We continue down my 2015 preseason rankings that I used for a keeper league. Since I've had questions, these projections are values for the 2015 season only, obviously if Harper is next to David Ortiz, I'd have taken Harper over him for keeper values, but when it comes to winning now, I had Ortiz ranked as a better producer purely based on numbers, as much as it pains me to say that. This was my short term map. Without further ado #24:
#24 Corey Dickerson, OF, COL
$31.39, 83 R, 24 HR, 73 RBI, 8 SB, .301 AVG, .896 OPS
Dickerson played only 65 games because of fractured ribs and planter fasciitis. When he was on the field, he continued hitting well. He isn't a big walker, but he was a great hitter for both power and average. WARNING: He also has an extreme split between how he performs at home and on the road. For the past two seasons Dickerson has been one of the best hitters in baseball at home, and average on the road, he also has struggles vs lefties but feasts on righties. If you can find someone else to split time with Dickerson next season, you can have one of the best platoons in fantasy baseball, but if he is every moved out of Colorado, abandon ship immediately.
#23 Freddie Freeman, 1B, ATL
$31.68, 96 R, 21 HR, 90 RBI, 2 SB, .292 AVG, .858 OPS
Freeman had wrist injuries and only played 118 games. This however did not stop him from being a line drive machine yet again, and also being the great on base player he has been all through his career. Freeman is a natural hitter, and you won't have many issues with him when he's on the field. His approach puts him in position to not have many slumps, and prior to last years' wrist injury, he'd been extremely resilient playing over a 147 games for four consecutive seasons. If he's healthy next season, he should be back to smashing line drives all over the field, whether that be with the Braves or another team. Fun fact, Freeman has the second best line drive rate ever, since they began recording it.
#22 David Price, SP, DET
$31.75, 216 K, 16 W, 3.292 ERA, 1.083 WHIP, 5.838 K/BB
Price was a Cy Young contender, and is coming off his best career season. Both his strikeout rate, and walk rate were elite. He also pitched over 200 innings for the 5th time in his career. He's a frontline starter, and will be a fantasy ace yet again next season.
#21 Adam Jones, OF, BAL
$31.99, 93 R, 32 HR 93 RBI, 10 SB, .279 AVG, .798 OPS
For the first time since 2009, Jones played under 149 games. This didn't stop him from being a very strong fantasy performer, as he still bopped 27 homers, and hit .269. Going forward, I wouldn't want to invest heavily in Adam Jones. I've never been a fan of players who have poor walk rates, and high batting averages. He'll continue to hit homers, but eventually it seems that all players like this start chasing pitches as their bat speed slows and they have to gear up to swing earlier than ever before, and their poor plate discipline will be exposed.
#20 Yasiel Puig, OF, LAD
$32.59, 93 R, 23 HR, 91 RBI, 13 SB, .283 AVG, .856 OPS
Puig had a litany of leg injuries, and missed half the season. I don't really care about his poor mentality, and the issues other teammates have with him personally. I watch Puig and I know he can make hard contact to all fields, and he is very fast. He was reported to weigh over 260lbs last season, which is far more than any player with his speed should ever weigh. Next year, if he's going any later than the second round I'll be looking to buy low, as I anticipate a big bounce back from the talented Puig.
#19 Michael Brantley, OF, CLE
$32.68, 84 R, 16 HR, 83 RBI, 20 SB, .307 AVG, .830 OPS
Brantley played through shoulder injuries, and still hit .310 last year. His plate discipline is arguably the best in baseball, walking more than he struck out, and his .859 OPS, was the 22nd best in baseball. He's a great hitter. The bad news is that he had offseason surgery, and will be out of baseball for 5-6 months, which cuts into next season. This obviously makes him a gamble, and it is hard to project him 2016 because of this. Hopefully he can have his 5th straight season with an average over .280, and he can continue to get double digit steals. The power is the big question next season.
#18 Robinson Cano, 2B, SEA
$32.84, 87 R, 19 HR, 90 RBI, 8 SB, .305 AVG, .844 OPS
Cano is presently in the hot seat after having his ex hitting coach rip him for being terrible, and his friends telling the media he wants to go back to New York. His first half was a catastrophe, but after the Mariners fell out of contention early, few noticed his second half. He posted a .331/.387/.540, that's a .926 OPS, that's some great hitting for half of the season, when most players wear down. He played through an abdominal strain, and was apparently ill for the majority of the first half. If his first half drives down his price next season I'll be a buyer in 2016.
#17 Adrian Beltre, 3B, TEX
$33.73, 80 R, 24 HR, 79 RBI, 1 SB, .315 AVG, .876 OPS
Very similar to Robinson Cano, Beltre had a terrible first half, and then came back with a vengeance along with the rest of the Rangers, to save his fantasy season in the second half. Beltre's whole triple slash rate drastically improved in the second half, along with his batted ball profile drastically improving. Next year, similar to Cano, I'd invest, but not at the same level I'm willing to go with Cano due to him being 37 on opening day in 2016.
#16 Chris Sale, SP, CWS
$33.74, 232K, 17 W, 2.734 ERA, 1.033 WHIP, 4.462 K/BB
Sale had 274 strikeouts... Besides that he was generally awesome. I'm not sure what kind of analysis readers want on a player this good, he's just going to be good again next year so you want him. If you want some sort of research, his strikeout and walk rate were both career bests, creating a 6.52 K/BB.
#15 Ryan Braun, OF, MIL
$33.75, 81 R, 27 HR, 90 RBI, 10 SB, .290 AVG, .872 OPS
Braun was a well rounded hitter, but the days of him being an elite masher are gone. He's always nicked up, perhaps this is the new PED free Braun, but he's no longer a top 20 pick. When he's on the field, you can expect him to continue being a great line to line hitter, with above average power to all fields. The additional 24 steals he threw in were a great add after him failing to reach 20 steals in the two previous seasons. In my mind he's a low end OF 1 or a great OF2.
#14 Stephen Strasburg, SP, WSH
$34.76, 243 K, 17 W, 2.972 ERA, 1.064 WHIP, 4.959 K/BB
Strasburg had a series of injuries (oblique, back, and trap) that led to him to only pitching 127 innings. His strikeouts and walks were both elite last year. His ERA makes him appear to not have had a great year, but his peripherals were very strong, and expect him to be back to his ace self in 2016. Next year, he may slip because of his innings and ERA, but I'd be willing to bet on him coming back strong next year.
#13 Carlos Gomez, OF, MIL
$35.41, 95 R, 26 HR, 73 RBI, 40 SB, .277 AVG, .829 OPS
Wrist, intercostal, and hip injuries limited Gomez to 115 games last season. As a result, his power and speed both took a big hit, and he failed to reach 20 homers or 20 steals, after being a 20/20 player in both of the previous two seasons. It was his worst season since 2011, his big drop in hard hit rate and pull rate were likely a result of him playing hurt, and failing to turn on balls he used to pull. Next year, if he's healthy I expect him to easily eclipse 20 steals, and he should resume posting solid power numbers again.
#12 Jose Abreu, 1B, CWS
$36.09, 78 R, 34 HR, 100 RBI, 3 SB, .286 AVG, .868 OPS
This is a professional hitter. He hits the ball hard to all fields, and plays in a great hitters park. His first two seasons of MLB baseball have resulted in 80 run, 30 home run, 100 RBI seasons. He's a career .303 hitter in 1290 plate appearance, and his hard hit rate for his career is 35.3%, the 45th best recorded rate of all time. He's an excellent player, and his reliability only increases his value. Last year he only had one month with an OPS below .800, and that was in May when he posted a .742. You want Abreu.
#11 Anthony Rizzo, 1B, CHC
$ 36.47, 91 R, 34 HR, 89 RBI, 6 SB, .279 AVG, .883 OPS
On the other side of Chicago, Rizzo continued his ascent into MLB stardom. He posted his second consecutive 30 homer season, and added 17 steals to his owners, after stealing 16 steals previously in his whole career. At 26 years old, there is more for Rizzo to learn at the plate, whether that be spraying the ball around the field more evenly, or further improving his excellent plate discipline. Rizzo is a top 10 player in 2016 drafts.
If you have any questions about rankings feel free to leave a comment below, or ask me on twitter @jackcecil1. Below are the full ranks up to #11.