Let's face it, we all love projection systems. We use them to help us in our rankings, to a degree, and when assembling 2016 draft strategy. I don't know about you, but one thing I always do in my draft preparation for each of my leagues, is to figure out how many home runs, stolen bases, runs scored, RBI, saves, wins and strikeouts I need to compete in the counting stat categories in each of my leagues. If you don't know these amounts, you may draft a team heavy in a few categories, rather than competing in all eight or ten categories.
That said, Steamer has released their 2016 projections and you can find them on FanGraphs. You can find the Steamer projections under the Projections tab and on each of the player pages.
Below are some Steamer projections that I find interesting:
Bryce Harper, Nationals
After hitting .330 with 42 home runs, 118 runs scored, and 99 RBI, Steamer projects Harper to hit .301 with 30 home runs, 87 runs scored and 87 RBI. It's possible he has a "down" year, but I see him coming close to repeating his monster 2015 stats in 2016. Harper is in the prime of his career, even though he just turned 23 years of age. I wouldn't be surprised to see Harper put up multiple 40 home runs seasons over the next 6-8 years.
Kris Bryant, Cubs
Bryant had a brilliant rookie season in 2015, hitting .275 with 26 home runs, 87 runs scored, 99 RBI and 13 stolen bases, yet Steamer thinks he fails to repeats his 2015 performance. Steamer projects Bryant to hit .271 with just 21 home runs, 60 runs scored, 63 RBI and just 8 stolen bases, which would be a bit of a disappointment since I can see him being drafted in the second or third rounds of drafts next season.
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
Ah yes, one of my favorite Dodgers, Yasiel Puig. Puig is the guy many drafted in the first two rounds or drafts last season only to be disappointed. After hitting .255 with 11 home runs, 30 runs scored and 38 RBI in 311 plate appearances in 2015, Steamers sees him putting up a career year at the plate, hitting .285 with 23 home runs, 83 runs scored, 78 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 610 plate appearances. I hope Steamer is right about Puig, as I do own him in one NL keeper league, and think he could be undervalued in 2016 drafts.
George Springer, Astros
I don't have to tell you how high I am on Springer next season, but to repeat, I think he could put up stats worthy of a first round pick with a 30+ home run, 20+ stolen base season not out of the question. That said, Steamer projects a little more conservatively, projecting him to hit .256 with 25 home runs, 75 runs scored, 77 RBI and 15 stolen bases. A 25-15 season would be very good for Springer, but he has the power and speed to exceed that projection, assuming he can finally stay healthy.
Carlos Correa, Astros
The favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year award, Correa surprised many with his power this season. All told, Correa hit .279 with 22 home runs, 52 runs scored, 68 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 432 plate appearances. Steamer thinks pitchers will catch up to the young stud, projecting him to hit .275 with 15 home runs, 55 runs scored, 56 RBI and 14 stolen bases in exactly 432 plate appearances in 2016. Like Springer above, I can see Correa putting up a 30 home run, 20 stolen base season in 2016, and be the top fantasy shortstop for years to come.
Daniel Murphy, Mets
In case you missed it, Daniel Murphy is hitting like Babe Ruth in the NLDS and NLCS, having hit home runs in six straight games and counting. The NLCS MVP is riding one heck of a hot streak at the plate, and has probably made himself an extra $10-20 million in free agency this offseason. That said, Steamer isn't having none of this hot streak, projecting him to hit .281 with JUST 11 home runs, 69 runs scored, 60 RBI and 7 stolen bases next season. 11 home runs? Murphy does that in his sleep, man? C'mon!!!
Javier Baez, Cubs
To say that Cubs infielder Javier Baez has struggled to make contact in the big leagues is an understatement. Baez has struck out in 119 of his 309 plate appearances in the big leagues over the last two seasons, but Steamer thinks he can make enough contact to hit .252 with 20 home runs, 51 runs scored, 59 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 434 plate appearances for the Cubs next season. I assume Baez will need a trade of some sorts to garner that many plate appearances, and he is probably the one likely to stay, in my opinion.
Corey Seager, Dodgers
Seager was tremendous in his September cup of coffee this season, hitting .337 with 4 home runs, 17 runs scored and 17 RBI in 113 plate appearances. Steamer sees him struggling a bit, projecting him to hit .264 with 11 home runs, 43 runs scored, and 47 RBI in just over 400 plate appearances next season. Frankly, I think they are way too conservative, but maybe I have my Dodger Blue sunglasses on right now.