Matthew Pouliot

Strike Zone

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Projections Review - Part 2

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Top 10 Outfielders

 

1. Mike Trout - Angels - $41

Projection: .313/.391/.527, 26 HR, 126 R, 84 RBI, 41 SB in 603 AB

2013 stats: .323/.432/.557, 27 HR, 109 R, 97 RBI, 33 SB in 589 AB

 

I had Trout's OPS dipping from .963 to .918. Instead, he upped it to .988 as a sophomore. MVP award or no, he was baseball's best player once again.

 

2. Ryan Braun - Brewers - $39

Projection: .311/.390/.562, 36 HR, 106 R, 111 RBI, 25 SB in 601 AB

2013 stats: .298/.373/.498, 9 HR, 30 R, 38 RBI, 4 SB in 225 AB

 

3. Carlos Gonzalez - Rockies - $34

Projection: .308/.368/.547, 31 HR, 108 R, 103 RBI, 20 SB in 578 AB

2013 stats: .302/.367/.591, 26 HR, 72 R, 70 RBI, 21 SB in 391 AB

 

4. Matt Kemp - Dodgers - $34

Projection: .290/.359/.512, 32 HR, 107 R, 101 RBI, 30 SB in 607 AB

2013 stats: .270/.328/.395, 6 HR, 35 R, 33 RBI, 9 SB in 263 AB

 

5. Bryce Harper - Nationals - $31

Projection: 300/.364/.529, 28 HR, 99 R, 97 RBI, 23 SB in 590 AB

2013 stats: .274/.368/.486, 20 HR, 71 R, 58 RBI, 11 SB in 424 AB

 

If anything, Harper looked underrated after a month of April in which he hit .344/.430/.720 with nine homers. He then crashed into a wall on May 1 and again two weeks later, and between his long-term knee injury and various other maladies, he was never quite the same afterwards. Harper might actually be better off playing center, since it cuts down on the number of surfaces he can run into. That's done with now, though. I'll give him a similar projection in 2014, but without quite as many at-bats. Hopefully, the injuries aren't here to stay.

 

6. Justin Upton - Braves - $30

Projection: .294/.377/.527, 31 HR, 102 R, 99 RBI, 17 SB in 581 AB

2013 stats: .263/.354/.464, 27 HR, 94 R, 70 RBI, 8 SB in 558 AB

 

Upton hit 12 homers in April and then four the next three months before bouncing back somewhat as a No. 2 hitter down the stretch. It's worth remembering that he's just going into his age-26 season. Still, there wasn't much from his 2013 season to be encouraged about.

 

7. Jose Bautista - Blue Jays - $28

Projection: .278/.399/.557, 41 HR, 103 R, 106 RBI, 7 SB in 544 AB

2013 stats: .259/.358/.498, 28 HR, 82 R, 73 RBI, 7 SB in 452 AB

 

8. Giancarlo Stanton - Marlins - $26

Projection: .282/.390/.590, 42 HR, 98 R, 96 RBI, 4 SB in 536 AB

2013 stats: .249/.365/.480, 24 HR, 62 R, 62 RBI, 1 SB in 425 AB

 

Stanton's baffling road woes had to be a big ol' fluke, but they completely ruined his season. He hit .302/.423/.599 with 15 homers, 41 RBI and a 59/43 K/BB ratio at home, compared to .202/.310/.372 with nine homers, 21 RBI and an 81/31 K/BB ratio on the road. And he plays in a tough home park.

 

9. Jacoby Ellsbury - Red Sox - $26

Projection: .296/.349/.467, 19 HR, 100 R, 71 RBI, 33 SB in 587 AB

2013 stats: .298/.355/.426, 9 HR, 92 R, 53 RBI, 52 SB in 577 AB

 

10. Jason Heyward - Braves - $26

Projection: .270/.356/.511, 32 HR, 109 R, 87 RBI, 21 SB in 575 AB

2013 stats: .254/.349/.427, 14 HR, 67 R, 38 RBI, 2 SB in 382 AB

 

Heyward was still a fine outfielder for the Braves after a hideous first 30 games, but he was a complete bust for fantasy purposes with his 38 RBI and two steals. The good news is that his two injuries (an appendectomy and a broken jaw sustained on a HBP) are pretty unlikely to recur (especially the first). I don't see why he can't hit 30 homers next year, but if he's going to continue to lead off and not steal any bases, he's not going to be an elite fantasy outfielder.

 

11. Yoenis Cespedes - Athletics - $26

Projection: .286/.351/.533, 30 HR, 87 R, 98 RBI, 20 SB in 559 AB

2013 stats: .240/.294/.442, 26 HR, 74 R, 80 RBI, 7 SB in 529 AB

 

It seemed like Cespedes was a non-factor for half of the year, but he did end up with 26 homers and 80 RBI anyway. Unfortunately, he went from 102 strikeouts in 129 games as a rookie to 137 in 135 games this year and his average plummeted from .292 to .240. I'll probably project something in the .260s next year, but he's definitely a threat to top 30 homers.

 

12. Andrew McCutchen - Pirates - $25

Projection: .281/.364/.486, 25 HR, 94 R, 88 RBI, 25 SB in 572 AB

2013 stats: .317/.404/.508, 21 HR, 97 R, 84 RBI, 27 SB in 583 AB

 

McCutchen will get his MVP award, but he had better numbers in 2012, finishing at .327/.400/.553 with 31 homers and 96 RBI. I thought the average would drop even more than the power numbers, but he went from striking out 126 times in 2011 and 132 time s in 2012 to just 101 times this season.

 

13. Adam Jones - Orioles - $23

Projection: .283/.332/.487, 28 HR, 89 R, 93 RBI, 13 SB in 591 AB

2013 stats: .285/.318/.493, 33 HR, 100 R, 108 RBI, 14 SB in 653 AB

 

14. Ichiro Suzuki - Yankees - $22

Projection: .289/.327/.418, 17 HR, 92 R, 70 RBI, 31 SB in 596 AB

2013 stats: .262/.297/.342, 7 HR, 57 R, 35 RBI, 20 SB in 520 AB

 

My bad. I still think Suzuki could have snuck 12-15 flies over the right field wall at the very charitable Yankee Stadium, but maybe it was just a couple of years too late for him. He did hit much better at home, batting .297, but it came with just five homers. After a decent run in June and July, he was completely worthless the final two months.

 

15. Matt Holliday - Cardinals - $22

Projection: .289/.383/.487, 25 HR, 92 R, 97 RBI, 5 SB in 577 AB

2013 stats: .300/.389/.490, 22 HR, 103 R, 94 RBI, 6 SB in 520 AB

 

16. Alex Gordon - Royals - $22

Projection: .289/.371/.488, 24 HR, 101 R, 80 RBI, 10 SB in 606 AB

2013 stats: .265/.327/.422, 20 HR, 90 R, 81 RBI, 11 SB in 633 AB

 

17. Jay Bruce - Reds - $21

Projection: .263/.343/.522, 36 HR, 88 R, 103 RBI, 6 SB in 556 AB

2013 stats: .262/.329/.478, 30 HR, 89 R, 109 RBI, 7 SB in 626 AB

 

Bruce was one of the NL's top outfielders, but the fact that he had his highest ever strikeout rate and his worst walk rate since his rookie season doesn't seem to bode well.

 

18. Alex Rios - White Sox/Rangers - $22

Projection: .281/.327/.455, 22 HR, 86 R, 87 RBI, 20 SB in 605 AB

2013 stats: .278/.324/.432, 18 HR, 83 R, 81 RBI, 42 SB in 616 AB

 

19. B.J. Upton - Braves - $21

Projection: .263/.337/.467, 25 HR, 83 R, 84 RBI, 30 SB in 548 AB

2013 stats: .184/.268/.289, 9 HR, 30 R, 26 RBI, 12 SB in 391 AB

 

While Justin was moving to a worse environment for offense, B.J. had no such excuse; he should have topped his Tampa Bay numbers in Atlanta. Just 29, he should rebound to at least .230-20 HR next year, but that his manager doesn't seem to have much faith in him scares me.

 

20. Desmond Jennings - Rays - $21

Projection: .266/.340/.414, 15 HR, 98 R, 58 RBI, 45 SB in 601 AB

2013 stats: .252/.334/.414, 14 HR, 82 R, 54 RBI, 20 SB in 527 AB

 

Jennings wasn't the expected force on the basepaths after developing a groin problem in May, but he did show some improvement offensively. If he bounces back to 30-40 steals or so next year, it's possible he'll be a top-10 outfielder.

 

21. Josh Hamilton - Angels - $20

Projection: .280/.346/.508, 29 HR, 79 R, 98 RBI, 6 SB in 522 AB

2013 stats: .250/.307/.432, 21 HR, 73 R, 79 RBI, 4 SB in 576 AB

 

No one following my projections ended up with McCutchen, but then no one ended up with Hamilton or Prince Fielder, either. That's something, right?

 

22. Austin Jackson - Tigers - $20

Projection: .278/.352/.443, 16 HR, 105 R, 67 RBI, 23 SB in 601 AB

2013 stats: .272/.337/.417, 12 HR, 99 R, 49 RBI, 8 SB in 552 AB

 

23. Shin-Soo Choo - Reds - $20

Projection: .285/.374/.453, 20 HR, 97 R, 62 RBI, 21 SB in 579 AB

2013 stats: .285/.423/.462, 21 HR, 107 R, 54 RBI, 20 SB in 569 AB

 

Too bad I botched the HBP projection.

 


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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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