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Strike Zone

Projection Review: Hitters

by Matthew Pouliot
Updated On: October 18, 2018, 4:31 am ET

Here’s the first of two pieces looking at back at my hitting projections and how things ended up. I’ll be doing the top 10 for each position and other notables, starting with the catchers, first basemen, second basemen and third basemen today.

Catchers

1. Gary Sanchez - Yankees
Projection: .285/.353/.545, 34 HR, 82 R, 92 RBI, 2 SB in 488 AB
2018 stats: .186/.291/.406, 18 HR, 51 R, 53 RBI, 1 SB in 323 AB

Sanchez was one of my best projections last year -- I had him hitting .278 with 33 homers and he hit .278 with 33 homers -- but not so much this year. I’m not worried about him, though. He was hitting the ball about as hard as anyone, and while his strikeout rate went up some this year, his contact numbers weren’t much different than last season. He should bounce all of the way back, with the obvious caveat that he’s a catcher and catchers do tend to get hurt.

2. Willson Contreras - Cubs
Projection: .274/.351/.489, 23 HR, 63 R, 82 RBI, 4 SB in 442 AB
2018 stats: .249/.339/.390, 10 HR, 50 R, 54 RBI, 4 SB in 474 AB

Contreras’s decline was a little more worrisome, given that the power wasn’t as expected even when he was playing well and the total collapse that followed in the second half. He’ll still be in the top five here next year, but that’s hardly a very high standard at this point.

3. Buster Posey - Giants
Projection: .294/.371/.440, 14 HR, 70 R, 73 RBI, 3 SB in 496 AB
2018 stats: .284/.359/.382, 5 HR, 47 R, 41 RBI, 3 SB in 398 AB

4. J.T. Realmuto - Marlins
Projection: .280/.335/.444, 15 HR, 65 R, 57 RBI, 7 SB in 478 AB
2018 stats: .277/.340/.484, 21 HR, 74 R, 74 RBI, 3 SB in 477 AB

5. Austin Barnes - Dodgers
Projection: .282/.377/.452, 10 HR, 51 R, 45 RBI, 7 SB in 312 AB
2018 stats: .205/.329/.290, 4 HR, 32 R, 14 RBI, 4 SB in 200 AB

At least Barnes hit those three homers in just 25 at-bats in September. It seemed likely that Barnes would play well enough in a job share this year to let the Dodgers allow Yasmani Grandal to depart in free agency this winter. That’s very much up in the air now, though Grandal has hurt his case in October. I still think Barnes is a starting catcher and probably a pretty good one with his on-base skills and pitch-framing ability, but the Dodgers aren’t a team to settle. I imagine there’s a good chance Barnes ends up with 200 at-bats again.

6. Wilson Ramos - Rays/Phillies
Projection: .257/.294/.450, 23 HR, 44 R, 66 RBI, 0 SB in 444 AB
2018 stats: .306/.358/.487, 15 HR, 39 R, 70 RBI, 0 SB in 382 AB

7. Evan Gattis - Astros
Projection: .249/.309/.465, 19 HR, 47 R, 57 RBI, 1 SB in 353 AB
2018 stats: .226/.284/.452, 25 HR, 49 R, 78 RBI, 1 SB in 407 AB

8. Mike Zunino - Mariners
Projection: .220/.306/.457, 26 HR, 52 R, 62 RBI, 1 SB in 418 AB
2018 stats: .201/.259/.410, 20 HR, 37 R, 44 RBI, 0 SB in 373 AB

Not only did Zunino post his highest strikeout rate to date, but his isolated slugging percentage went from .258 in 2017 to .209 this year. It was a disaster of a season, and he provided little reason to think he’ll be much better next year.

9. Yadier Molina - Cardinals
Projection: .265/.315/.386, 11 HR, 55 R, 59 RBI, 3 SB in 487 AB
2018 stats: .261/.314/.436, 20 HR, 55 R, 74 RBI, 4 SB in 459 AB

10. Salvador Perez - Royals
Projection: .258/.289/.447, 18 HR, 40 R, 55 RBI, 0 SB in 396 AB
2018 stats: .235/.274/.439, 27 HR, 52 R, 80 RBI, 1 SB in 510 AB

One day before Opening Day on March 28, Perez suffered a sprained MCL that was supposed to cost him 4-6 weeks. Incredibly, he ended up with 544 plate appearances anyway, tying Contreras for the major league lead among catchers. It helped that the Royals gave him 30 starts at DH (and two at first base). He tied his career highs in homers and RBI, though he did hit for his lowest average ever.

15. Jonathan Lucroy - Athletics
Projection: .260/.332/.364, 6 HR, 58 R, 47 RBI, 2 SB in 439 AB
2018 stats: .241/.291/.325, 4 HR, 41 R, 51 RBI, 0 SB in 415 AB

Lucroy hit 24 homers in 2016. He’s hit 10 in 838 at-bats since.

16 Yasmani Grandal - Dodgers
Projection: .239/.339/.442, 15 HR, 40 R, 41 RBI, 1 SB in 301 AB
2018 stats: .241/.349/.466, 24 HR, 65 R, 68 RBI, 2 SB in 440 AB

21. Matt Wieters - Nationals
Projection: .237/.306/.377, 12 HR, 43 R, 45 RBI, 1 SB in 379 AB
2018 stats: .238/.330/.374, 8 HR, 24 R, 30 RBI, 0 SB in 235 AB

22. Austin Hedges - Padres
Projection: .227/.280/.405, 17 HR, 41 R, 49 RBI, 2 SB in 405 AB
2018 stats: .231/.282/.429, 14 HR, 29 R, 37 RBI, 3 SB in 303 AB

28. Yan Gomes - Indians
Projection: .233/.287/.396, 12 HR, 35 R, 41 RBI, 0 SB in 313 AB
2018 stats: .266/.313/.449, 16 HR, 52 R, 48 RBI, 0 SB in 403 AB

30. Manny Pina - Brewers
Projection: .252/.306/.377, 8 HR, 35 R, 35 RBI, 1 SB in 318 AB
2018 stats: .252/.307/.395, 9 HR, 39 R, 28 RBI, 2 SB in 306 AB

32. Tucker Barnhart - Reds
Projection: .249/.320/.372, 8 HR, 35 R, 37 RBI, 2 SB in 366 AB
2018 stats: .248/.328/.372, 10 HR, 50 R, 46 RBI, 0 SB in 460 AB

39. Jorge Alfaro - Phillies
Projection: .223/.312/.373, 10 HR, 23 R, 28 RBI, 1 SB in 251 AB
2018 stats: .262/.324/.407, 10 HR, 35 R, 37 RBI, 3 SB in 344 AB

Alfaro showed an awful lot of growth defensively in his first full season, which is great news for his future. The offense was a mixed bag. He hits the ball really hard, and .262/.324/.407 line is solid enough. On the other hand, his swinging-strike rate was an outrageous 23.8%. No one else in the majors with at least 200 plate appearances came in over 19%. It took a .406 BABIP to get Alfaro his .262 average, and for all of his apparent power, his isolated slugging percentage was just .145. I’ll have him as a top-15 fantasy catcher next year, but I won’t project a breakout.

First basemen/DH

1. Freddie Freeman - Braves
Projection: .305/.403/.564, 34 HR, 102 R, 102 RBI, 4 SB in 555 AB
2018 stats: .309/.388/.505, 23 HR, 94 R, 98 RBI, 10 SB in 618 AB

2. Paul Goldschmidt - Diamondbacks
Projection: .288/.401/.513, 30 HR, 103 R, 96 RBI, 16 SB in 563 AB
2018 stats: .290/.389/.533, 33 HR, 95 R, 83 RBI, 7 SB in 593 AB

Who would have thought Freeman would have more steals than Goldschmidt this year? Freeman entered with 27 in seven seasons, which is five less than Goldschmidt had in 2016 alone.

3. Cody Bellinger - Dodgers
Projection: .264/.342/.534, 38 HR, 90 R, 106 RBI, 14 SB in 549 AB
2018 stats: .260/.343/.470, 25 HR, 84 R, 76 RBI, 14 SB in 557 AB

Bellinger homered on 25.2% of his flyballs as a rookie. This year, he came in at 15.2%, which isn’t all that much better than the league average of 12.7%. He also hit fewer flyballs than as a rookie. On the plus side, his exit velocity was quite good, if a little short of elite. His strikeout rate also dropped some. I suspect he’ll get back to at least 30 homers next year.

4. Anthony Rizzo - Cubs
Projection: .279/.382/.507, 31 HR, 97 R, 101 RBI, 8 SB in 578 AB
2018 stats: .283/.376/.470, 25 HR, 74 R, 101 RBI, 6 SB in 566 AB

5. Joey Votto - Reds
Projection: .302/.439/.524, 29 HR, 97 R, 89 RBI, 4 SB in 540 AB
2018 stats: .284/.417/.419, 12 HR, 67 R, 67 RBI, 2 SB in 503 AB

6. Jose Abreu - White Sox
Projection: .288/.349/.512, 33 HR, 87 R, 101 RBI, 1 SB in 607 AB
2018 stats: .265/.325/.473, 22 HR, 68 R, 78 RBI, 2 SB in 499 AB

7. Edwin Encarnacion - Indians
Projection: .257/.359/.505, 36 HR, 88 R, 107 RBI, 1 SB in 549 AB
2018 stats: .246/.336/.474, 32 HR, 74 R, 107 RBI, 3 SB in 500 AB

The steadily increasing strikeout rate (15.7 to 19.7 to 19.9 to 22.8 the last four years) hasn’t cost Encarnacion much fantasy value yet, but I think I might finally start to fade him next year.

8. Wil Myers - Padres
Projection: .262/.346/.486, 29 HR, 78 R, 89 RBI, 16 SB in 541 AB
2018 stats: .253/.318/.446, 11 HR, 39 R, 39 RBI, 13 SB in 312 AB

In case you didn’t notice, offense was down this year to the tune of 23 points of OPS across the league. So, these projections do tend to skew towards the over even more than usual. Myers’ .763 OPS this year gave him a 109 OPS+ for the Padres. His .792 OPS in 2017 also gave him a 109 OPS+ then.

9. Eric Hosmer - Padres
Projection: .287/.351/.469, 25 HR, 83 R, 87 RBI, 6 SB in 588 AB
2018 stats: .253/.322/.398, 18 HR, 72 R, 69 RBI, 7 SB in 613 AB

10. Miguel Cabrera - Tigers
Projection: .291/.374/.496, 29 HR, 75 R, 88 RBI, 0 SB in 556 AB
2018 stats: .299/.395/.448, 3 HR, 17 R, 22 RBI, 0 SB in 134 AB

13. Ryan McMahon - Rockies
Projection: .280/.335/.483, 19 HR, 63 R, 76 RBI, 7 SB in 443 AB
2018 stats: .232/.307/.376, 5 HR, 17 R, 19 RBI, 1 SB in 181 AB

14. Logan Morrison - Twins
Projection: .259/.342/.467, 26 HR, 77 R, 86 RBI, 3 SB in 518 AB
2018 stats: .186/.276/.368, 15 HR, 41 R, 39 RBI, 1 SB in 318 AB

16. Matt Olson - Athletics
Projection: .237/.329/.481, 34 HR, 79 R, 86 RBI, 3 SB in 524 AB
2018 stats: .247/.335/.453, 29 HR, 85 R, 84 RBI, 2 SB in 580 AB

18. Chris Davis - Orioles
Projection: .231/.337/.468, 35 HR, 83 R, 82 RBI, 1 SB in 532 AB
2018 stats: .168/.243/.296, 16 HR, 40 R, 49 RBI, 2 SB in 470 AB

The only great comp for Davis’s train wreck of a season is Adam Dunn’s 2011, when he hit .159 with 11 homers in 122 games. Dunn bounced back somewhat afterwards, but never to his previous heights (he had OPS+s of 144 and 138 before the disaster and 114, 105 and 115 afterwards). Unlike Dunn, though, Davis was already trending badly before the cliff dive, and he didn’t have the excuse of playing his first year in a new league (Dunn spent eight years in the NL before joining the White Sox in 2011). I could see Davis getting back to .220-30 HR next year, but even that seems optimistic.

19. Yuli Gurriel - Astros
Projection: .283/.328/.443, 16 HR, 67 R, 73 RBI, 4 SB in 506 AB
2018 stats: .291/.323/.428, 13 HR, 70 R, 85 RBI, 5 SB in 537 AB

20. Matt Carpenter - Cardinals
Projection: .256/.369/.455, 21 HR, 82 R, 64 RBI, 2 SB in 481 AB
2018 stats: .257/.374/.523, 36 HR, 111 R, 81 RBI, 4 SB in 564 AB

22. C.J. Cron - Rays
Projection: .260/.311/.456, 25 HR, 66 R, 82 RBI, 4 SB in 551 AB
2018 stats: .253/.323/.493, 30 HR, 68 R, 74 RBI, 1 SB in 501 AB

26. Yonder Alonso - Indians
Projection: .253/.328/.441, 22 HR, 66 R, 71 RBI, 2 SB in 501 AB
2018 stats: .250/.317/.421, 23 HR, 64 R, 83 RBI, 0 SB in 516 AB

27. Colin Moran - Pirates
Projection: .265/.324/.427, 16 HR, 56 R, 58 RBI, 2 SB in 445 AB
2018 stats: .277/.340/.407, 11 HR, 49 R, 58 RBI, 0 SB in 415 AB

30. Joe Mauer - Twins
Projection: .273/.358/.388, 9 HR, 69 R, 58 RBI, 1 SB in 516 AB
2018 stats: .282/.351/.379, 6 HR, 64 R, 48 RBI, 0 SB in 486 AB

38. Jesus Aguilar - Brewers
Projection: .242/.313/.452, 9 HR, 24 R, 29 RBI, 1 SB in 186 AB
2018 stats: .274/.352/.539, 35 HR, 80 R, 108 RBI, 0 SB in 492 AB

63. Luke Voit - Cardinals/Yankees
Projection: .256/.330/.419, 3 HR, 11 R, 11 RBI, 0 SB in 86 AB
2018 stats: .322/.398/.671, 15 HR, 30 R, 36 RBI, 0 SB in 143 AB

No Max Muncy, I’m afraid. I didn’t even give him a projection.

 

Second basemen

1. Jose Altuve - Astros
Projection: .316/.380/.496, 21 HR, 103 R, 97 RBI, 27 SB in 595 AB
2018 stats: .316/.386/.451, 13 HR, 84 R, 61 RBI, 17 SB in 534 AB

2. Jose Ramirez - Indians
Projection: .300/.360/.492, 22 HR, 93 R, 97 RBI, 15 SB in 590 AB
2018 stats: .270/.387/.552, 39 HR, 110 R, 105 RBI, 34 SB in 578 AB

Ramirez’s first 4 ½ months were so good that he could hit .165 with two homers over the final six weeks and still finish as a top-five overall player for fantasy purposes. Ramirez’s home run progression has gotten plenty of attention during his career, but he did something else pretty amazing this season, going from 47 unintentional walks in 2017 to 91 this year.

3. Dee Gordon - Mariners
Projection: .282/.316/.358, 4 HR, 95 R, 49 RBI, 56 SB in 648 AB
2018 stats: .268/.288/.349, 4 HR, 62 R, 36 RBI, 30 SB in 556 AB

4. Brian Dozier - Twins/Dodgers
Projection: .249/.333/.464, 31 HR, 104 R, 83 RBI, 15 SB in 610 AB
2018 stats: .215/.305/.391, 21 HR, 81 R, 72 RBI, 12 SB in 553 AB

5. Rougned Odor - Rangers
Projection: .270/.313/.498, 30 HR, 77 R, 90 RBI, 12 SB in 566 AB
2018 stats: .253/.326/.416, 18 HR, 76 R, 63 RBI, 12 SB in 474 AB

Odor’s summer surge pushed him up to .271/.348/.478 on Sept. 2. Unfortunately, he had no homers and just one RBI in his final 23 games. The improvement in his plate discipline numbers is still a good sign for the future.

6. Robinson Cano - Mariners
Projection: .286/.340/.476, 27 HR, 84 R, 96 RBI, 1 SB in 609 AB
2018 stats: .303/.374/.471, 10 HR, 44 R, 50 RBI, 0 SB in 310 AB

7. Jonathan Schoop - Orioles/Brewers
Projection: .276/.322/.481, 29 HR, 86 R, 91 RBI, 2 SB in 595 AB
2018 stats: .233/.266/.416, 21 HR, 61 R, 61 RBI, 1 SB in 473 AB

Schoop seemed like a particularly safe pick. ... I didn’t think he’d quite match his 2017 production, but the strong power numbers were close to a lock. However, everything went in the wrong direction. Not only did he hit more grounders, but even when he did hit the ball in the air, he wasn’t hitting it as hard as before. He’s just turning 27, so he should rebound. I want to know where he’ll be playing, though, before I’d recommend him. Milwaukee is a good ballpark for him, but it could be a crowded situation since the club loves to amass depth.

8. Eduardo Nunez - Red Sox
Projection: .291/.328/.445, 15 HR, 69 R, 68 RBI, 23 SB in 506 AB
2018 stats: .265/.289/.388, 10 HR, 56 R, 44 RBI, 7 SB in 480 AB

9. Ozzie Albies - Braves
Projection: .277/.332/.421, 13 HR, 80 R, 64 RBI, 27 SB in 570 AB
2018 stats: .261/.305/.452, 24 HR, 105 R, 72 RBI, 14 SB in 639 AB

That start was incredible, considering that we’re talking about as 21-year-old second baseman, but Albies hit just .250/.293/.390 over his final 111 games. He’ll be a tough call next spring. It’ll be tempting to rank him as a top-five second baseman, but after watching him the last four months, I’m not sure he’s ready to put it together.

10. Whit Merrifield - Royals
Projection: .270/.317/.421, 16 HR, 85 R, 66 RBI, 26 SB in 603 AB
2018 stats: .304/.367/.438, 12 HR, 88 R, 60 RBI, 45 SB in 632 AB

Merrifield was a top-20 performer as is. On an average team, he would have had another 15 runs scored and 15 RBI, which could have put him in the top 10.

11. Yoan Moncada - White Sox
Projection: .234/.332/.440, 25 HR, 90 R, 67 RBI, 25 SB in 563 AB
2018 stats: .235/.315/.400, 17 HR, 73 R, 61 RBI, 12 SB in 578 AB

Moncada wasn’t all that bad offensively, but where were the steals? He swiped 49 bases in 81 games in A-ball in 2015 and 46 in 112 games in his last full season in the minors in 2016. I’ll hope for more next year, but I don’t know whether to count on it or not.

12. Scott Kingery - Phillies
Projection: .269/.314/.475, 21 HR, 58 R, 68 RBI, 22 SB in 469 AB
2018 stats: .226/.267/.338, 8 HR, 55 R, 35 RBI, 10 SB in 452 AB

13. Daniel Murphy - Nationals/Cubs
Projection: .297/.346/.478, 16 HR, 71 R, 73 RBI, 2 SB in 471 AB
2018 stats: .299/.336/.454, 12 HR, 40 R, 42 RBI, 3 SB in 328 AB

14. DJ LeMahieu - Rockies
Projection: .303/.367/.424, 10 HR, 94 R, 64 RBI, 8 SB in 571 AB
2018 stats: .276/.321/.428, 15 HR, 90 R, 62 RBI, 6 SB in 533 AB

15. Ian Happ - Cubs
Projection: .255/.330/.478, 25 HR, 75 R, 68 RBI, 10 SB in 475 AB
2018 stats: .233/.353/.408, 15 HR, 56 R, 44 RBI, 8 SB in 387 AB

16. Chris Taylor - Dodgers
Projection: .260/.327/.426, 17 HR, 79 R, 61 RBI, 20 SB in 538 AB
2018 stats: .254/.331/.444, 17 HR, 85 R, 63 RBI, 9 SB in 536 AB

18. Jonathan Villar - Brewers/Orioles
Projection: .255/.322/.413, 13 HR, 56 R, 46 RBI, 25 SB in 404 AB
2018 stats: .260/.325/.384, 14 HR, 54 R, 46 RBI, 35 SB in 466 AB

This was an extremely low confidence projection after Villar’s performance the previous two years. …  I’m surprised how well it turned out. Assuming that he isn’t traded again, Villar will go into next year as a top-10 second baseman, maybe top five. The Orioles will be terrible and have no reason not to give him 650 plate appearances.

23. Ian Kinsler - Angels/Red Sox
Projection: .248/.314/.390, 17 HR, 88 R, 58 RBI, 13 SB in 564 AB
2018 stats: .240/.301/.380, 14 HR, 66 R, 48 RBI, 16 SB in 487 AB

25. Scooter Gennett - Reds
Projection: .268/.317/.456, 21 HR, 61 R, 67 RBI, 4 SB in 478 AB
2018 stats: .310/.357/.490, 23 HR, 86 R, 92 RBI, 4 SB in 584 AB

34. Jed Lowrie - Athletics
Projection: .262/.334/.394, 10 HR, 62 R, 51 RBI, 1 SB in 439 AB
2018 stats: .267/.353/.448, 23 HR, 78 R, 99 RBI, 0 SB in 596 AB

36. Adalberto Mondesi - Royals
Projection: .236/.275/.382, 7 HR, 34 R, 29 RBI, 16 SB in 296 AB
2018 stats: .276/.306/.498, 14 HR, 47 R, 37 RBI, 32 SB in 275 AB

20 homers, 50 steals next year? Get ready to spend big if you want Mondesi on your team.

37. Ben Zobrist - Cubs
Projection: .250/.344/.388, 8 HR, 48 R, 37 RBI, 2 SB in 320 AB
2018 stats: .305/.378/.440, 9 HR, 67 R, 58 RBI, 3 SB in 455 AB

52. Joey Wendle - Rays
Projection: .251/.295/.368, 3 HR, 19 R, 16 RBI, 4 SB in 171 AB
2018 stats: .300/.354/.435, 7 HR, 62 R, 61 RBI, 16 SB in 487 AB

Third basemen

1. Nolan Arenado - Rockies
Projection: .308/.371/.589, 39 HR, 107 R, 125 RBI, 2 SB in 598 AB
2018 stats: .297/.374/.561, 38 HR, 104 R, 110 RBI, 2 SB in 590 AB

“Only” 110 RBI for Arenado after three years straight of 130. That’s largely because the Rockies settled for a .334 OBP from the top two spots in the order.  In 2017, it was .381.

2. Manny Machado - Orioles/Dodgers
Projection: .298/.354/.546, 37 HR, 94 R, 111 RBI, 7 SB in 608 AB
2018 stats: .297/.367/.538, 37 HR, 84 R, 107 RBI, 14 SB in 632 AB

Probably my best Triple Crown projection, which is nice because I was projecting new career highs throughout (he did also hit 37 homers in 2016).

3. Kris Bryant - Cubs
Projection: .284/.382/.519, 33 HR, 113 R, 85 RBI, 7 SB in 592 SB
2018 stats: .272/.374/.460, 13 HR, 59 R, 52 RBI, 2 SB in 389 AB

4. Josh Donaldson - Blue Jays/Indians
Projection: .271/.381/.535, 37 HR, 100 R, 99 RBI, 4 SB in 550 AB
2018 stats: .246/.352/.449, 8 HR, 30 R, 23 RBI, 2 SB in 187 AB

5. Anthony Rendon - Nationals
Projection: .293/.377/.485, 21 HR, 87 R, 90 RBI, 6 SB in 532 AB
2018 stats: .309/.374/.535, 24 HR, 88 R, 92 RBI, 2 SB in 529 AB

6. Joey Gallo - Rangers
Projection: .223/.342/.519, 40 HR, 95 R, 97 RBI, 6 SB in 503 AB
2018 stats: .206/.312/.498, 40 HR, 82 R, 92 RBI, 3 SB in 500 AB

7. Nicholas Castellanos - Tigers
Projection: .285/.327/.507, 29 HR, 78 R, 102 RBI, 3 SB in 604 AB
2018 stats: .298/.354/.500, 23 HR, 88 R, 89 RBI, 2 SB in 620 AB

8. Miguel Sano - Twins
Projection: .265/.356/.531, 36 HR, 82 R, 94 RBI, 1 SB in 514 AB
2018 stats: .199/.281/.398, 13 HR, 32 R, 41 RBI, 0 SB in 266 AB

It was a lost year for Sano, but he still goes into next year as a 26-year-old with two very good and one solid offensive season already under his belt. Health is a question, even if his conditioning is better now than it has been since he entered the league. That he figures to slip awfully far in drafts next year will make him an interesting get.

9. Justin Turner - Dodgers
Projection: .300/.375/.496, 18 HR, 65 R, 64 RBI, 4 SB in 403 AB
2018 stats: .312/.406/.518, 14 HR, 62 R, 52 RBI, 2 SB in 365 AB

10. Travis Shaw - Brewers
Projection: .260/.333/.480, 29 HR, 77 R, 95 RBI, 5 SB in 531 AB
2018 stats: .241/.345/.480, 32 HR, 73 R, 86 RBI, 5 SB in 498 AB

11. Rafael Devers - Red Sox
Projection: .269/.318/.488, 27 HR, 69 R, 82 RBI, 5 SB in 525 AB
2018 stats: .240/.298/.433, 21 HR, 59 R, 66 RBI, 5 SB in 450 AB

Really, what we got was what should have been expected from a 21-year-old Devers in 2018. I think he’ll take a big step forward next year, though.  

12. Mike Moustakas - Royals/Brewers
Projection: .271/.323/.486, 29 HR, 72 R, 91 RBI, 1 SB in 560 AB
2018 stats: .251/.315/.459, 28 HR, 66 R, 95 RBI, 4 SB in 573 AB

13. Kyle Seager - Mariners
Projection: .266/.345/.471, 27 HR, 80 R, 88 RBI, 3 SB in 563 AB
2018 stats: .221/.273/.400, 22 HR, 62 R, 78 RBI, 2 SB in 583 AB

Yikes for the Mariners, who still owe $56 million to a player who has gone from seasons of 5.8, 4.3 and 6.9 rWAR to 2.5 in 2017 and 0.8 this year. I don’t know what happened to Seager, but there’s nothing that makes me optimistic about a big turnaround.

14. Eugenio Suarez - Reds
Projection: .261/.345/.460, 25 HR, 77 R, 90 RBI, 6 SB in 541 AB
2018 stats: .283/.366/.526, 34 HR, 79 R, 104 RBI, 1 SB in 527 AB

16. Adrian Beltre - Rangers
Projection: .276/.345/.461, 21 HR, 71 R, 84 RBI, 1 SB in 479 AB
2018 stats: .273/.328/.434, 15 HR, 49 R, 65 RBI, 1 SB in 433 AB

17. Maikel Franco - Phillies
Projection: .265/.315/.468, 24 HR, 62 R, 78 RBI, 1 SB in 509 AB
2018 stats: .270/.314/.467, 22 HR, 48 R, 68 RBI, 1 SB in 433 AB

18. Evan Longoria - Giants
Projection: .270/.327/.438, 19 HR, 69 R, 83 RBI, 3 SB in 566 AB
2018 stats: .244/.281/.413, 16 HR, 51 R, 54 RBI, 3 SB in 480 AB

But at least Longoria can take solace that the Giants’ nominated him for the Hank Aaron Award as the league’s best hitter. Longoria had a career OPS+ of 128 before coming in at 99 and 89 the last two years.

21. Matt Chapman - Athletics
Projection: .228/.310/.454, 27 HR, 66 R, 71 RBI, 4 SB in 500 AB
2018 stats: .278/.356/.508, 24 HR, 100 R, 68 RBI, 1 SB in 547 AB

24. Jeimer Candelario - Tigers
Projection: .246/.322/.398, 16 HR, 69 R, 65 RBI, 1 SB in 545 AB
2018 stats: .224/.317/.393, 19 HR, 78 R, 54 RBI, 3 SB in 549 AB

26. Matt Davidson - White Sox
Projection: .227/.287/.452, 22 HR, 44 R, 57 RBI, 1 SB in 374 AB
2018 stats: .228/.319/.419, 20 HR, 51 R, 62 RBI, 0 SB in 434 AB

Davidson gained 59 points of OBP and lost 33 points of slugging from 2018. That’s a good trade, of course, but since he’s a bad defensive third baseman, he’s going to have to get the slugging back up to last in the league.

35. Brian Anderson - Marlins
Projection: .248/.318/.403, 13 HR, 47 R, 48 RBI, 1 SB in 407 AB
2018 stats: .273/.357/.400, 11 HR, 87 R, 65 RBI, 2 SB in 590 AB

38. Miguel Andujar - Yankees
Projection: .266/.313/.415, 8 HR, 32 R, 34 RBI, 2 SB in 248 AB
2018 stats: .297/.328/.527, 27 HR, 83 R, 92 RBI, 2 SB in 573 AB

Andujar looks like a first baseman or DH for the long haul, but at least it seems he’ll have the bat to carry those spots. The Yankees plan to give him another chance at third next year.

Matthew Pouliot
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 @matthewpouliot.