Spring Training is in full swing (pun intended), and the regular season is right around the corner. That means that our fantasy drafts are as well.
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For each team, I will rundown the projected lineup, players to watch, and a complete list of 2014 stats to get you prepared for your upcoming fantasy drafts. We are finished with both of the East divisions, and the NL Central. Let’s head west!
In case you missed any:
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays
New York Mets
St. Louis Cardinals
2015 Arizona Diamondbacks Projected Starting Lineup:
C: Tuffy Gosewisch (.225, 1HR, 7RBI, 0SB in 129 at bats)
1B: Paul Goldschmidt (.300, 19HR, 69RBI, 9SB in 109 games)
2B: Aaron Hill (.244, 10HR, 60RBI, 4SB)
SS: Chris Owings (.261, 6HR, 26RBI, 8SB in 91 games)
3B: Yasmany Tomas (.276, 2HR, 8RBI, 0SB in 58 spring at bats)
LF: David Peralta (.286, 8HR, 36RBI, 6SB in 88 games)
CF: A.J. Pollock (.302, 7HR, 24RBI, 14SB in 75 games)
RF: Mark Trumbo (.235, 14HR, 61RBI, 2SB in 88 games)
What really jumps off the page here is that Aaron Hill was the only one that played a full season in 2014. Everyone else was either hurt, splitting time, or didn’t start the year in the majors. That makes for a very young team.
Miguel Montero was let go, so that means that Gosewisch will take over as catcher. He has little power, no speed, and was a .239 career hitter in the minors. He is in there for his defense, so unless your league counts caught stealing, you don’t want him on it. If the lack of offense becomes too much to bear, there is a chance that the Diamondbacks could call up Peter O’Brien. He hit 34 home runs last year in the minors with a .271 average. If he gets called up, those of you in deep or two catchers leagues should jump on him.
Goldschmidt has infiltrated the first round in most drafts that I have seen. He had a monster year in 2013, but last year was ravaged by injuries. My only concern with drafting him that early is not with injuries, it is with RBI’s. If you draft a hitter in the first round, you want at least 120 RBI out of him. With the lineup around him, I have my doubts that Goldy will get there. He might hit 35 homers. Hell, he might even hit 40, but he will mostly just be driving himself in.Â Not to mention the fact that he is going to get pitched around A LOT.Â If he is still around in the second, he is worth the pick there. There are not a lot of guys who can smack 35 homers and still hit .300.
Hill had the worst year of his career last year. It could have had something to do with the revolving door around him on offense. It could also have something to do with him being 33 years old. His spring has done nothing to inspire confidence in him (.184, 3RBI in 49 at bats). That said, there is no one in the organization that could immediately take his job. Cliff Pennington is hitting .040 on the spring. Hill is only worth a look in leagues of 14 teams or more.
Owings is just keeping shortstop warm until Nick Ahmed proves he can hit major league pitching. Ahmed is a defensive standout, but the offensive part of the game has eluded him. That said, he is hitting .320 this spring, and with a good month or so in the minors, the job could be his very soon. Neither of them are very likely to help your fantasy team, even in deep leagues. Owings has some power, but only use in deep roster leagues, or leagues of 16 or more teams.
Jake Lamb is the big loser in the Yasmany Tomas signing. The Cuban import took over the job that was supposed to be his. All of the sudden, the Diamondbacks have a logjam at third base. Brandon Drury clobbered spring pitching. Lamb has very good power and is solid defensively. There is a chance that the Diamondbacks could play Tomas in the outfield, but they don’t want to take away David Peralta’s spot. Lamb may force their hand somewhere along the line. He is hitting .345 with a pair of home runs in 55 spring at bats. He has actually hit better than Tomas!
Tomas is worth a look in the middle rounds of standard leagues. He is not going to be Jose Abreu or anything, but he could hit around .280 with 20 home runs. That is good enough for the middle of the pack at third base. As for Lamb, I would stash him in leagues with a deep bench. The Diamondbacks need to find room for him soon.
Peralta has stated his case with a hot spring, but he might get pushed out of left field anyway. The club is concerned with Tomas defensively at third base. If Tomas starts hitting, they have to put him somewhere, and many think he won’t stick at third. Peralta is great to have around in deeper leagues. He doesn’t have a lot of speed or power, but he is a very good hitter and will help your average. Just be aware that you may be sent scurrying to the wire if he loses his job.
Pollock’s 2014 season was hampered by injuries. The bright spot was that he hit over .300 in a little less than half a season, and stole enough bases to stay the leadoff hitter. Pollock is a sleeper candidate for this year. He is not going to steal 50 bases or hit 30 home runs, but he might steal 30 and hit 15. If he can keep his average around .300, he will be a later round steal, which is where he is going in drafts.
There is a legitimate fear that Mark Trumbo might be Mark Reynolds. Lots of power, but a dreadful average. The Diamondbacks are hoping that last year was just an aberration. I have my doubts. He is worth a late pick on the off chance that he can hit .260 again with all that power, but I wouldn’t holdÂ my breath.
Next: How Does The Rotation Look?
2015 Arizona Diamondbacks Projected Starting Rotation:
Josh Collmenter (11-9, 3.46 ERA, 115K)
Jeremy Hellickson (1-5, 4.52 ERA, 54K in 13 starts with Rays)
Rubby de la Rosa (4-8, 4.43 ERA, 74K in 18 starts with Red Sox)
Trevor Cahill (3-12, 5.61 ERA, 105K in 17 starts)
Chase Anderson (9-7, 4.01 ERA, 105K in 21 starts)
Addison Reed (1-7, 4.25 ERA, 69K, 32/38 saves)
Call to the Pen
At first glance, this looks like it could be the worst rotation in the majors. Upon further inspection, Patrick Corbin (14-8, 3.41 ERA, 178K in 2013) and Bronson Arroyo (7-4, 4.08 ERA, 47K in 14 starts) will return sometime in the middle of the season after Tommy John surgery.
They also have one of the best crops of major league ready arms in the high minors. Archie Bradley, Braden Shipley, and Aaron Blair all look like they are ready. Bradley in particular has had a strong spring, and could butt someone out of the rotation. Robbie Ray is probably better suited for relief, but he has started in the majors before.
Collmenter is the only one that I might recommend in a standard league. He could be a good back of the rotation guy, but wont give you much for strikeouts.
de la Rosa has good upside, but has yet to translate that into any kind of major league success. He might be worth taking a chance on in deep leagues if you are desperate.
There is little reason to believe that Hellickson will be as bad as he was last year. He has never been a high strikeout pitcher, and is likely best left for a streaming option in deep leagues unless he flourishes in the desert.
Chase Anderson was a decent number five starter last year, and should be able to stick in the rotation. He is probably best left for leagues of 12 or more teams.
If Reed struggles as the closer again, there is a strong possibility that the Diamondbacks will call on Jake Barrett. He saved 28 games in the minors last year, and got nearly a strikeout per inning. He does throw hard and usually has decent control. The Diamondbacks likely aren’t going to win this year anyway. They could decide to see what they have in Barrett later in the season even if Reed pitches well.
Stay tuned to Fantasy CPR for the rest of our predictions!
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