We continue reviewing my 2015 preseason ranks, and hit both the MVPs, along with a few other superstars. Let's get back to the ranks.
#39 Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, LAD
$25.03, 77 R, 22 HR, 102 RBI, 1 SB, .286 AVG, .799 OPS
Gonzalez's 5-year streak of 100 RBI seasons came to a finish last year, but he posted a great offensive season yet again. 28 homers were a 5 season high, and his .830 OPS was his best since 2011. The Dodgers are going to put another very strong lineup on the field in 2016, and I expect Gonzalez to continue being ranked in the top 5 yet again.
#38 Ian Desmond, SS, WSH
$25.09, 76 R, 25 HR, 86 RBI, 23 SB, .272 AVG, .786 OPS
The questions about Desmond's skills deteriorating while still hitting 20/20 finally came back to bite him. In 2015 we saw Desmond strike out more, not hit the ball hard as frequently as in the past, have a laughable 15% line drive rate, saw his infield flies reach a career high, along with watching his babip dip to the lowest it's ever been in his career. Desmond is a scary player to own going forward, as he seemingly was getting by on power and speed with just enough contact. If he's going to fail to make enough contact to let his other skills play, he's going to be very hard to own in the future. Also, as a free agent, his owners are going to have to hope he goes to a more hitter friendly park than Nats Park in 2016.
#37 Zack Greinke, SP, LAD
$25.19, 202K, 16 W, 2.899 ERA, 1.144 WHIP, 4.208 K/BB
Greinke beat out all of his projections except strikeouts, and nearly won the Cy Young in the process. He's a free agent right now, but it appears that only a few teams will be able to afford the ace's price tag. Greinke posted his third consecutive year with an ERA below 3, and it appears that his command of his pitches is still improving. You can draft him with confidence, and keep him for a few more excellent seasons.
#36 Jordan Zimmermann, SP, WSH
$25.35, 179 K, 16 W, 3.125 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, 4.972 K/BB
Zimmerman hit a bump in the road in 2015. His season wasn't a disaster, but he clearly was not the borderline ace that many expected. Next year I think its fair to temper expectations because contact pitchers have less room for error. He's still going to be a strong asset, but with a K/9 around 7.5, its going to be tough to provide borderline top 10 numbers without being lucky in the win department. Next year a solid top 30 starter would be my 50th percentile projection for him.
#35 Carlos Gonzalez, OF, COL
$25.74, 80 R, 26 HR, 77 RBI, 17 SB, .273 AVG, .838 OPS
The real CarGo came out slugging in 2015. His 153 games played was a career high, which gave him the opportunity to blast 40 homers. Something notable was that he only stole 2 bags the whole year. It may be that after years of injuries the Rockies are taking it easier on him on the basepaths, and trying to maximize his production at the plate. With that said, I do not expect Gonzalez to play over 150 games again next year, considering his track record. He's a proven hitter who will produce while he's on the field. While he has top 5 potential, but the risk of him missing 60 games is still very real, and that will have to be baked into his 2016 draft rank. Right now he'll be ranked around #25.
#34 Bryce Harper, OF, WSH
$25.87, 87 R, 26 HR, 71 RBI, 10 SB, .278 AVG, .834 OPS
Harper is my favorite player in baseball. With health I fully expected an elite season, as I wrote prior to the 2015 season in this article. I am fully onboard with him being a top 2 pick in next seasons drafts. Every time he has experienced health, he has produced at the highest level there is. Next year, with a full healthy season and offseason, I anticipate him again pounding homers with ease while showing incredible knowledge of the strike zone. I have had thoughts of taking Trout over him, but with Trout's longer track record, and better history of health, I'd be gambling if I didn't put him at the top. I love Harper going into 2016 and beyond, he's a generational player who you should draft with confidence.
#33 David Ortiz, DH, BOS
$27.33, 70 R, 30 HR, 92 RBI, 1 SB, .276 AVG, .875 OPS
Just another 30 homer 100 RBI year for Big Papi. He was born to hit, and as long as he's healthy enough to play, he'll produce. 2016 will be his final season, but projecting anything besides another excellent year would be wrong. He's as consistent as they come, and the notion that he should be held off because he's clogging your util position is crazy because he's so much better than any other player you'd put in that slot to begin with.
#32 Johnny Cueto, SP, CIN
$27.38, 194 K, 16 W, 2.639 ERA, 1.038 WHIP, 3.88 K/BB
Cueto's 4 year streak of sub 3 ERAs ended last year, likely because of an uncharacteristically low strand rate, and a jump in his babip. While he was knocked around more than usual, I still expect him to be a solid asset regardless of location in 2016. His walks have went down, and the invention of using various windups show he's thinking about his craft beyond throwing pitches harder or with more break. Cueto eats up innings, and compiles stats to help you more than the average arm. I'm a fan of him and think he can be a very nice #2 starter on 2016 fantasy teams.
#31 Madison Bumgarner, SP, SF
$27.89, 209 K, 16 W, 2.917 ERA, 1.074 WHIP, 4.18 K/BB
MadBum cruised through another ace level season in 2015. 234 strikeouts were a career high, and he simultaneously posted his best walk rate of his career. Next year at age 26 Bumgarner will be a top 5 starter for me, as I expect him to be excellent in all aspects of pitching, and the benefit of AT&T Park with the Giants defense behind him only enhances how good he already is.
#30 Victor Martinez, 1B, DET
29.09, 71 R, 21 HR, 81 RBI, 2 SB, .312 AVG, .862 OPS
Martinez only played 120 games because of knee and quad injuries. While on the field, he struggled mightily, hitting to the tune of a .245/.301/.366 slash line. It was a very ugly year, and him being 36 years old next season won't help his cause on draft day. I do however want to see if he can go into 2016 with a healthier body. I believe in Martinez natural hitting ability and could easily envision him back to being an above average bat next year. In 2015 his plate discipline remained great. If he's swinging in pain again next year, he's finished, but there's a chance he makes it work again in 2016.
#29 Buster Posey, C/1B, SF
$29.29, 75 R, 21 HR, 85 RBI, 1 SB, .308 AVG, .864 OPS
Posey absolutely raked last year, and on top of being a .318 hitter, he managed to be one of the four players in baseball who had more walks than strikeouts. Posey is as good as they come when dealing with catchers. Besides getting killed at home in 2011, he remains healthy behind the plate, and produces annually. This ranking is higher than I would have picked Posey, but if you go purely by statistics, its hard to find a spot where Posey isn't going to be a worthwhile pick.
#28 Hanley Ramirez, SS, BOS
$29.89, 80 R, 20 HR, 79 RBI, 17 SB, .296 AVG, .871 OPS
We go from a player who is as reliable as they come in Posey to a hitter who has some of the wildest swings between unstoppable elite production to injury riddled and invisible on the field. Ramirez has the potential to put up 30 homers with a .300 average, along with 20 steals, but is just as likely to get hit by a pitch and miss a month and ruin your team. It's impossible to guess what he'll do next season, but if he's healthy, I wouldn't be surprised if he comes out blasting as he did in 2015 prior to running into a wall and playing the rest of the season dinged up.
#27 Anthony Rendon, 2B/3B, WSH
$ 30.59, 99 R, 21 HR, 77 RBI, 14 SB, .288 AVG, .834 OPS
Rendon was arguably the biggest bust of 2015. He came into the season valued at over $30, and only played 80 games because of knee, oblique, and quad issues. It was a terrible way to follow up an amazing 2014 season, and brought his injury riddled past into the public eye on the major league level. When Rendon plays, he is capable of being the best fantasy second baseman, but it's obviously a risky proposition. He's a top 5 second baseman, with a ceiling of 1st and a floor of 30th. I do like him a lot, but his price will determine whether I keep him or not in 2016.
#26 Josh Donaldson, 3B, TOR
$30.64, 92 R, 31 HR, 94 RBI, 5 SB, .268 AVG, .844 OPS
Donaldson was the AL MVP and produced cartoonish numbers for the Blue Jays. He's going to be the top ranked 3B next year, but I'm not sure I'm going to be an owner, as id like to spend less and get Bryant. If you do pull the trigger on Donaldson, anticipate a season of him mauling AL pitchers yet again.
#25 Max Scherzer, SP, WSH
$31.32, 262 K, 16 W, 3.125 ERA, 1.102 WHIP, 4.67 K/BB
A 262 strikeout projection is bold, and Scherzer bested that while also having the second best control in the game. This resulted in the best strikeout to walk ratio in baseball. Next year he is going to be my #2 pitcher in all of fantasy. Draft him with confidence, everything about what he has done makes him not only elite, but also reliable.
These players were you who built the core of your squad around, and many of them lived up to the hype. If you have any questions about the ranks feel free to comment below or send me your question on twitter @jackcecil1.
|27||Anthony Rendon||WSH||2B, 3B||30.59|
|29||Buster Posey||SF||C, 1B||29.29|
|30||Victor Martinez||DET||DH, 1B||29.09|
|42||Albert Pujols||LAA||1B, DH||23.86|
|50||Yoenis Cespedes||DET||OF, DH||22.44|
|53||Carlos Santana||CLE||3B, 1B, DH||21.21|
|67||Ryan Zimmerman||WSH||3B, OF||18.6|
|70||Chris Davis||BAL||1B, 3B||18.35|
|73||Nelson Cruz||SEA||OF, DH||17.94|
|83||Todd Frazier||CIN||3B, 1B||15.81|
|99||Brandon Moss||CLE||1B, OF||14.36|
|100||Mark Trumbo||ARI||1B, OF||14.23|
|131||Adam Lind||MIL||1B, DH||10.91|
|133||Ben Zobrist||OAK||2B, SS, OF||10.79|
|141||Martin Prado||MIA||3B, 2B||10.14|
|143||Steve Pearce||BAL||1B, OF||10.05|
|159||Billy Butler||OAK||DH, 1B||8.54|
|165||Josh Harrison||PIT||OF, 3B||8.06|
|185||Shin-Soo Choo||TEX||OF, DH||6.21|
|223||Carlos Beltran||NYY||OF, DH||3.9|
|242||John Jaso||TB||C, DH||3.07|
|281||Michael Morse||MIA||1B, OF||-0.01|
|292||Asdrubal Cabrera||TB||SS, 2B||-0.55|
|293||Danny Santana||MIN||SS, OF||-0.76|