Comprehensive Player Rankings – Top 100

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All of the industry’s experts will point out the external factors which affect each player’s final projected stats for the year. Factors such as: home ballpark, teammates (fielding ability for pitchers, and offensive clout of the line-up for hitters), and even the divisional opposition. Caveball determined a statistical value for each of these external factors and combined it with each player’s individual ability. This final number will be his CPR, or Comprehensive Player Ranking.

This ranking is particularly important in assessing a player who has switched clubs, ballparks, leagues and/or divisions. And this off-season has been historical for the sheer number of acquisitions/trades that have transpired in the majors. (Look for Caveball’s upcoming articles which rank the most significant off-season moves in order of player rankings. There was so much movement that we divided the article into two parts: one for hitters which comes out tomorrow, and the second for pitchers on Monday)

As Spring Training proceeds certain tweaks will be made due to injuries and recovery times, potential line-up or rotation changes, or other news which may affect a player’s performance in the new year. For now, here are Caveball’s pre-season rankings for the top 100 players overall:

  1. Mike Trout (OF) – Baseball’s ambassador is just 23 yrs. old – can he be better?
  2. Paul Goldschmidt (1B) – 27 yr old is the most complete 1B in the game
  3. Clayton Kershaw (SP) – Only isssue is sacrificing a 1st round pick for an arm
  4. Miguel Cabrera (1B/3B) – 10 straight years of 100-plus RBI and he’s just 31 
  5. Giancarlo Stanton (OF) - Monster season coming up for the 25 yr. old
  6. Andrew McCutchen (OF) - 5-category stud is all business and heart
  7. Jose Abreu (1B) – The mystery is over. ROY is real deal, and he’s in his prime
  8. Adam Jones (OF) - McCutchen without the eye and patience
  9. Jose Altuve (2B) – Only other player to have 225 hits in last 14 yrs: Ichiro
  10. Jose Bautista (1B/OF) – 34 yr. old avg’d 121 GP over last 3 yrs. – otherwise elite
  11. Carlos Gomez (OF) – Back to back elite mirror-image years dispels fluke theory
  12. Felix Hernandez (SP) – Learned how to win long ago, and now, so has his team 
  13. Anthony Rendon (2B/3B) – 5-tool player quietly scored 111 runs and 83 RBI
  14. Edwin Encarnacion (1B) – 34 HR in just 128 games -prorate that
  15. Chris Sale (SP) – Dominating. Can his lanky frame stand the violent releases?
  16. Robinson Cano (2B) – Safeco/Mariners cut HR total in half – Cruz will help
  17. Josh Donaldson (3B) – Yet to peak 25 yr. old joins superior offence
  18. Anthony Rizzo (1B) – Upside up the yin yang – 32 HR and .913 OPS in 140 GP
  19. Stephen Strasburg (SP) – Found a new gear in 2nd half and kept improving
  20. Michael Brantley (OF) – Another late blossomer fills all categories
  21. Johnny Cueto (SP) – Had an incredible year amidst a tough one for the Reds
  22. Freddie Freeman (1B) – 25 yr. old still has upside, unlike his diluted line-up
  23. Corey Dickerson (OF) – Burst onto the scene ’14 – 100+ R & RBI in 2015
  24. Corey Kluber (SP) – Cy Young winners share initials with “Man of Steel”
  25. Ryan Braun (OF) – Will the real Mr. Thumb please come forward?
  26. Yasiel Puig (OF) – Only OF L.A. wouldn’t part with – prime years ahead
  27. Ian Kinsler (2B) – Shoo-in for 100-plus runs with even stronger line-up
  28. J. D. Martinez (OF) – Late-blooming 27 yr. old will continue to rake
  29. Joey Votto (1B) – On-base machine should have a bounce-back year
  30. Madison Bumgarner (SP) – Legendary playoff performance may overhype value
  31. Max Scherzer (SP) – Should dominate in the weaker-hitting N.L. East
  32. Justin Upton (OF) – Petco won’t help his cause, but new look line-up will
  33. Adrian Beltre (3B) – Had good numbers despite age (36) & injury-plagued team
  34. David Price (SP) – Old-school workhorse led MLB in IP (248) and Ks (271)
  35. Prince Fielder (1B) – Hype is over for new Rangers – big question marks remain
  36. Yu Darvish (SP) – Was the injury serious? Were the Rangers playing extra careful? The latter seems likely.
  37. Kole Calhoun (OF) – Breakout of the year: Look out for 30 HR/110 R
  38. Hunter Pence (OF) – Crazy Legs is one of the toughest outs in the game
  39. Chris Davis (1B/3B) – Drug was cleared, head should be too – rare power 
  40. Matt Kemp (OF) – Can overcome hitter’s bane at Petco in front of Upton
  41. Evan Longoria (3B) – Had decent numbers despite a team-wide 2014 slump
  42. Troy Tulowitzki (SS) – Perennial injuries takes Tulo out of the top 2 rounds
  43. Matt Holliday (OF) – Reliable 35 yr. old is aging gracefully – no surprises here
  44. Adam Wainwright (SP) – Mirror image (20-W) year with 2010, with dip in Ks
  45. Matt Harvey (SP) – This year is as cheap as he will come in the next 5
  46. Brian Dozier (2B) – Strong offensive 2nd half for Twins bodes well for 27 yr. old
  47. Jacoby Ellsbury (OF) – Unreliable speedster is always a high risk/reward pick
  48. Adrian Gonzalez (1B) – RBI machine keeps on ticking in loaded line-up
  49. Charlie Blackmon (OF) – Close to a 20/30 season (8 missed games)
  50. Albert Pujols (1B) – Hurts to watch him run now – still has 100 RBI potential
  51. George Springer (OF) – Lowest price you’ll get for him for the next 12 years
  52. Buster Posey (C) – 28 yr. old has 3 rings in 5 years, and a lot of confidence
  53. Jordan Zimmermann (SP) – Always reliable – allowed 29 BB in 32 starts
  54. Zach Greinke (SP) – The odd poor outing balanced out by win opportunities
  55. Carlos Gonzalez (OF) – Many elite OF in 2015 – not worth the agony of injury
  56. Ian Desmond (SS) – Most consistent and injury-free choice amongst the top 4
  57. Christian Yelich (OF) – Slides perfectly in 2-spot between Gordon & Stanton
  58. Masahiro Tanaka (SP) – Injury is only concern here. Watch closely in March
  59. John Lester (SP) – Transition to N.L. East should suit him quite well
  60. Victor Martinez (1B) – 2014 was only year 36 yr. old had more than 25 HR
  61. Hanley Ramirez (SS/OF) – Can Papi & Panda calm the talented malcontent?
  62. Yoenis Cespedes (OF) – Who hits 6th him or J.D.? Does it matter?
  63. Nelson Cruz (OF) – Warning: Safeco/Mariners cut Cano’s HR in half
  64. Dustin Pedroia (2B) – Former ROY and MVP earns new award: Comebacker
  65. Cole Hamels (SP) – Will it be the Padres. If so, he should thrive at Petco
  66. Julio Teheran (SP) – Handled a big workload with staff dropping like flies
  67. Todd Frazier (3B) – Could be overvalued this year – 20 SB not his norm
  68. Dee Gordon (2B) – Low OPS bodes poorly in pitching-heavy N.L. East
  69. Kyle Seager (3B) – 27 yr. old has missed 5 games in last 2 yrs.
  70. Jayson Werth (OF) – Matt Holliday stats, with some history of injuries
  71. David Ortiz (1B) – Age will catch up some time for Papi – why take the risk?
  72. Jay Bruce (OF) – Should see more balls to it with a healthy Votto – 30 HR
  73. Alex Cobb (SP) – Takes over as the ace for a Rays team that could surprise many. Very strong second half
  74. Craig Kimbrel (RP) – Still the best, but with very close contenders
  75. Starling Marte (OF) – 30 SB in 135 GP – tremendous second half 
  76. Aroldis Chapman (RP) – Least likely RP to get hit by a hit (54 IP/21 H)
  77. Jake Arrieta (SP) – No fluke – 78.1 IP and 57 H exactly in each half
  78. Jose Fernandez - How Marlins baby him after return almost as important as return date
  79. Jose Reyes (SS) – 31 yr. old may still have a 100 R /30 SB season in tank
  80. Nolan Arenado (3B) – Alpha wolf at Coors – gamma wolf elsewhere  
  81. Chris Carter (1B) – Ryan Howard lookalike hits like he used to (40 HR)
  82. Josh Harrison (2B/3B/OF) – Late bloomers do exist given the chance
  83. Greg Holland (RP) – Almost a mirror image of Kimbrel’s 2014
  84. Alex Gordon (OF) – Quietly valuable and reliably healthy 
  85. Jimmy Rollins (SS) – L.A.’s smog/line-up should breathe new life into veteran
  86. David Wright (3B) – Mets finally have a contender, but he looks worn down
  87. Adam Eaton (OF) – Prime pick of 2015 with some health risk attached – 30 SB
  88. Alex Wood (SP) – How hexed can the Braves be? He’s already had Tommy John
  89. Sonny Gray (SP) – Pitched better away than in the bay – less support this year
  90. Devin Mesoraco (C) – 3 more HR and 9 less RBI than Posey in 33 fewer GP
  91. Kenley Jansen (RP) – Middle name is Geronimo
  92. Melky Cabrera (OF) – Will slot in nicely after Eaton (and before Abreu)
  93. Hisashi Iwakuma (SP) – Lack of Spring Training/late start hurt his numbers
  94. Jeff Samardzija (SP) – Back in Chi-Town, but with a contender this time
  95. Howie Kendrick (2B) – Smooth crosstown transition a great fit in Blue
  96. Brett Gardner (OF) – Does newfound power give him 20/20 potential?
  97. Matt Carpenter (3B) – Built his ceiling in 2013, now he’s working on the walls
  98. Billy Hamilton (OF) – Will be picked long before you should even consider him
  99. Garrett Richards (SP) – Knee injury (recovery) will snuff some of the hype
  100. Jonathan Lucroy (C) – Doubles machine misses few games (.837 OPS)

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