2022 Projections Review: Infielders

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Here's the first of three columns reviewing my preseason projections. I'll cover the top 10 at each position and other notables, starting today with the four infield spots. I'm also throwing in the top three designated hitters. Catchers and outfielders will come next week, followed by starting pitchers to wrap things up (I don't think there's a lot to be gained by reviewing relief projections).

If you notice the gaps in the top 10 at each spot, that's just multi-position stuff. For instance, there are only five top-10 second basemen below, because the rest are listed as shortstops.

I should note that the offensive projections were definitely a bit inflated this year, as run scoring dropped 6% and homers dropped 12% from 2021. The league slugged just .395 as a whole. It was at .411 last year and, if not for changes to the baseball, should have gone up this season, considering that pitchers weren't hitting.

One more quick FYI: Brandon Drury won't be found below, since I didn't give him a preseason projection. If I had, though, I'm sure I would have nailed it.

First basemen

1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - Blue Jays
Projection: .307/.393/.587, 41 HR, 110 R, 115 RBI, 3 SB in 574 AB
2022 stats: .274/.339/.480, 32 HR, 90 R, 97 RBI, 8 SB in 638 AB

Much of Guerrero's breakthrough in 2021 was a product of his groundball rate dropping to 45% from 51% in his first two seasons. This year, he was back up to 52%. Of the top 25 players in hard-hit rate, his 4.3-degree average launch angle was by far the lowest. Even Yandy Díaz came in at 7.7 degrees.

2. Freddie Freeman - Dodgers
Projection: .297/.385/.532, 34 HR, 112 R, 101 RBI, 5 SB in 590 AB
2022 stats: .325/.407/.511, 21 HR, 117 R, 100 RBI, 13 SB in 612 AB

3. Matt Olson - Braves
Projection: .265/.363/.563, 46 HR, 111 R, 108 RBI, 2 SB in 584 AB
2022 stats: .240/.325/.477, 34 HR, 86 R, 103 RBI, 0 SB in 616 AB

4. Pete Alonso - Mets
Projection: .263/.348/.552, 43 HR, 91 R, 110 RBI, 2 SB in 556 AB
2022 stats: .271/.352/.518, 40 HR, 95 R, 131 RBI, 5 SB in 597 AB

5. Paul Goldschmidt - Cardinals
Projection: .280/.374/.492, 30 HR, 105 R, 89 RBI, 6 SB in 592 AB
2022 stats: .317/.404/.578, 35 HR, 106 R, 115 RBI, 7 SB in 561 AB

6. Rhys Hoskins - Phillies
Projection: .252/.350/.534, 39 HR, 95 R, 96 RBI, 3 SB in 539 AB
2022 stats: .246/.332/.462, 30 HR, 81 R, 79 RBI, 2 SB in 589 AB

7. Josh Bell - Nationals/Padres
Projection: .269/.359/.509, 33 HR, 88 R, 104 RBI, 1 SB in 542 AB
2022 stats: .266/.362/.422, 17 HR, 78 R, 71 RBI, 0 SB in 552 AB

Bell hit .301/.384/.493 in 103 games with the Nationals and .192/.316/.271 in 53 games after the trade to San Diego.

8. Jose Abreu - White Sox
Projection: .264/.331/.480, 31 HR, 84 R, 104 RBI, 1 SB in 592 AB
2022 stats: .304/.378/.446, 15 HR, 85 R, 75 RBI, 0 SB in 601 AB

Aging sluggers tend to guess more and usually sacrifice singles in the hopes of pulling more pitches out of the park. Abreu went in the other direction at age 35, hitting fewer homers in 157 games than he did in the 60-game 2020 season (19) but also finishing with the fourth .300 campaign of his career.

9. C.J. Cron - Rockies
Projection: .275/.346/.513, 30 HR, 78 R, 97 RBI, 1 SB in 520 AB
2022 stats: .257/.315/.468, 29 HR, 79 R, 102 RBI, 0 SB in 575 AB

11. Ryan Mountcastle - Orioles
Projection: .261/.312/.478, 31 HR, 81 R, 97 RBI, 4 SB in 598 AB
2022 stats: .250/.305/.423, 22 HR, 62 R, 85 RBI, 4 SB in 555 AB

12. Joey Votto - Reds
Projection: .255/.370/.515, 35 HR, 87 R, 88 RBI, 2 SB in 513 AB
2022 stats: .205/.319/.370, 11 HR, 31 R, 41 RBI, 0 SB in 322 AB

15. Bobby Dalbec - Red Sox
Projection: .245/.315/.507, 35 HR, 79 R, 94 RBI, 3 SB in 534 AB
2022 stats: .215/.283/.369, 12 HR, 40 R, 39 RBI, 3 SB in 317 AB

While Dalbec is obviously a flawed hitter, it looked like he had the power to overcome it in 2021. This year, though, his average exit velocity dropped by two mph and his barrel rate went from 20% to 12%. I still think he might have a couple of years as an average-ish regular in him, but it's not going to happen in Boston.

17. Anthony Rizzo - Yankees
Projection: .256/.366/.458, 25 HR, 85 R, 74 RBI, 5 SB in 500 AB
2022 stats: .224/.338/.480, 32 HR, 77 R, 75 RBI, 6 SB in 465 AB

18. Ty France - Mariners
Projection: .279/.349/.437, 19 HR, 78 R, 84 RBI, 1 SB in 570 AB
2022 stats: .276/.340/.437, 20 HR, 65 R, 84 RBI, 0 SB in 551 AB

I think it's safe to say that France would have beaten this if not for the elbow injury suffered in a collision at first base in June, but he had already slowed down by that point, hitting .218/.299/.385 in the 20 games prior to the injury. I imagine I'll give him a similar projection next year.

19. Nathaniel Lowe - Rangers
Projection: .264/.353/.453, 22 HR, 76 R, 78 RBI, 5 SB in 508 AB
2022 stats: .302/.358/.492, 27 HR, 74 R, 76 RBI, 2 SB in 593 AB

Lowe got a lot more aggressive at the plate, and it certainly worked for him. Because his walks were down so much, his OBP actually held steady from 2021 (.357) despite a big jump in average (.264 to .302). Still, the tradeoff came with some extra power and was definitely worth it.

25. Spencer Torkelson - Tigers
Projection: .251/.339/.480, 26 HR, 71 R, 76 RBI, 3 SB in 475 AB
2022 stats: .203/.285/.319, 8 HR, 38 R, 28 RBI, 0 SB in 360 AB

Torkelson's rookie season wasn't quite as discouraging as the line suggests. His exit velocity numbers were solid, if hardly elite, and his 24.5% strikeout rate was barely higher than the 23.9% that I projected for him. I think he'll progress to decent next year, though with the Detroit lineup holding him back and homers being tougher to come by in Comerica Park, I wouldn't expect him to be a mixed-league guy.

26. Rowdy Tellez - Brewers
Projection: .261/.323/.487, 26 HR, 64 R, 75 RBI, 1 SB in 448 AB
2022 stats: .219/.306/.461, 35 HR, 67 R, 89 RBI, 2 SB in 529 AB

29. Yuli Gurriel - Astros
Projection: .284/.338/.417, 13 HR, 71 R, 74 RBI, 1 SB in 545 AB
2022 stats: .242/.288/.360, 8 HR, 53 R, 53 RBI, 8 SB in 545 AB

42. Keston Hiura - Brewers
Projection: .228/.307/.454, 17 HR, 43 R, 45 RBI, 5 SB in 302 AB
2022 stats: .226/.316/.449, 14 HR, 34 R, 32 RBI, 5 SB in 234 AB

44. Christian Walker - Diamondbacks
Projection: .247/.312/.428, 15 HR, 50 R, 53 RBI, 2 SB in 388 AB
2022 stats: .242/.327/.477, 36 HR, 84 R, 94 RBI, 2 SB in 583 AB

48. Miguel Cabrera - Tigers
Projection: .243/.311/.392, 16 HR, 45 R, 56 RBI, 0 SB in 423 AB
2022 stats: .254/.305/.317, 5 HR, 25 R, 43 RBI, 1 SB in 397 AB

49. Albert Pujols - Cardinals
Projection: .232/.281/.401, 13 HR, 30 R, 46 RBI, 1 SB in 289 AB
2022 stats: .270/.345/.550, 24 HR, 42 R, 68 RBI, 1 SB in 307 AB

On July 4, Pujols was hitting .189/.282/.320. Cabrera was at .300/.338/.364.

60. Vinnie Pasquantino - Royals
Projection: .257/.336/.416, 4 HR, 15 R, 15 RBI, 1 SB in 113 AB
2022 stats: .295/.383/.450, 10 HR, 25 R, 26 RBI, 1 SB in 258 AB

Designated hitters

1. Shohei Ohtani - Angels
Projection: .267/.363/.573, 41 HR, 102 R, 97 RBI, 17 SB in 520 AB
2022 stats: .273/.356/.519, 34 HR, 90 R, 95 RBI, 11 SB in 586 AB

2. Franmil Reyes - Guardians/Cubs
Projection: .263/.334/.521, 38 HR, 83 R, 105 RBI, 3 SB in 559 AB
2022 stats: .221/.273/.365, 14 HR, 43 R, 47 RBI, 2 SB in 438 AB

Reyes stalled out again after a nice start in Chicago, but I imagine the Cubs will keep him. He's still going to be just 27 next year, and power like his is hard to find. It's just disappointing that he hasn't really taken a step forward in any area since arriving in 2018.

3. Nelson Cruz - Nationals
Projection: .261/.343/.509, 36 HR, 77 R, 93 RBI, 1 SB in 517 AB
2022 stats: .234/.313/.337, 10 HR, 50 R, 64 RBI, 4 SB in 448 AB

Second basemen

2. Ozzie Albies - Braves
Projection: .268/.323/.498, 30 HR, 88 R, 92 RBI, 15 SB in 568 AB
2022 stats: .247/.294/.409, 8 HR, 36 R, 35 RBI, 3 SB in 247 AB

3. Whit Merrifield - Royals/Blue Jays
Projection: .274/.320/.401, 13 HR, 91 R, 68 RBI, 31 SB in 643 AB
2022 stats: .250/.298/.375, 11 HR, 70 R, 58 RBI, 16 SB in 504 AB

5. Ketel Marte - Diamondbacks
Projection: .297/.360/.492, 23 HR, 90 R, 79 RBI, 5 SB in 563 AB
2022 stats: .240/.321/.407, 12 HR, 68 R, 52 RBI, 5 SB in 492 AB

Marte seems to be eternally banged up. He was great in 90 games in 2021 anyway, but he had just a .240 average and a .276 BABIP this year after coming in at .318 and .339, respectively, the previous three seasons. I'll definitely scale back the playing time projection some next year.

6. Brandon Lowe - Rays
Projection: .253/.335/.513, 36 HR, 95 R, 87 RBI, 7 SB in 550 AB
2022 stats: .221/.308/.383, 8 HR, 31 R, 25 RBI, 1 SB in 235 AB

7. Jose Altuve - Astros
Projection: .273/.342/.474, 28 HR, 101 R, 77 RBI, 6 SB in 578 AB
2022 stats: .300/.387/.533, 28 HR, 103 R, 57 RBI, 18 SB in 527 AB

Thanks largely to his ability to lift flyballs down the left field line, Altuve slugged .533 this year despite a 5th-percentile hard-hit rate. His 29.7% hard-hit rate was an exact match for those of J.P. Crawford, César Hernández and Abraham Toro. Those three players combined for 17 homers in 1,402 at-bats. Altuve hit 28 in 578 at-bats. And if that wasn't enough, he went 18-for-19 stealing bases after coming in at 13-for-24 the previous three seasons.

12. Ryan McMahon - Rockies
Projection: .266/.338/.475, 26 HR, 82 R, 94 RBI, 4 SB in 541 AB
2022 stats: .246/.327/.414, 20 HR, 67 R, 67 RBI, 7 SB in 529 AB

13. Tommy Edman - Cardinals
Projection: .272/.326/.412, 13 HR, 73 R, 62 RBI, 22 SB in 534 AB
2022 stats: .265/.324/.400, 13 HR, 95 R, 57 RBI, 32 SB in 577 AB

14. DJ LeMahieu - Yankees
Projection: .293/.357/.450, 18 HR, 84 R, 71 RBI, 5 SB in 529 AB
2022 stats: .261/.357/.377, 12 HR, 74 R, 46 RBI, 4 SB in 467 AB

LeMahieu peaked at .290/.393/.434 on Aug. 8 and then, mostly because of his toe injury, went 14-for-94 with no homers the rest of the way.

15. Jonathan India - Reds
Projection: .254/.358/.435, 22 HR, 97 R, 65 RBI, 12 SB in 552 AB
2022 stats: .249/.327/.378, 10 HR, 48 R, 41 RBI, 3 SB in 386 AB

Injuries also played a significant role in India's decline from his Rookie of the Year campaign, making him a tough call next year. He was even worse offensively than his line suggests -- he was one of the handful of players with a hard-hit rate worse than Altuve's -- and he wasn't any good on defense or the basepaths, either. He simply didn't look like a major leaguer for much of the season. I'm sure I'll project him to bounce back somewhat, but I'll likely again be lower than the consensus on him.

16. Max Muncy - Dodgers
Projection: .240/.370/.493, 33 HR, 92 R, 84 RBI, 2 SB in 479 AB
2022 stats: .196/.329/.384, 21 HR, 69 R, 69 RBI, 2 SB in 464 AB

18. Nick Madrigal - Cubs
Projection: .310/.360/.414, 6 HR, 79 R, 60 RBI, 8 SB in 548 AB
2022 stats: .249/.305/.282, 0 HR, 19 R, 7 RBI, 3 SB in 209 AB

22. Nico Hoerner - Cubs
Projection: .281/.350/.407, 9 HR, 65 R, 56 RBI, 13 SB in 469 AB
2022 stats: .281/.327/.410, 10 HR, 60 R, 55 RBI, 20 SB in 481 AB

23. Jonathan Schoop - Tigers
Projection: .266/.310/.451, 24 HR, 72 R, 80 RBI, 1 SB in 552 AB
2022 stats: .202/.239/.322, 11 HR, 48 R, 38 RBI, 5 SB in 481 AB

Remember when Schoop had that awfully disappointing 2018 season? He finished with a .682 OPS that year. This season, he came in at .561. It's pretty much the worst offensive season one can imagine from a quality regular who was neither old nor obviously limited by injury (Schoop actually posted better defensive numbers than usual, only adding to the mystery).

26. Luis Arraez - Twins
Projection: .304/.362/.418, 7 HR, 63 R, 58 RBI, 2 SB in 457 AB
2022 stats: .316/.375/.420, 8 HR, 88 R, 49 RBI, 4 SB in 547 AB

I wish I had done better here, but the playing time questions were real for Arraez early on. He started just two of the Twins' first five games in April.

27. Vidal Bruján - Rays
Projection: .264/.322/.393, 7 HR, 41 R, 33 RBI, 19 SB in 303 AB
2022 stats: .163/.228/.259, 3 HR, 13 R, 16 RBI, 5 SB in 147 AB

I thought Bruján would hit the ball with a little more authority. I'm less optimistic about him becoming a long-term regular now, but he'll still be interesting next year, since he's going to be out of options. It wouldn't surprise me if he's dealt this winter.

29. Andres Gimenez - Guardians
Projection: .242/.306/.379, 12 HR, 57 R, 48 RBI, 21 SB in 446 AB
2022 stats: .297/.371/.466, 17 HR, 66 R, 69 RBI, 20 SB in 491 AB

31. Jeff McNeil - Mets
Projection: .287/.353/.419, 10 HR, 59 R, 60 RBI, 3 SB in 456 AB
2022 stats: .326/.382/.454, 9 HR, 73 R, 62 RBI, 4 SB in 533 AB

Being down on the Mets offense as a whole paid off for me in 2021. That certainly wasn't the case this year.

34. Josh Rojas - Diamondbacks
Projection: .253/.336/.405, 11 HR, 56 R, 48 RBI, 8 SB in 400 AB
2022 stats: .269/.349/.391, 9 HR, 66 R, 56 RBI, 23 SB in 443 AB

48. Eduardo Escobar - Mets
Projection: .235/.296/.421, 19 HR, 55 R, 59 RBI, 2 SB in 442 AB
2022 stats: .240/.295/.430, 20 HR, 58 R, 69 RBI, 0 SB in 495 AB

64. Jon Berti - Marlins
Projection: .236/.326/.325, 3 HR, 32 R, 18 RBI, 10 SB in 212 AB
2022 stats: .240/.324/.338, 4 HR, 47 R, 28 RBI, 41 SB in 358 AB

69. Nolan Gorman - Cardinals
Projection: .238/.294/.436, 8 HR, 22 R, 24 RBI, 1 SB in 172 AB
2022 stats: .226/.300/.420, 14 HR, 44 R, 35 RBI, 1 SB in 283 AB

NR. Matt Carpenter - Rangers/Yankees
Projection: .213/.334/.367, 8 HR, 36 R, 26 RBI, 1 SB in 240 AB
2022 stats: .305/.412/.727, 15 HR, 28 R, 37 RBI, 0 SB in 128 AB

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Third basemen

1. Jose Ramirez - Guardians
Projection: .276/.367/.543, 36 HR, 101 R, 104 RBI, 23 SB in 554 AB
2022 stats: .280/.355/.514, 29 HR, 90 R, 126 RBI, 20 SB in 601 AB

Ramírez had the second-most RBI ever for a player with a batting average no higher than .280 and no more than 30 homers. The only player with more was Boston's Vern Stephens (137) in 1947, and he spent the entire season batting behind Ted Williams. Ramirez did not hit behind Ted Williams.

2. Manny Machado - Padres
Projection: .285/.353/.543, 37 HR, 95 R, 113 RBI, 10 SB in 565 AB
2022 stats: .298/.366/.531, 32 HR, 100 R, 102 RBI, 9 SB in 578 AB

3. Rafael Devers - Red Sox
Projection: .287/.348/.534, 34 HR, 97 R, 107 RBI, 4 SB in 592 AB
2022 stats: .295/.358/.521, 27 HR, 84 R, 88 RBI, 3 SB in 555 AB

4. Adalberto Mondesi - Royals
Projection: .251/.289/.448, 19 HR, 66 R, 66 RBI, 44 SB in 482 AB
2022 stats: .140/.204/.140, 0 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 5 SB in 50 AB

5. Austin Riley - Braves
Projection: .270/.340/.512, 35 HR, 91 R, 105 RBI, 2 SB in 578 AB
2022 stats: .273/.349/.528, 38 HR, 90 R, 93 RBI, 2 SB in 615 AB

6. Ke'Bryan Hayes - Pirates
Projection: .285/.351/.469, 20 HR, 89 R, 74 RBI, 15 SB in 578 AB
2022 stats: .244/.314/.345, 7 HR, 55 R, 41 RBI, 20 SB in 505 AB

7. Alex Bregman - Astros
Projection: .281/.386/.508, 28 HR, 96 R, 92 RBI, 3 SB in 530 AB
2022 stats: .259/.366/.454, 23 HR, 93 R, 93 RBI, 1 SB in 548 AB

8. Nolan Arenado - Cardinals
Projection: .268/.332/.485, 31 HR, 84 R, 102 RBI, 2 SB in 583 AB
2022 stats: .293/.358/.533, 30 HR, 73 R, 103 RBI, 5 SB in 557 AB

9. Kris Bryant - Rockies
Projection: .276/.364/.507, 29 HR, 98 R, 83 RBI, 4 SB in 544 AB
2022 stats: .306/.376/.475, 5 HR, 28 R, 14 RBI, 0 SB in 160 AB

10. Yoan Moncada - White Sox
Projection: .270/.361/.472, 21 HR, 77 R, 70 RBI, 10 SB in 466 AB
2022 stats: .212/.273/.353, 12 HR, 41 R, 51 RBI, 2 SB in 397 AB

14. Justin Turner - Dodgers
Projection: .276/.368/.477, 23 HR, 77 R, 81 RBI, 2 SB in 474 AB
2022 stats: .278/.350/.438, 13 HR, 61 R, 81 RBI, 3 SB in 468 AB

15. Matt Chapman - Blue Jays
Projection: .247/.327/.492, 33 HR, 84 R, 88 RBI, 2 SB in 539 AB
2022 stats: .229/.324/.433, 27 HR, 83 R, 76 RBI, 2 SB in 538 AB

16. Josh Donaldson - Yankees
Projection: .255/.371/.497, 30 HR, 86 R, 77 RBI, 1 SB in 475 AB
2022 stats: .222/.308/.374, 15 HR, 59 R, 62 RBI, 2 SB in 478 AB

Donaldson put up the best exit-velocity numbers of his career while also lowering his strikeout rate in 2021, but decline appeared to very much set in during his age-36 season. His 27% strikeout rate was a career high, and his 43% hard-hit rate was his second-worst mark of the Statcast era (since 2015). Maybe he'll bounce back a little at age 37, but expectations should be pretty low.

21. Alec Bohm - Phillies
Projection: .275/.338/.436, 16 HR, 65 R, 68 RBI, 3 SB in 477 AB
2022 stats: .280/.315/.398, 13 HR, 79 R, 72 RBI, 2 SB in 586 AB

27. Yandy Díaz - Rays
Projection: .270/.360/.414, 14 HR, 65 R, 59 RBI, 1 SB in 452 AB
2022 stats: .296/.401/.423, 9 HR, 71 R, 57 RBI, 3 SB in 473 AB

29. Gio Urshela - Twins
Projection: .265/.308/.422, 15 HR, 59 R, 62 RBI, 1 SB in 472 AB
2022 stats: .285/.338/.429, 13 HR, 61 R, 64 RBI, 1 SB in 501 AB

31. Eugenio Suárez - Mariners
Projection: .218/.308/.434, 30 HR, 69 R, 74 RBI, 2 SB in 505 AB
2022 stats: .236/.332/.459, 31 HR, 76 R, 87 RBI, 0 SB in 543 AB

The Mariners certainly weren't expecting to get more from Suárez than from Jesse Winker after acquiring both from the Reds in a six-player deal, but Suárez was able to find some singles again after contributing little aside from his homers the previous two years. Given the way his strikeout rate is trending (career-high 31% in 2022), it seems likely that Suárez's average will go back down next year.

34. Patrick Wisdom - Cubs
Projection: .209/.282/.448, 21 HR, 43 R, 49 RBI, 4 SB in 326 AB
2022 stats: .207/.298/.426, 25 HR, 67 R, 66 RBI, 8 SB in 469 AB

35. Jose Miranda - Twins
Projection: .272/.326/.452, 11 HR, 37 R, 41 RBI, 1 SB in 279 AB
2022 stats: .268/.325/.426, 15 HR, 45 R, 66 RBI, 1 SB in 444 AB

41. Hunter Dozier - Royals
Projection: .246/.312/.438, 12 HR, 38 R, 41 RBI, 3 SB in 297 AB
2022 stats: .236/.292/.387, 12 HR, 51 R, 41 RBI, 4 SB in 462 AB

59. Brendan Donovan - Cardinals
Projection: .248/.331/.369, 4 HR, 22 R, 17 RBI, 3 SB in 157 AB
2022 stats: .281/.394/.379, 5 HR, 64 R, 45 RBI, 2 SB in 391 AB

Shortstops

1. Trea Turner - Dodgers
Projection: .306/.364/.536, 31 HR, 100 R, 104 RBI, 31 SB in 571 AB
2022 stats: .298/.343/.466, 21 HR, 101 R, 100 RBI, 27 SB in 652 AB

2. Bo Bichette - Blue Jays
Projection: .292/.339/.516, 32 HR, 105 R, 96 RBI, 18 SB in 607 AB
2022 stats: .290/.333/.469, 24 HR, 91 R, 93 RBI, 13 SB in 652 AB

It took a furious rally, but Bichette wound up as a top-five shortstop. He was hitting .260/.305/.420 at the end of August.

3. Tim Anderson - White Sox
Projection: .295/.330/.459, 21 HR, 93 R, 71 RBI, 18 SB in 597 AB
2022 stats: .301/.339/.395, 6 HR, 50 R, 25 RBI, 13 SB in 332 AB

4. Wander Franco - Rays
Projection: .290/.352/.476, 19 HR, 94 R, 84 RBI, 13 SB in 593 AB
2022 stats: .277/.328/.417, 6 HR, 46 R, 33 RBI, 8 SB in 314 AB

Even before the broken hamate bone, Franco just didn't show much power this year; his isolated slugging percentage was down from .175 as a rookie to .140 as a sophomore. The Statcast numbers don't suggest a decline as much as they suggest he was simply lucky to slug .463 as a rookie. Of course, Franco was just 21 this year. He's going to get stronger, and he should be good for at least 20 homers per year in his prime. Still, something closer to 12 seems like a reasonable guess for next year.

5. Corey Seager - Dodgers
Projection: .298/.364/.522, 29 HR, 92 R, 91 RBI, 2 SB in 554 AB
2022 stats: .245/.317/.455, 33 HR, 91 R, 83 RBI, 3 SB in 593 AB

Seager had never had a BABIP worse than .301 before coming in at .242 this year. Statcast thought he should have hit .283. Expect a rebound there next year, as he should be one of the players most helped by the absence of the infield shift.

6. Xander Bogaerts - Red Sox
Projection: .287/.358/.492, 26 HR, 93 R, 89 RBI, 6 SB in 571 AB
2022 stats: .307/.377/.456, 15 HR, 84 R, 73 RBI, 8 SB in 557 AB

7. Trevor Story - Red Sox
Projection: .262/.335/.458, 22 HR, 83 R, 86 RBI, 21 SB in 550 AB
2022 stats: .238/.303/.434, 16 HR, 53 R, 66 RBI, 13 SB in 357 AB

8. Fernando Tatis Jr. - Padres
Projection: .289/.372/.594, 20 HR, 51 R, 48 RBI, 12 SB in 256 AB
2022 stats: n/a

9. Javier Baez - Tigers
Projection: .268/.311/.479, 28 HR, 82 R, 92 RBI, 13 SB in 593 AB
2022 stats: .238/.278/.393, 17 HR, 64 R, 67 RBI, 9 SB in 555 AB

The start was truly horrible, but Báez's season wasn't as bad as people keeping making it out to be. He came in at .264/.302/.448 from mid-June onwards (a 115+ OPS), and he was pretty clearly the Tigers' best player.

10. Francisco Lindor - Mets
Projection: .260/.333/.478, 29 HR, 87 R, 85 RBI, 14 SB in 557 AB
2022 stats: .270/.339/.449, 26 HR, 98 R, 107 RBI, 16 SB in 630 AB

11. Jorge Polanco - Twins
Projection: .273/.329/.467, 25 HR, 86 R, 87 RBI, 9 SB in 583 AB
2022 stats: .235/.346/.405, 16 HR, 54 R, 56 RBI, 3 SB in 375 AB

12. Marcus Semien - Rangers
Projection: .256/.328/.456, 28 HR, 94 R, 79 RBI, 11 SB in 601 AB
2022 stats: .248/.304/.429, 26 HR, 101 R, 83 RBI, 25 SB in 657 AB

Fading Semien certainly seemed like the right move when he was sitting on one homer at the end of May. Not so much afterwards, though. The 25 steals were a particularly big surprise; his previous high was 15.

13. Bobby Witt Jr. - Royals
Projection: .259/.318/.459, 21 HR, 69 R, 74 RBI, 22 SB in 505 AB
2022 stats: .254/.294/.428, 20 HR, 82 R, 80 RBI, 30 SB in 591 AB

Witt's approach isn't great, but most everything else is, and I'd be tempted to project him for 40 steals next year even without the rule changes. As is, 50 might be realistic.

15. Carlos Correa - Twins
Projection: .280/.363/.493, 27 HR, 88 R, 88 RBI, 1 SB in 533 AB
2022 stats: .291/.366/.467, 22 HR, 70 R, 64 RBI, 0 SB in 522 AB

16. Jake Cronenworth - Padres
Projection: .282/.348/.460, 19 HR, 82 R, 83 RBI, 8 SB in 548 AB
2022 stats: .239/.332/.390, 17 HR, 88 R, 88 RBI, 3 SB in 587 AB

17. Willy Adames - Rays
Projection: .261/.330/.486, 31 HR, 89 R, 80 RBI, 6 SB in 556 AB
2022 stats: .238/.298/.458, 31 HR, 83 R, 98 RBI, 8 SB in 563 AB

18. Amed Rosario - Guardians
Projection: .276/.317/.428, 16 HR, 78 R, 68 RBI, 17 SB in 577 AB
2022 stats: .283/.312/.403, 11 HR, 86 R, 71 RBI, 18 SB in 637 AB

19. Dansby Swanson - Braves
Projection: .258/.325/.467, 27 HR, 79 R, 82 RBI, 9 SB in 546 AB
2022 stats: .277/.329/.447, 25 HR, 99 R, 96 RBI, 18 SB in 640 AB

20. Gavin Lux - Dodgers
Projection: .276/.351/.466, 18 HR, 71 R, 69 RBI, 8 SB in 442 AB
2022 stats: .276/.346/.399, 6 HR, 66 R, 42 RBI, 7 SB in 421 AB

The average player had 56% as many homers as barrels this season. Lux had 20 barrels, so he was at 30%. Hopefully, he'll be a little more fortunate in that regard next year, and there still should be some more power on the way. If he could ever establish himself as the Dodgers' No. 2 hitter, he'd become a major fantasy asset even without doing a whole lot in homers and steals.

22. Oneil Cruz - Pirates
Projection: .262/.313/.472, 21 HR, 63 R, 70 RBI, 9 SB in 466 AB
2022 stats: .233/.294/.450, 17 HR, 45 R, 54 RBI, 11 SB in 331 AB

In retrospect, projecting a .262 average here was far too optimistic. Still, while I'll probably land somewhere south of .250 there next year, a 30 HR-30 SB season hardly seems out of reach.

23. Gleyber Torres - Yankees
Projection: .271/.345/.443, 20 HR 73 R, 73 RBI, 8 SB in 506 AB
2022 stats: .257/.310/.451, 24 HR, 73 R, 76 RBI, 10 SB in 526 AB

29. Jeremy Peña - Astros
Projection: .245/.299/.420, 19 HR, 66 R, 65 RBI, 10 SB in 498 AB
2022 stats: .253/.289/.426, 22 HR, 72 R, 63 RBI, 11 SB in 521 AB

36. Isiah Kiner-Falefa - Rangers
Projection: .262/.318/.365, 8 HR, 57 R, 51 RBI, 13 SB in 466 AB
2022 stats: .261/.314/.327, 4 HR, 66 R, 48 RBI, 22 SB in 483 AB

44. Elvis Andrus - Athletics/White Sox
Projection: .254/.302/.345, 6 HR, 54 R, 44 RBI, 12 SB in 469 AB
2022 stats: .249/.303/.404, 17 HR, 66 R, 58 RBI, 18 SB in 535 AB

Like Lux, Andrus had exactly 20 barrels, yet he wound up with 17 homers. I doubt an encore is coming, though getting out of Oakland certainly helps.

48. Ha-Seong Kim - Padres
Projection: .239/.313/.384, 10 HR, 44 R, 38 RBI, 8 SB in 331 AB
2022 stats: .251/.325/.383, 11 HR, 58 R, 59 RBI, 12 SB in 517 AB

51. Kyle Farmer - Reds
Projection: .249/.311/.389, 11 HR, 45 R, 44 RBI, 3 SB in 373 AB
2022 stats: .255/.315/.386, 14 HR, 58 R, 78 RBI, 4 SB in 526 AB

58. Thairo Estrada - Giants
Projection: .257/.309/.385, 6 HR, 29 R, 25 RBI, 3 SB in 218 AB
2022 stats: .260/.322/.402, 14 HR, 71 R, 62 RBI, 21 SB in 488 AB