raced to 29 home runs before making the AL All-Star squad, and finished his Rookie of the Year campaign leading the majors with a .581 slugging percentage. He proved himself to be more than just a slugger in the second half, hitting .350 after the break. He swings more than you would like and misses more than he should, so it would not be a surprise to see his average suffer a bit in 2015 if he can not sustain his .356 BABIP. However, his power should continue to rank him in the upper echelon of AL first basemen in 2015, and he should have a spot in the heart of the White Sox's order for several years to come.
11 Anthony Rizzo (ChC - 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 16.8
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 140 524 89 32 78 5 .286
2015 Projections 129 481 72 25 67 4 .283
3 Year Average 129 489 68 23 69 5 .264
Outlook: Though the Cubs have a lot of young offensive talent, many of them with prodigious power, most struggle to get on base. Not so with Rizzo, who drew 73 walks last year and finished with a team-high .386 on-base percentage. Oh, and he also led the team in home runs, RBI, runs, slugging percentage, and OPS. Despite all the young players coming up at the ranks at seemingly every position, the Cubs don't have a can't-miss prospect at first base (the closest thing to it is Dan Vogelbach), meaning Rizzo's job is safe. Once those other young hitters start getting on base, expect the 25-year-old Rizzo to start racking up 100-RBI seasons.
13 Edwin Encarnacion (Tor - 1B, DH)
Healthy
ADP: 15.8
CHG: 0.0
Depth: DH-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 128 477 75 34 98 2 .268
2015 Projections 144 525 89 37 99 8 .272
3 Year Average 140 516 86 37 104 7 .273
Outlook: The Home Run Parrot was out in full force once again in 2014 as Encarnacion hit at least 34 home runs for a third consecutive season, despite playing in just 128 games. He fell two shy of equaling his 2013 home run total in nearly 80 fewer plate appearances. Encarnacion takes plenty of walks and rarely strikes out, and when he puts the ball in play, he is trying to smoke it to the left side as nearly all of his home runs in recent seasons have been to left field. He has low BABIPs because he is often overshifted, but Encarnacion still hits for a good average because of the amount of balls he hits over the fence that no shift can prevent. He is a two category stud, three if you play in an OBP league, and contributes in four categories. With a talented lineup around him and a hitter-friendly home park, Encarnacion is a safe early investment on draft day.
15 Buster Posey (SF - C, 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 16.2
CHG: 0.0
Depth: C-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 147 547 72 22 89 0 .311
2015 Projections 141 534 71 19 82 0 .313
3 Year Average 148 532 70 20 88 1 .314
Outlook: While Posey did not quite rebound to an MVP level in 2014, he returned more rotisserie value than any catcher and finished sixth in the NL MVP voting. Posey has displayed remarkable durability since his freak injury in 2011, appearing in at least 147 games each of the last three seasons, and he didn't hit below .250 in any month of the 2014 campaign. He struggled in the postseason (.558 OPS) and especially in the World Series (4-for-26), but Posey was one of the main reasons why the Giants earned a wild card birth in the first place, and of course San Francisco won it all regardless. Against right-handers, Posey hit .314/.366/.478, up from .283/.362/.431 a year before, and he was red-hot down the stretch in the regular season, finishing with a .978 OPS in the second half. Sure, his walk rate was down more than two percent (from 10.1% to 7.8%), but Posey again improved his strikeout rate (to 11.4%) and has proven to be an extremely consistent offensive contributor. He'll be just 28 at the start of the 2015 campaign and is still the clear choice for first catcher off the board.
24 Freddie Freeman (Atl - 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 31.0
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 162 607 93 18 78 3 .288
2015 Projections 160 594 93 20 86 2 .278
3 Year Average 152 566 91 21 94 2 .290
Outlook: Considered by many to be a top-five fantasy option at first base entering 2014, Freeman finished outside of the top-10 in roto value at the position despite playing a full 162 games. He provided early returns on the eight-year, $135 million extension the Braves gave him in the offseason, batting .333/.409/.594 with six homers in April, but Freeman hit above .277 in just one of the season's final five months after not hitting below .291 in any month of the 2013 campaign. Freeman improved his walk rate by more than two percent (from 10.5% to 12.7%), but his strikeouts were up slightly, and his ISO fell again to .173. His numbers against lefties also declined, going from .287/.367/.397 in 2013 to .260/.358/.398 last season, and his contact rate dipped close to two percent (from 77.5% to 75.8%). The 25-year-old's drop in power, from an already below-average level relative to most first basemen, may scare many off, but his HR/FB rate was down more than three percent from 2013, lending hope to the idea he can easily return to the 20-plus homer threshold in 2015. Further, Freeman has proven very durable, playing in at least 147 games in four straight seasons, and he's locked into the three-hole in the Atlanta order. The profit margin is intriguing, but owners will want to make a conscious effort to make up for the lost power by compensating at other positions.
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.
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.
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.
52 Todd Frazier (Cin - 3B, 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 57.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 3B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 157 597 88 29 80 20 .273
2015 Projections 134 519 68 22 69 9 .258
3 Year Average 145 517 69 22 73 10 .259
Outlook: One of the shames of the 2014 season for the Reds is that they wasted the breakout seasons of Frazier and Devin Mesoraco. But was this season Frazier's peak, or one of a few more that we can expect in the future? Many of the underlying metrics suggest that this is his level -- his strikeout and walk rates have been remarkably stable the last three years, and his ISO was actually higher in 2012 when he first established himself as a regular player. The only stat that appears to be an outlier was his 20 stolen bases -- even in the minors he had never run that often. Assuming that Joey Votto is healthier this year, the Reds will finally leave Frazier at third base rather than move him all over the diamond, but you'll have the capability of slotting him at first if you'd like, which may be more of an advantage than in previous years, considering the state of the first base pool.
57 Prince Fielder (Tex - 1B, DH)
Healthy
ADP: 65.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 42 150 19 3 16 0 .247
2015 Projections 124 455 63 23 77 0 .321
3 Year Average 122 452 61 19 77 1 .290
Outlook: Fielder was a first-round bust of epic proportions in 2014 thanks to a neck issue that required season-ending surgery in the first half of the season. He tried to play through the pain, but could not drive the ball the way he has done throughout his career. Instead of a 40-plus home run season in a friendly ballpark, he hit three home runs and left a lot of owners very frustrated. His surgery was a success and he was swinging a bat toward the end of the season, but he still missed a ton of live action. Back and neck surgeries are not very routine in baseball and anything related to the back is a problem area for power hitters as their core is critical to their swing. As a result, Fielder is a high-risk, high-reward target on draft day.
58 Victor Martinez (Det - DH, 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 62.0
CHG: 0.0
Depth: DH-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 151 561 87 32 103 3 .335
2015 Projections 146 557 73 21 83 1 .309
3 Year Average 155 583 78 23 93 2 .317
Outlook: Martinez defied Father Time in 2014, posting a career-best campaign in his age-35 season. The veteran designated hitter set career highs in numerous categories, including home runs (32), hits (188), batting average (.335), on-base percentage (.409), slugging percentage (.565), and OPS (.974). His plate discipline was also the best of his career, as Martinez posted a 1.67 BB/K ratio and 93 percent contact rate. While his .230 ISO was well above his career average of .169, Martinez’s .320 BABIP was right in line with his career norm. Eligible at just DH to begin the 2014 season, Martinez will have first base eligibility in many formats after making 35 appearances at the position. Unfortunately, he only had two appearances at catcher and isn’t expected to play much behind the plate going forward. The Tigers signed Martinez to a four-year, $68-million contract this offseason, which will keep him locked into the middle of their lineup between Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez for the foreseeable future. A regression in the power department wouldn’t be a surprise, but Martinez will post strong enough numbers across the board to warrant a lofty draft slot, although he'll carry added risk following surgery in early February to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. His status for Opening Day could be in question depending on the pace of his recovery.
59 Joey Votto (Cin - 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 71.2
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 62 220 32 6 23 1 .255
2015 Projections 121 412 70 16 48 4 .308
3 Year Average 112 392 64 15 51 4 .306
Outlook: Every year RotoWire's top injury analyst Jeff Stotts cautions readers about how a distal quadriceps strain can linger for a player, particularly if he tries to come back too soon. In 2015, all he'll have to do is point to Votto's 2014 season. Votto was limited to 62 games with the injury between two DL stints, with a 23-game stretch in between where he failed to homer even once. Not only did Votto fail to produce as he once regularly did, but because of overly optimistic timetables, his owners held onto him for far too long during his second DL trip before he was finally declared out for the season. In a format with a limited bench and no DL spots like the NFBC, that can be deadly. The big question going forward is what sort of player will Votto be once he finally returns at full strength -- is it reasonable to expect him to hit .300-plus with 20 homers any longer, or will the power fail to return? At least you will be able to find out in 2015 at a discounted rate, unlike the Reds, who are still on the hook for at least nine more years plus a club option for a 10th year.
83 Carlos Santana (Cle - 1B, 3B, DH)
Healthy
ADP: 86.3
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 152 541 68 27 85 5 .231
2015 Projections 153 542 78 21 76 4 .255
3 Year Average 150 530 72 22 78 4 .251
Outlook: Santana was looking like one of the bigger fantasy busts after the first two months of the season, as he hit just .159/.327/.301 and suffered a concussion late in May that sent him to the 7-day DL. The Indians did away with his limited role behind the plate following the scare and also put an end to his audition at third base, having him instead focus primarily on improving at the dish, and indeed he did improve, hitting .310 (54-for-174) with 14 homers in June and July. Although the power numbers and batting average slipped in August and September (.225 average, seven homers), Santana matched his career-high with 27 homers in 2014 and set a new career high with 85 RBI, while leading the major leagues with 113 walks and maintaining a strikeout rate (18.8%) right around his career norm (18.0%). His BABIP was down at .249, suggesting the average will rebound in 2014, and he made enough appearances at third base (26) to earn eligibility in most leagues. He'll lose catcher eligibility in many formats, however, after making just 11 appearances at the position.
85 Chris Carter (Hou - 1B, DH)
Healthy
ADP: 125.0
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 145 507 68 37 88 5 .227
2015 Projections 110 407 58 27 61 2 .224
3 Year Average 120 410 57 27 70 2 .227
Outlook: In his best season as a pro, Carter set an Astros franchise record with seven multi-homer games while blasting 37 overall to finish three shy of Nelson Cruz for the MLB lead. The 28-year-old DH still had issues making contact (64%), which subsequently led to a high number of strikeouts (31.8%), but he actually showed improvement in both areas compared to the year prior. Carter's .227 batting average didn't help his fantasy owners, but that was no surprise and he somewhat made up for it by chipping in five steals. He's not known for his speed, however, so continue drafting him as an elite source of power who will deliver above-average run production, albeit as a risk to your batting average. Keep in mind that Carter will lose position eligibility at first base (14 games played in 2014) and in the outfield (six) in most leagues to begin 2015.
96 Mark Trumbo (Ari - LF, 1B, RF, DH)
Healthy
ADP: 113.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: RF-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 88 328 37 14 61 2 .235
2015 Projections 136 533 66 29 81 4 .242
3 Year Average 130 497 63 27 85 4 .247
Outlook: The Diamondbacks acquired Trumbo prior to the 2014 season, adding another right-handed power bat behind Paul Goldschmidt. With seven home runs in his first 21 games, Trumbo appeared headed for a third straight 30-homer season, but he ended up in a walking boot for more than a month due to a stress fracture in his left foot, an issue that may have started with plantar fasciitis during spring training. After he returned to the lineup in July, Trumbo hit .243/.302/.385 with seven homers in 67 games, contributing much less than expected to a lineup that was depleted by injuries and trades in the second half of the season. Defensively, he's not a great fit in the outfield, but it's assumed that he will begin his second season in the desert as the starting left fielder, and with a place in the heart of the Arizona batting order. Even if the batting average and on-base percentage leave something to be desired, an offseason to heal and get his timing back could pave the way for a rebound in the power department.
100 Eric Hosmer (KC - 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 157.8
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 131 503 54 9 58 4 .270
2015 Projections 146 569 69 13 64 9 .274
3 Year Average 147 554 68 13 66 10 .269
Outlook: Hosmer's counting stats suffered a significant drop-off in his 2014 season, but this can be partially attributed to a stress fracture in his hand that cost him most of August. Though many thought the first baseman was poised for a breakout season, he ended up posting career-lows in home runs (nine), RBI (58), runs (54) and steals (four). His batting average dipped 32 points from the season before, but some bad luck was to blame, as he recorded his lowest BABIP (.312) since the 2012 season. By the time Hosmer was able to get hot in the playoffs, it was too late for fantasy owners, but a .983 postseason OPS is cause for optimism heading into 2015. His 83.4% contact rate was right in line with his career average, but his line drive rate dropped over five points to 16.9%. Prospective fantasy owners are surely hoping he'll square up the ball a little bit better in his age-25 season, and if he can do that, it wouldn't be overly surprising to see him return close to the .801 OPS he posted in 2013.
118 Ryan Zimmerman (Was - 3B, 1B, LF)
Healthy
ADP: 139.4
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 61 214 26 5 38 0 .280
2015 Projections 119 461 66 19 68 3 .289
3 Year Average 118 453 68 19 71 4 .278
Outlook: Although he resisted the idea for as long as he could, it became clear in 2014 that Zimmerman's balky shoulder just wouldn't allow him to play third base any longer, and he ended up playing more games in left field than at the hot corner. The shoulder ended up being the least of his worries though, as a broken thumb and severe hamstring strain limited him to just 61 games and a miserable five home runs, reducing him to essentially spectator status as the Nationals fell to the Giants in the first round of the playoffs. Zimmerman will move across the diamond to first base this season, a move which should help keep him in one piece, and if he can stay off the DL, he should be able to rebound to the 25-homer, 80-90 RBI level of production that his owners were used to. There's some risk here, but also plenty of potential reward if his draft day price is right.
119 Matt Adams (StL - 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 179.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 142 527 55 15 68 3 .288
2015 Projections 76 305 40 13 46 1 .305
3 Year Average 92 303 36 11 44 1 .284
Outlook: Adams returned solid value to owners that were able to snatch him up in the later rounds of fantasy drafts, posting a .288/.321/.457 line with 34 doubles, 15 home runs and 68 RBI while playing above average defense at first base. When the Cardinals traded Allen Craig to Boston at the deadline it solidified Adams' role as the team's everyday first baaseman. It's somewhat discouraging that he hit just .239/.308/.356 in 180 at-bats over the final two months of this season, dropping his average from .314 to .288 but his role is much clearer heading into 2015 than it was a year ago. It's likely that he could very easily be a top-12 first baseman in 2015 if he can stay healthy and develop a little more power, particularly if some of those doubles and triples (he had an unlikely five in 2014) clear the outfield wall for home runs.
149 Justin Morneau (Col - 1B, DH)
Healthy
ADP: 186.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 135 502 62 17 82 0 .319
2015 Projections 124 477 52 15 60 0 .275
3 Year Average 140 526 62 18 79 0 .281
Outlook: Morneau’s days as a full-time player appeared to be on the fritz after the 2013 season, but upon joining the Rockies, the first baseman saw his production return to a level not seen since his MVP days with the Twins. While he didn’t notice much of a recovery in the power department, Morneau was able to secure the NL batting crown with a .319 mark, aided by a career-low 10.9% strikeout rate and a .330 BABIP. The Coors Effect didn’t seem to prop up Morneau’s numbers any more than usual (.327 batting average at home, .309 on the road), suggesting there is some level of sustainability behind his resurgence. He’ll enter his age-34 season with higher expectations, and with his contract set to expire, he could represent a valuable trade chip for the rebuilding Rockies. No matter whom he suits up for, though, Morneau should remain close to an upper-tier fantasy option at his position if he doesn’t notice too swift of a correction in his superb contact rates.
159 Lucas Duda (NYM - 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 195.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 153 514 74 30 92 3 .253
2015 Projections 127 465 59 22 59 1 .230
3 Year Average 125 411 53 20 61 1 .241
Outlook: Finally removed from the shadow of Ike Davis at first base and no longer miscast as an outfielder, Duda had a breakout campaign in 2014. There's little reason to believe he'll ever be able to hit left-handed pitching (32.8 K%, .516 OPS v. LHP last season), but his numbers against righties were elite (.915 OPS) and he showed power to all fields last season after previously being a predominantly pull hitter. The power potential has always been there with Duda, and his first 30-homer season wasn't simply the result of a spike to his HR/FB rate (16.0% in 2014, compared to a 13.5% career mark). If he can maintain the progress that he made with former hitting coach Lamar Johnson, Duda should be primed for another big year in the heart of the Mets' lineup in his age-29 campaign.
163 Brandon Moss (Cle - 1B, LF, RF)
Healthy
ADP: 172.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: RF-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 147 500 70 25 81 1 .234
2015 Projections 109 405 70 30 75 1 .277
3 Year Average 125 404 64 25 73 2 .255
Outlook: Moss made his first All-Star Game after putting up 21 homers and an .878 OPS prior to the All-Star break. He followed up that first half with a complete disaster of a second half, hitting only four homers and carrying a .584 OPS in 179 at-bats. He also struck out in over 31 percent of his plate appearances after the All-Star break. The powerful Moss even went through an unreal 39-game stretch spanning 123 at-bats in which he did not homer at all. Soon after the season ended, Moss underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip, so it is very possible that the injury contributed to his horrible second half. Moss is expected to start running in January and should be pretty close to ready for the start of spring training. He has genuine power, and if the second-half struggles were due to his hip injury, he could be a nice value on draft day as his performance down the stretch may have soured owners on him. Plus, he will be afforded a fresh start with the move to Cleveland.
174 Pedro Alvarez (Pit - 3B, 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 205.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 122 398 46 18 56 8 .231
2015 Projections 133 514 60 28 75 3 .230
3 Year Average 141 494 60 28 80 4 .237
Outlook: The big slugger with big power was a big bust in 2014. After tying for the NL home run lead with 36 in 2013, Alvarez attempted to hit the ball to all fields while improving upon his plate discipline with horrific results. Although his 0.40 BB/K rate represented a career best, he hit half as many homers (18) and saw his OPS drop from .770 to .719 (in 445 PA). Defensively, his 24 throwing errors in 95 starts at third base pushed him to the bench for several weeks before the Pirates moved him to first base. His best bet in 2015 is to serve as part of a first base platoon, as general manager Neal Huntington already confirmed Josh Harrison will start at third base. If Alvarez can return to form as a dead-pull hitter -- four of 36 homers went to right-or-center fields in 2013 as opposed to seven of 18 in 2014 -- he could provide value in an offensive landscape bereft of power hitters.
181 Brandon Belt (SF - 1B)
Healthy
ADP: 207.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: 1B-1
G AB R HR RBI SB AVG
2014 Season 61 214 30 12 27 3 .243
2015 Projections 140 532 72 16 64 9 .271
3 Year Average 119 378 51 12 50 7 .275
Outlook: Last year was the second consecutive season in which Belt hit at least 10 homers. That’s about the only positive that can be taken from a season in which he first missed eight weeks with a thumb injury and then had to deal with concussion symptoms in the second half. Belt had a weird season statistically in that 10 of his 12 homers came against righties, but his batting average was 30 points better against lefties. Historically, he does not have splits in terms of batting average, but 33 of his 45 career home runs have come against righties. It feels like Belt is on the verge of a career breakout as he has flashed the skills necessary to be a productive player, but injuries in 2014 derailed that progress. Perhaps that will hold down his draft value so savvy owners can pounce on a player who has .280/25/100 potential.
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