Welcome to the position tiered rankings for 2015. The tiers are broken out into five tiers with five being the highest and one being the lowest. Five star players are players that will be taken in the first couple of rounds or will go for $30-plus. Four star players will have $20-plus. Three stars $10-plus, two stars $5-plus and the one star are players you want to avoid or players to stash on your bench.
The statistics for each player are my semi-final projections. The projections are going to change going forward, but if you follow me on Twitter @MattCommins I will tweet out when my projections are updated and posted on MattCommins.com. If I was a reader I would focus on the tiering of players and the overall idea of the projections. For example, if I project a player for 28 home runs that means I think he’ll hit for a lot of power.
Links the other position previews:
The value of the starting position depends dramatically on the size of your league. Before I say anything else every fantasy owner should ask themselves one question: am I confident I will be able to find breakout pitchers on the waiver wire? If you’re a casual player I recommend paying for higher end pitchers in your drafts. If you read and/or watch a lot of baseball then I recommend drafting 1-2 four star pitchers and wait to fill out your rotation.
Overall, pitching is extremely deep. Some pitchers have strong injury concerns coming into the season and for me, I’m avoiding them in my drafts because this position is so deep. The last thing I want to begin the season with injured players clogging my bench.
Lastly, pitchers with a “*” next to their names mean I added replacement level statistics to my original projection for each player. By replacement level I mean a player that should be available on the waiver wire throughout the year. The replacement level player I used was Jason Hammel. For example I only projected 160 innings for Johnny Cueto and I added 40 innings from Hammel.
Five-Star Value Pick: Max Scherzer
Of all the pitchers in this list Max Scherzer could be the most likely (other than Clayton Kershaw) pitcher to win 20 games next year. I have Felix Hernandez ranked ahead of Scherzer now, but it’s very likely I’ll rank Scherzer higher because of how many more wins he’ll have.
Four-Star Value Pick: Collin McHugh
Everything about Collin McHugh’s game is real and most importantly repeatable. The primary reason is all of his pitches are thrown from the same arm slot, which makes his pitches difficult to pick up out of the hand. Therefore, it’s no surprise he ranked 10th among starting pitchers in swinging strikes percentage.
Mike Minor struggled last year and the primary reason why he struggled was due to the injury he suffered in the offseason. The injury he suffered was minor, but it forced him to change his training regimen. Since he wasn’t able to train on his schedule he rushed his comeback and subsequently caused him to suffer another injury. This offseason he’s healthy and I expect a big rebound.
Two-Star Value Pick: Derek Holland
Derek Holland lost most of last year to a fluke injury, which is causing a lot of fantasy owners to forget about how good he was and the big steps he took in 2013. In a brief stint in the 2014 the command improved even more, which provides optimism he could continue to take another step forward.
One-Star Value Pick: Trevor Bauer
I watched all of Trevor Bauer’s starts last year and my conclusion is this: he’s incredibly talented and inconsistent. When he’s on he can be one of the most dominant starters in baseball. When he doesn’t have command of his fastball he walks a lot of batters and is very hittable.