- Jose Altuve (Auction $34): I don't think there is any question that Altuve is the clear cut #1. He's been as dominant as any contact hitter we've seen in the last decade or so. He has lead the league in hits in back-to-back years and has a ton of speed on top of that. If you take him early, you'll need to make up power elsewhere in the draft but it should be worth the investment.
My projections for Altuve: 82 / 11 / 59 / 35 / .317
- Dee Gordon (Auction $29): Gordon is also my clear cut #2 second baseman this year. He won the NL batting title last year out of nowhere, however one stat that makes me think a repeat is possible: Gordon legged out 97 infield singles last year. That much speed turns outs into hits.
My projections for Gordon: 85 / 3 / 45 / 60 / .297
- Robinson Cano (Auction $22): A pretty big drop off from the first 2, Cano had a terrible start to 2015, but finished with a bang. Which was the real Cano? Probably somewhere in the middle. He's closer to the end of his career than the beginning, but I don't think the skills have fallen off the table yet.
My projections for Cano: 78 / 22 / 77 / 2 / .294
- Ian Kinsler (Auction $16): Of the top 2B options, Kinsler is the one I will probably targeting the most. With the recent changes to the lineup in Detroit, Kinsler should have a chance to score a ton of runs. He should be hitting at the top of that lineup all season and while he doesn't have great power or speed, he has enough to make it worth the reasonable early pick.
My projections for Kinsler: 91 / 12 / 71 / 11 / .278
- Jason Kipnis (Auction $13): Just the opposite of Cano, Kipnis had an amazing first half to 2015 and then fell off a cliff. Similarly, I think the real Kipnis is somewhere in the middle. I don't love the Indians lineup, but he will get his share of run chances.
My projections for Kipnis: 83 / 12 / 60 / 15 / .274
- Anthony Rendon (Auction $12): Really big wild card we have on our hands here. In 2014 he almost went 20/20 and scored 111 runs. Last year, he had an abysmal year filled with constant injuries. Coming into 2016 he's seemingly healthy and I would look for a reasonable bounce back from Rendon. Not to the 2014 production necessarily, but I wouldn't be shocked if he came close.
My projections for Rendon: 69 / 14 / 65 / 12 / .277
- Rougned Odor (Auction $11): Odor played in his second full season in 2015 and showed some nice improvements in his second year. He hit for more power, ran a bit more and raised his average a hair. All things you want to see from a second year youngster. I don't see a lot of reason why that can't continue with his firm grip on the 2B job for the Rangers.
My projections for Odor: 68 / 17 / 69 / 9 / .269
- Brian Dozier (Auction $11): I love everything about Dozier, except his ability to hit the ball. He has very good power for a second baseman and also good speed on the bases. His contact rate is tough to swallow however. Now 3 full seasons under his belt and a career batting average of .240, I can't put him higher on this list, even with 20/20 upside.
My projections for Dozier: 88 / 22 / 72 / 14 / .243
- DJ LeMahieu (Auction $11): I'm a fan of almost anyone hitting in Colorado, but LeMahieu doesn't exactly have power upside to take advantage of Coors field. That said, I do think he has 20 SB upside and can hit above .280.
My projections for LeMahieu: 67 / 7 / 57 / 18 / .285
- Ben Zobrist (Auction $9): Every season I feel like Zobrist is a value. While the counting stats have declined a bit from his 20/20 potential days, he's still putting up good numbers. He should also have a chance to score a lot of runs at the top of the Cubs lineup.
My projections for Zobrist: 85 / 12 / 58 / 6 / .274
- Dustin Pedroia (Auction $9): 2015 was the first year in the last 5 seasons Pedroia didn't play in at least 135 games. Normally consistent, he was hurt for much of last year. Reports are that he's good to go coming into 2016, but may be heading towards the downside of his prime.
My projections for Pedroia: 74 / 11 / 60 / 5 / .28
- Josh Harrison (Auction $8): I know that I'm much higher on Harrison than most. For everything you need to know, check out my take on Harrison here.
My projections for Harrison: 67 / 9 / 55 / 14 / .277
- Kolten Wong (Auction $8): Now entering his third full year with the Cardnials, he reminds me a lot of Zobrist in his younger days. I think he has one of the biggest chances to out perform his ADP.
My projections for Wong: 67 / 12 / 60 / 16 / .264
- Neil Walker (Auction $8): Walker is replacing Daniel Murphy at 2B for the Mets and I think he should pick up right where Murphy left off (well, not post season Murphy). Same old consistent Neil Walker.
My projections for Walker: 67 / 17 / 66 / 3 / .267
- Daniel Murphy (Auction $7): Another guy I wouldn't mind having if I waited on my 2B, Murphy should continue to produce similar to his career averages. As already mentioned though, do not expect that he will have a power jump like we saw in the 2015 post season.
My projections for Murphy: 64 / 10 / 60 / 5 / .283
- Howie Kendrick (Auction $6): I normally like Kendrick, but I think there is a playing time concern. I have him projected for less than 500 AB's otherwise I would have counting stats a bit higher and have him more up my board.
My projections for Kendrick: 60 / 9 / 59 / 7 / .282
- Starlin Castro (Auction $6): Changing teams is a concern for me, however he is going to a much better stadium. That said, not a tremendous amount of power or speed upside. If he hits at the top of the Yankees lineup, he should have a good chance to score runs however.
My projections for Castro: 65 /15 / 62 / 4 / .266
- Logan Forsythe (Auction $5): Forsythe has a nice power uptick last year for the Rays. He also has some SB opportunities and while not a big bat or runner, he's contributes enough in all categories to be a later round value at 2B.
My projections for Forsythe: 65 /14 / 66 / 7 / .258
- Brandon Phillips (Auction $4): Still going strong at age 34, Phillips showed unexpected speed last year swiping 23 bags. I don't know if we can expect him to continue to do that, however he should still have decent run scoring chances at the top of the reds lineup, as bad as it may be.
My projections for Phillips: 57 /12 / 55 / 10 / .268
- Brett Lawrie (Auction $3): Lawrie has always been a ton of potential that has never lived up to expectations. I think its safe to say we know who the real Lawrie is and that's a decent hitting, decent fielding 2B option. Not a ton of power (but enough) and not a ton of speed. If you're not going big at 2B, he's an ok option.
My projections for Lawrie: 61 /15 / 60 / 3 / .262
- Devon Travis (Auction $3): Travis showed a little bit of power and speed before getting hurt last year and missing 2/3 of the year. His average was particularly impressive which he did throughout his minor league career. If he can bounce back in 2016 we should expect a similar trend.
My projection for Travis: 49 / 9 / 51 / 10 / .280
- Addison Russell (Auction $2): In his first full season, Russell flash a number of times, but didn't put it all together. He has a lot of the skills to be a great hitter one day, but there are still holes in his swing and pitchers exposed that last year. I expect he will take a step forward in 2016, but not to the level that everyone expects. That's still a few years away.
My projection for Russell: 57 / 15 / 61 / 7 / .255
- Joe Panik (Auction $1): 62 / 8 / 46 / 4 / .277
- Cesar Hernandez (Auction $1): 60 / 2 / 38 / 20 / .271
- Jonathan Schoop (Auction $1): 42 / 17 / 45 / 2 / .258
- Danny Espinosa (Auction $1): 58 / 15 / 42 / 7 / .243
- Cory Spangenberg (Auction $1): 44 / 7 / 34 / 10 / .274
- Chris Owings (Auction $1): 60 / 6 / 41 / 18 / .246
- Scooter Gennett (Auction $1): 48 / 8 / 31 / 2 / .275
- Brock Holt (Auction $1): 40 / 3 / 36 / 4 / .278
- Javier Baez (Auction $1): 30 / 11 / 31 / 6 / .251
- Chase Utley (Auction $1): 43 / 10 / 40 / 3 / .239
Looking a bit deeper at my projections, second base feels a bit deeper this year than in years past. While I'd be happy with any of the top options, I'm be content with a number of the mid to late round picks as well. My middle infield slot will likely be filled by a 2B option, but that says more about the lack of talent at SS.
Check out my other positional breakdowns:
First Base: here
Second Base: here
Third Base: here
Designated Hitter here
Starting Pitching: here
Relief Pitching: Coming soon