Matthew Pouliot

Strike Zone

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Projections Review - Part 2

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Here's part two of the hitting projections review.  In case you missed it, part one can be found here. The column focusing on pitchers will come next week.

 

Players are listed along with their preseason dollar values in AL- or NL-only leagues. If some of the listings seem off (a player at $20 being ranked behind someone at $19), it's an AL-NL thing.

 

Top 10 Shortstops

 

1. Troy Tulowitzki - Rockies - $34

Projection: .310/.382/.564, 31 HR, 97 R, 103 RBI, 7 SB in 535 AB

2013 stats: .312/.391/.540, 25 HR, 72 R, 82 RBI, 1 SB in 446 AB

 

2. Jose Reyes - Blue Jays - $27

Projection: .294/.345/.447, 11 HR, 94 R, 61 RBI, 34 SB in 568 AB

2013 stats: .296/.353/.427, 10 HR, 58 R, 37 RBI, 15 SB in 382 AB

 

Unsurprisingly, Reyes wasn't his typically active self on the basepaths after returning from the ankle injury he suffered stealing his fifth base in his 10th game of the season. In his remaining 83 games, he tried just 16 steals and succeeded on 10 of them. At 30 years old now, he has to decide whether he wants to remain a 30-40 steal guy or if he might have a better chance of remaining healthy by cutting back.

 

3. Starlin Castro - Cubs - $26

Projection: .295/.339/.448, 15 HR, 90 R, 70 RBI, 20 SB in 614 AB

2013 stats: .245/.284/.347, 10 HR, 59 R, 44 RBI, 9 SB in 666 AB

 

That .787 OPS I was projecting, Castro didn't top it any single month of the season (his best was a .781 mark in July). He was bad in every aspect in the game, and the Cubs have to be regretting that $60 million contract they gave him in 2012, not because he's incapable of living up to it but because he seems entirely unmotivated to do so.

 

4. Elvis Andrus - Rangers - $24

Projection: .295/.362/.404, 7 HR, 89 R, 65 RBI, 28 SB in 604 AB

2013 stats: .271/.328/.331, 4 HR, 91 R, 67 RBI, 42 SB in 620 AB

 

Despite a .659 OPS, Andrus finished first among shortstops in runs scored and fifth in RBI. A lot of that is due to the fact that he hit second for the Rangers all year, but the Texas lineup wasn't nearly as good as usual; the Rangers ranked seventh in the AL in runs scored. It'd be nice to see Andrus take a real step forward offensively one of these years; his .328 OBP this year was the lowest of his five-year career and he still hasn't topped the six homers he hit as a rookie in 2009.

 

5. Asdrubal Cabrera - Indians - $20

Projection: .280/.345/.437, 18 HR, 87 R, 74 RBI, 11 SB in 586 AB

2013 stats: .242/.299/.402, 14 HR, 66 R, 64 RBI, 9 SB in 508 AB

 

The season was even more of a disaster until Cabrera hit five homers and drove in 17 runs in September. It's quite possible we've seen the last of him in Cleveland.

 

6. Hanley Ramirez - Dodgers - $21

Projection: .296/.367/.491, 18 HR, 65 R, 63 RBI, 16 SB in 399 AB

2013 stats: .345/.402/.638, 20 HR, 62 R, 57 RBI, 10 SB in 304 AB

 

7. Ian Desmond - Nationals - $21

Projection: .272/.321/.450, 20 HR, 68 R, 82 RBI, 21 SB in 556 AB

2013 stats: .280/.331/.453, 20 HR, 77 R, 80 RBI, 21 SB in 600 AB

 

8. Erick Aybar - Angels - $18

Projection: .288/.331/.411, 9 HR, 78 R, 61 RBI, 22 SB in 562 AB

2013 stats: .271/.301/.382, 6 HR, 68 R, 54 RBI, 12 SB in 550 AB

 

9. Ben Zobrist - Rays - $16

Projection: .258/.357/.430, 18 HR, 85 R, 73 RBI, 16 SB in 565 AB

2013 stats: .275/.354/.402, 12 HR, 77 R, 71 RBI, 11 SB in 612 AB

 

Zobrist averaged 19.3 homers and 18.5 steals in his previous four seasons as a regular. He was still a very solid player for Tampa Bay, but his fantasy value took quite a hit. He did end up getting in 21 games as a shortstop (11 starts), so he'll remain eligible at the position next year.

 

10. Jimmy Rollins - Phillies - $16

Projection: .254/.322/.399, 16 HR, 87 R, 59 RBI, 26 SB in 587 AB

2013 stats: .252/.328/.348, 6 HR, 65 R, 39 RBI, 22 SB in 600 AB

 

Ugly. Rollins' average and OBP were practically unchanged from 2012, but he went from 23 homers to six. The 39 RBI is especially hard to believe since more than half of his starts came batting second or third, but that's still hardly all his fault; he actually hit .291 with RISP and .310 with runners on, compared to .220 with the bases empty. I imagine Rollins will be a bit better in 2014, but his days as a top-10 fantasy shortstop are probably over.

 

Others

 

11. Josh Rutledge - Rockies - $16

Projection: .263/.311/.438, 16 HR, 83 R, 70 RBI, 15 SB in 544 AB

2013 stats: .235/.294/.337, 7 HR, 45 R, 19 RBI, 12 SB in 285 AB

 

I wasn't at all confident in my Rutledge projection; I was pretty skeptical of him settling in as a long-term regular, but I also figured that as long as the Rockies played him regularly and hit him second, he'd be a nice asset in mixed leagues. Really, that still applies. After 161 major league games, he has 15 homers, 82 runs scored and 19 steals (in 19 attempts). The Rockies have him behind D.J. LeMahieu on the depth chart now, but if they don't upgrade at second base this winter, Rutledge will qualify as something of a sleeper in spring drafts.

 

13. Alexei Ramirez - White Sox - $13

Projection: .274/.321/.418, 17 HR, 70 R, 69 RBI, 11 SB in 576 AB

2013 stats: .284/.313/.380, 6 HR, 68 R, 48 RBI, 30 SB in 637 AB

 

30 steals was more than Ramirez had in any two consecutive seasons previously. It's too bad the power didn't stick around to go along with it; he hit 21 homers as a rookie and topped 15 each of his first four seasons. Even so, Ramirez would have been a top-notch fantasy shortstop had the White Sox put better talent around him. Consider that he had fewer runs+RBI than Asdrubal Cabrera (116 to 130) despite collecting 129 more at-bats.

 

14. Alcides Escobar - Royals - $13

Projection: .275/.314/.379, 6 HR, 70 R, 54 RBI, 32 SB in 589 AB

2013 stats: .234/.259/.300, 4 HR, 57 R, 52 RBI, 22 SB in 607 AB

 

This after he hit .286/.330/.439 with three homers and 12 RBI in April. He spent the next five months making Rey Ordonez look like Magglio.

 

15. Andrelton Simmons - Braves - $10

Projection: .269/.317/.391, 10 HR, 76 R, 51 RBI, 16 SB in 594 AB

2013 stats: .248/.296/.396, 17 HR, 76 R, 59 RBI, 6 SB in 606 AB

 

Simmons hit .256 with 11 homers and a 23/23 K/BB ratio in 289 at-bats from July 1 until the end of the season. From a fantasy perspective, it's disappointing that he didn't prove to be a better basestealer. That power, though, makes him pretty intriguing going forward.

 

18. Jed Lowrie - Athletics - $10

Projection: .266/.349/.432, 16 HR, 72 R, 61 RBI, 2 SB in 481 AB

2013 stats: .290/.344/.446, 15 HR, 80 R, 75 RBI, 1 SB in 603 AB

 

19. J.J. Hardy - Orioles - $9

Projection: .253/.305/.423, 21 HR, 66 R, 69 RBI, 1 SB in 525 AB

2013 stats: .263/.306/.433, 25 HR, 66 R, 76 RBI, 2 SB in 601 AB

 

21. Stephen Drew - Red Sox - $7

Projection: .264/.333/.411, 11 HR, 66 R, 55 RBI, 4 SB in 477 AB

2013 stats: .253/.333/.443, 13 HR, 57 R, 67 RBI, 6 SB in 442 AB

 

25. Yunel Escobar - Rays - $5

Projection: .271/.338/.368, 8 HR, 63 R, 49 RBI, 4 SB in 524 AB

2013 stats: .256/.332/.366, 9 HR, 61 R, 56 RBI, 4 SB in 508 AB

 

26. Jean Segura - Brewers - $5

Projection: .269/.333/.343, 3 HR, 49 R, 39 RBI, 25 SB in 472 AB

2013 stats: .294/.329/.423, 12 HR, 74 R, 49 RBI, 44 SB in 588 AB

 

The plan was for Segura to be the Brewers' No. 8 hitter, and he was, for all of three games to begin the season. This projection still looks pretty dreadful, but it could have been far worse; by month, Segura posted OPSs of .984, .911, .724, .681, .584 and .552. He hit .241/.268/.315 with one homer, 13 RBI, 20 runs scored and 17 steals after the break.

 

29. Brian Dozier - Twins - $3

Projection: .249/.309/.372, 9 HR, 50 R, 44 RBI, 10 SB in 406 AB

2013 stats: .244/.312/.414, 18 HR, 72 R, 66 RBI, 14 SB in 558 AB

 

34. Brandon Crawford - Giants - $1

Projection: .238/.308/.351, 7 HR, 48 R, 48 RBI, 6 SB in 504 AB

2013 stats: .249/.311/.363, 9 HR, 52 R, 43 RBI, 1 SB in 499 AB

 

93. Jose Iglesias - Red Sox/Tigers - $0

Projection: .215/.262/.271, 1 HR, 13 R, 9 RBI, 3 SB in 144 AB

2013 stats: .303/.349/.386, 3 HR, 39 R, 29 RBI, 5 SB in 350 AB

 

A stunning level of competence. Iglesias had practically the same OPS as Hardy, Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes this season.

 


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Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of RotoWorld.com and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter at matthewpouliot.
Email :Matthew Pouliot


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