2016 Outlook: The 27-year-old center fielder played in a career-high 153 games in 2015 while setting personal bests in hits (175), doubles (28), homers (14), RBI (56), walks (58), stolen bases (18) and slugging percentage (.431). His .144 ISO was also his best since his .153 mark in a 2012 rookie campaign where he only made 103 plate appearances. Eaton clearly has the ability to continue contributing in multiple categories, but his atypical power surge in 2015 may ultimately prove to be an outlier. Eaton had never hit more than seven home runs in five combined major-and-minor-league seasons with the Diamondbacks and White Sox prior to last season. As Chicago's everyday center fielder however, Eaton will have ample opportunity to continue his streak of progressively improving in most major offensive categories in each season so far in his career.
2016 Outlook: Polanco didn't bust out in his first year as a full-time player, as he failed to reach double-digits in home runs and he hit just .256/.320/.381. Still, there was a lot to like, as Polanco used his speed to mash 35 doubles and six triples, steal 27 bases and score 83 runs. It's easy to see room for growth for Polanco if a few of those doubles turn into home runs and a few of his caught stealings (10 in 37 attempts) turn into successes. He's shown the ability to hit home runs in the minors (16 in 2012, 12 in just 115 games in 2013), and at the age of 25 next season, he's getting to the stage where he can start generating more power out of his body. The tools are all there, so now he just has to harness the gifts.
2016 Outlook: The floor that had defined Pence for so many seasons was shattered last year in spring training with the three-time All-Star suffering a broken forearm as a result of a HBP in just the Giants' third Cactus League game. Less than a month after his return in mid-May, wrist issues began to surface, forcing him back onto the DL, and an oblique injury ultimately ended Pence's season in September. When on the field, it was generally more of the same from Pence, though his contact rate declined again, matching a career-low at just 72.3 percent. The power was still there despite the lingering arm issues, with Pence's .203 ISO representing the second-best mark of his nine-year career, and he maintained a walk rate right around his career norm. With an offseason to get right, Pence could return to being the everyday rock in right field for San Francisco, but he is now without that bankable floor that he came with before 2015 and the ceiling is relatively modest for a corner bat.
2016 Outlook: Kemp's first season with the Padres was largely a success, although it is still unclear if there was any particular reason for his horrendous May (.186/.225/.212, 0 HR). From June 1 on, he swatted 22 home runs and his second-half line (.286/.339/.528) suggests that he still possesses the ability to be a quality run-producing power bat. While his contributions as a basestealer are unlikely to approach anything close to his peak levels, Kemp went 12-for-14 in stolen-base chances. Even as Petco Park continues to drift away from its reputation as an extreme pitcher-friendly park, it's surprising that Kemp's OPS at home (.822) was 137 points higher than his mark on the road (.685) last season. With back-to-back seasons of at least 150 games played, durability is less of a concern with Kemp heading into 2016, and he will once again be tasked with serving as a steady run producer in the heart of the San Diego lineup.
2016 Outlook: Calhoun found his power stroke in 2015 as he mashed a career-high 26 home runs as the Angels' full-time right fielder. The power came at some expense, however, as Calhoun struck out 60 more times than he had in 2014 and saw his average drop from .272 to .256. Overall, this is probably a good trade-off for Calhoun, as he also saw his RBI total jump from 58 to 83. Sharing a lineup with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols should lead to big counting stat totals for Calhoun. He isn't much of a runner -- nine stolen bases in the past two years -- but his plus power gives him a chance to be a big contributor for the Angels in 2016.
2016 Outlook: Puig suffered a strained left hamstring in April, which ultimately cost him all of May, but he looked like the player many were expecting on draft day when he returned in June (.303/.384/.474) before his strikeout rate went through the roof in July (28.3% K%). Interestingly enough, there were no reported injuries for Puig that month, and his .198/.239/.372 line was easily his worst of any month last season. He rebounded in August before a right hamstring strain ended his season. In sum, he played 79 games for the Dodgers while swatting 11 homers, but he was limited to just three stolen bases, and it's reasonable to think that his effectiveness at the plate and on the basepaths was impacted by the injuries. A career .294/.371/.487 hitter, Puig is still just 25 years old, and still has the raw talent to become one of the game's premier offensive players. Major League Baseball announced in March that Puig will not be suspended for an incident involving his sister and an altercation with a bouncer at a Miami club in November.
2016 Outlook: Choo had a disastrous finish to his 2014 season and, after April 2015 (.427 OPS), there were some legitimate concerns that he might not rebound. But then he posed an .837 OPS or better in four of the final five months of the 2015 season, including a 1.016 mark in the second half. The running appears to be done with just a 7-for-13 success rate on the basepaths the last two seasons combined. At 33 years old, it is probably best to plan on it not returning. There is heightened injury risk at this age, but it is worth noting that Choo has played 149 to 155 games in three of the last four seasons (and still logged 529 plate appearances in that other season). As always, he gets a substantial boost in leagues that include on-base percentage .
2016 Outlook: The 34-year-old super utility player may have finally found a lineup where his production will seem truly utilitarian. He will no longer be asked to carry an offense; rather, he will simply have to get on base so the thumpers behind him can drive him in. Zobrist is on a run of four straight seasons with double-digit homers, 75-plus runs and a batting average of .270 or better. That kind of production is hard to find, especially from someone who qualifies at second base. Hitting either first or second in the Cubs' lineup will allow him to easily clear 75 runs again, and he will also get the benefit of playing in the best hitter's park of his career. The only potential drawback is that Javier Baez may earn some starts at the keystone, but Zobrist's ability to play the outfield may keep him in the lineup even on those days. Of bigger concern may be losing his plum spot in the lineup to Addison Russell should the young shortstop get back on track at the dish this season.
2016 Outlook: Bruce rebounded a bit from what was a disastrous 2014, as his power returned and he slugged 26 home runs and 35 doubles in 157 games in 2015. Unfortunately, Bruce's average only rose from .217 to .226 as he remained a strikeout machine. He whiffed 145 times (22.3 percent) and wasn't much better when making contact, as he mustered a .251 BABIP, his worst since 2009. Bruce is still a good bet for 20-plus home runs, around 10 stolen bases, and a solid RBI total, but it remains to be seen if he can get his batting average into the more respectable .250-.280 range it used to inhabit. Bruce could be a trade chip for the rebuilding Reds as well, and leaving Great American Ball Park could be a damper on his power numbers.
2016 Outlook: Inciarte is one of those better-in-fantasy players as he does a little bit of everything, but doesn't really excel in any one category. However, his 20-stolen base average the last two years is a solid carrying skill in the speed-deprived environment we saw in 2015. He didn't need a gaudy BABIP to achieve that .303 batting average, but the .278 we saw in 2014 is definitely in play. The biggest downgrade in him moving from Arizona to Atlanta is runs scored. He had a full-season pace of 90, but he is unlikely to come anywhere near that in Atlanta, even if he replicates his triple slash line from 2015. The speed keeps him relevant, but don't get too excited as it could be really light in the other four categories.
2016 Outlook: It was easy to worry about Granderson heading into 2015, after he posted the worst season of his career in his first year as a Met in 2014. But Granderson rebounded nicely, with an OPS that jumped over 100 points as he appeared to get more acclimated to his new home park. Granderson stopped lofting the ball like he could with the short porch in Yankee Stadium, as his flyball rate dropped to its lowest mark since 2008. Not conicidentally, Granderson hammered 33 doubles, his most since 2007. This new Granderson won't be the 40-homer player he was in the Bronx, but he's still capable of a solid 25 home runs while hitting for a better batting average than we've come to expect -- his .259 mark in 2015 was his best since 2011.
2016 Outlook: Harrison couldn't live up to his excellent 2014, and even giving him a break for the torn thumb that cost him over a month doesn't really help because he was actually better after the injury. He just wasn't the hitter we saw in 2014. The .353 BABIP regressed as many expected, but it wasn't that substantial and definitely not the issue behind his drop-off. He lost a full 100 points off of his slugging percentage and his 3.4 percent HR/FB rate was 21st lowest among 211 batters to log at least 400 plate appearances. Some of that might've been bad luck, but he also pulled the ball a lot less and hit fewer fly balls. The Pirates are undaunted, clearing the path for Harrison to have a guaranteed spot with the trade of Neil Walker. It's a solid lineup and he should regularly be near the top of it.
2016 Outlook: Trumbo changed teams for the third time in less than two years when the Mariners traded him to the Orioles in December. That came on the heels of a .284/.343/.472 second half for Trumbo, who matched his home run output from the first half (11 homers) in 50 fewer at-bats after the All-Star break. Now he goes from one of the toughest environments for hitters in baseball to one of the most favorable with the trade to Baltimore and can focus almost exclusively on hitting with the DH spot pretty much all to himself. Of course, Trumbo comes with his caveats. He makes contact just over 70 percent of the time, doesn't walk much, and is prone to some brutal dry spells. A return to the 30-homer levels from 2012-13 is not out of the question, but it's wiser to bet on closer to 20 homers, given his limitations. And keep in mind Trumbo gets dinged a bit in OBP leagues.
2016 Outlook: Souza was one of the more hyped rookies coming into the season, but he didn't really join the party when his fellow rookies exploded. He managed a double-double (10-plus HRs and SBs), but a hideous .225 batting average sapped a lot of his value. The speed efficiency wasn't great with just a 67 percent stolen base success rate, but he did post a 74 percent clip in the minor leagues in 212 attempts so don't get too hung up on his 2015 performance. However, must improve that contact rate or his upside is bad-Melvin Upton -- and probably not even with the 30-plus stolen base capability. Keep in mind he was an oldish rookie, too; this is his age-27 season.
2016 Outlook: Last year marked the third straight season Reddick shaved his strikeout rate by around three percent, making better contact against both left- and right-handers. While he continues to hit righties better, the lefty-swinging Reddick only sits against the toughest southpaws. Cutting down on his whiffs is huge, since Reddick is a fly-ball hitter, which helps increase homers but lowers batting average on balls in play. Fewer punch outs means Reddick is no longer just viable for power while hampering average. Health is another key for the outfielder, as last season was the first since 2012 that he played in 149 games. It's likely Reddick's declining whiffs will level off or even slide back up, perhaps this season. As such, it's best to pay for his power and have some buffer in batting average to absorb the possible blow.