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Heath's Bold Predictions for 2015

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This is going to be insane. Or asinine. You be the judge.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

This is going to be insane. Or asinine. You be the judge.

I will mention very few pitchers in this effort. You have been warned.

1. Danny Santana will finish as a Top 10 shortstop.

Santana's consensus rank is around SS16 depending on where you look. Here at FakeTeams he was the #18 shortstop in our Consensus Rankings. And I totally get it. The 2014 BABIP is not repeatable. But it also doesn't have to be. Santana could regress significantly across the board and still finish squarely in the Top 10 at a thin position. Remember, he only played in 101 games last year. For more on my love for Santana, read here.

2. Jonathan Lucroy will not finish as a Top 5 catcher.

He's never hit a ton of homers and the recent hamstring woes are a tiny bit worrisome. He is healthy at the moment, but we all know catcher is a very demanding position. Do you really want to pay up for a guy who hits 12 home runs per year if you throw out the 18-homer outlier of 2013? I know he is a quality hitter but too many of his doubles aren't home runs and the catcher position seems loaded with guys who could safely crush 20 dingers in 2015. I think the position is too deep to pay up for Lucroy this season.

3. Brandon Belt will be a Top 12 first baseman.

Look, Top 12 isn't as bold as Top 10, but he's currently the 23rd overall 1B according to FantasyPros, which means I'm slicing that prediction in half. Belt seems like everyone's trendy pick this season and I am drinking the kool-aid. He will be a starting-caliber first baseman assuming he is healthy. Just beat that dreaded defensive shift, Baby Giraffe.

4. Mike Napoli will hit 25 home runs and finish as a Top 15 first baseman.

Finally able to enjoy some sweet dreams at nighttime, a well-rested Napoli proves he can still be a formidable power threat in the middle of the Red Sox lineup. Currently ranked as the 31st first baseman at FantasyPros, He should finish well ahead of that mark in 2015. I'll sign off on 75 runs, 90 RBIs, and a .260ish batting average. You're getting a big steal at his deflated price in 2015.

5. Jose Altuve will not return first round value.

Shocker. I know plenty of others are saying this as well. I just wanted to make sure you all knew how I felt about the situation. Count me as a member of the contingent that wants no part of this two-trick pony (average and steals). Even Steamer is projecting a loss of 19 steals and about 40 points less on the batting average. That's still a useful stat line but not one I'd throw into first round consideration.

6. Jason Heyward will finish outside of the Top 30 outfielders.

He has three useful fantasy seasons under his belt already and he's only 25 years old, so you don't have to call this bold, but I do. My biggest knock on the guy is he can't stay healthy. That, and his slugging percentage is trending in the wrong direction (.479 to .427 to .384). Granted, he's had some injuries and the Braves bounced him up and down the batting order, but Heyward's numbers are pretty similar whether he is hitting leadoff or cleanup. He'll offer a solid OBP and some dougle-digit home runs and steals, but neither of those number totals will be massive. He's an OF3 being drafted as an OF2 this year. Buyer beware.

7. Dustin Ackley will finish inside the Top 40 outfielders.

Again, "bold" is in the eye of the beholder. If Ackley greatly outperforms his FantasyPros ranking of OF88, I say that's pretty darn good and some quality bang for your buck. Ackley made some improvements during the second half last season that seem to be pretty sustainable. Our own Timothy Finnegan has been an Ackley-supporter for a while and wrote an excellent piece on Ackley's 2014 adjustments that should offer some hope for a better campaign in 2015. I am a believer.

8. Josh Donaldson will hit 40 home runs.

It is a done deal, people. Book it. The only thing that will get in the way of this happening is a freak injury. Elsewise, Donaldson will be a fantastic fantasy baseball value in 2015. "MVP" may even enter the discussion. Sign me up for his services as early as Round Two in 2015.

9. LaTroy Hawkins uses his old man wiles to save at least 20 games.

This is definitely a case of the better pitchers being used earlier in games. But the Rockies seem to like the experience of Hawkins over the more effective young guns known as Rex Brothers and Adam Ottavino. Look, I'm not saying he's an asset in the strikeout category but he is an incumbent closer who is being largely ignored on draft day. Any return at all from Hawkins is a profit on your minimal investment. The energy of the LaTroy Hawkins Fan Club (LHFC) alone should propel the 42-year-old to the 20-save plateau in 2015.

10. The Atlanta Braves will win more games than they lose.

If that isn't bold, I do not know what bold is. Oh, you wanted a reason? I have no rationale other than this is a bold statement. Deuces.