11. Kris Bryant 23, CHC – Also a very good outfield option. Info on him in my Top 15 at Thirdbase under 30
12. Starling Marte 27, PIT – After Starling began the season hitting home runs at a fast paced people started to covet his already valuable stats. The unusually high pace of power did slow down and regressed to the mean of about 2 per month. He is just starting to hit his prime years of production so don’t rule this out from happening from time to time on top of his usual plus hitting and speed tools. My projections for 2016 are .285/81/18/83/30
13. George Springer 26, HOU – The former 11th overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft has all the tools. He has power, steals bases, hits for average and will take walks. This combo makes him a fantasy stud. Springer swings hard and a hits the ball hard. The only negative I see is that he swings so hard he tends to strike out a bit more often then one would hope especially in points leagues. I see a next step up in production this year especially for extra base hits. My projections for 2016 are .271/98/29/102/25
14. Justin Upton 28, DET – Upton is consistent if nothing else. Seems like he is always good for a .270/100/30/100/15 line.Well, despite a small dip in production Justin now brings his services to Detroit and will play in the American League for the first time. An adjustment to new pitchers will be expected but, playing in such a potent batting lineup along with possible use of the DH should lead to an increase in his counting stats. My projections for 2016 are .274/105/32/95/16
15. Jason Heyward 26, CHC – Heyward will most likely make his owners in points leagues the happiest of all. While he hits for a good average and has immense power, the latter is not always good for many home runs. Smack in the middle of the Cubs offense which has opposing pitchers waking up in a cold sweat this Winter Jason is going to see an everyday job playing outfield. At the plate he is going to hit for average and take walks. His Runs scored will probably be off the charts with the fire power that will reside in Northern Chicago. My projections for 2016 are .281/109/21/83/15.
16. Brandon Belt 27, SF – So we all know how well the Giants do every other season. Last year was an odd year yet Brandon was the teams best hitter not named Brandon Posey. I would not say Belt does anything great but, he does everything above average. Sure to be a constant in the 3 or 4 spot in the lineup this year as he is just entering his prime years I suspect we have yet to see his ceiling quite yet. My projections for 2016 are .282/87/24/92/7
17. Christian Yelich 24, MIA – Here is a case of a very unique type of hitter. Christian after just turning 24 can hit .300 with 150+ hits, 20+ steals, 30+Doubles & 90+ Runs. Thing is he most likely will not hit double digits in home runs. With a 62.5% ground ball Rate. This will not change unless he can create more lift in his swing. He is very serviceable as is but you have to understand what to expect from him as the whole .300 20/20 thing many projected will not likely happen. My projections for 2016 are .295/82/12/68/16.
18. Corey Dickerson – 26, TB – Ah, Plantar Fasciitis sounds like some kind of Gardener from Eastern Europe. Unfortunately for Corey this version can be tougher to get rid of. After all the promise leading into last season and the awesome start he got off to it seems like this is going to be a major red flag for anyone who considers drafting him despite not playing for the Rockies any longer. Guess that is the reason Colorado decided to trade away Dickerson instead of Carlos Gonzalez. Corey is a very talented hitter who could deliver a huge season but, the foot could flare up again at any time. My projection for 2016 are scaled back assuming he gets about 400 AB’s .274/45/15/48/1.
19. Kyle Schwarber – 22, CHC – Info on him in my Top 15 Catchers Under 30
20. Michael Brantley 28, CLE – Brantley would have made my top 10 list but due to shoulder surgery after last season and the prospect of him missing the first 2 months of the season and the possibility that he does not come back with the strength he normally does will temper the expectations. Michael is normally a machine at the plate with a crazy good Batting average and an on base machine. My projections for 2016 are .282/45/9/50/12