2024 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Busts: Miami Marlins

The Marlins players to target and avoid this draft season.

The Miami Marlins made the playoffs for the first time in a full season since 2003. That year, they won their second World Series title in franchise history (while still being known as the Florida Marlins). Even though this playoff run didn’t result in a World Series title (or even a series victory), it was a step forward for an organization that hadn’t won 80 or more games since 2010.

One would think that playoff appearance would merit an extension and possible raise for Kim Ng, the GM of the Marlins and the first female GM in MLB history. Instead, she stepped down from her position in Miami this offseason, as she and Marlins owner Bruce Sherman failed to come to an understanding of her role in 2024 and beyond (apparently Sherman wanted to hire someone above her).

In her place is Peter Bendix, who most recently was the GM of the Tampa Bay Rays. Bendix is the Marlins’ new President of Baseball Operations and was hired to build the Marlins into a National League version of the Rays.

What does that look like? It involves building the farm system and winning with a limited payroll over a long period. While Ng did get the Marlins to the playoffs last year, last year was the only season in her tenure in which the Marlins won more than 70 games.

This offseason, Bendix is looking to reshape the roster by purging it of many of the veteran players who were on last year’s playoff roster. Garrett Hampson, Jacob Stallings, and Joey Wendle have signed with other clubs. While Jorge Soler, David Robertson, Jean Segura, and Johnny Cueto haven’t signed with another club just yet, it’s safe to say that they won’t be playing in Miami in 2024.

The Marlins probably will be regressing a bit from their 84-win total a season ago. That shouldn’t be surprising since their Pythagorean win-loss record in 2023 was 75-87. Marlins fans and the baseball community are expecting something closer to that number, perhaps below that in 2024.

That said, the Marlins’ goal seems to be to sacrifice the short-term to build a long-term winner, which means continuing to stock the farm system in the “Rays Way” fashion.

As a result, there could be some interesting fantasy sleepers who emerge from this Marlins team in 2024, as they should get more at-bats and innings now that some of the veterans from last year are gone.




Trevor Rogers

2023 Stats (18.0 IP):  4.00 ERA | 1.22 WHIP | 19 K | 1 W

Injuries have dogged Rogers the past two years, which is a big reason why his ADP is 113 for starting pitchers in NFBC leagues, according to Fantasy Pros. He has only pitched in 125 innings the past two years, including only 18 innings last season in four starts.

In limited duty though last year, Rogers started to show signs of his old 2021 self. He not only posted a 4.00 ERA, but his K% improved from 22.2% in 2022 to 24.1% in 2023 and his K-BB% also improved from 12.8% to 16.5% from 2022 to 2023, respectively. In addition, he also saw major improvements last year in his O-Swing%, Contact%, and CSW%, which can be seen in the table below.

Trevor Rogers Plate Discipline-Career

In terms of chases and whiffs, Rogers saw a 5.5% boost in O-Swing% from 2022 to 2023 and he also saw a 0.7% increase in swinging-strike rate as well. Furthermore, he also posted a career-best called-strike rate of 16.7% which was a big reason why his overall CSW% improved 2.2% last season.

A big difference for Rogers in his limited sample last year was that he not only added more pitches but also improved the quality of those pitches in his repertoire as well. Based on his PLV charts from the past two seasons below, Rogers saw considerable improvement in PLV with all of his main pitches, which included a positive gain in his overall PLV as well.

Rogers introduced a sinker to his repertoire last year, and it proved to be just as, if not more effective than his four-seamer, his primary pitch.

The sinker produced a 5.21 PLV, which ranked near the 90th percentile last season. The slider did see a bit of regression from 2022 (5.20 PLV) to 2023 (4.88), but if he can get that breaking pitch back to somewhat average, Rogers should be just fine, based on the positive PLV numbers of his other three pitches (four-seamer; changeup; and sinker).

Staying healthy will be a big thing, and it’s hard to tell if Rogers has a spot in the rotation guaranteed, especially with Max Meyer expected to return after missing all of 2023. On the other hand, if Rogers has a strong spring campaign, he could not only solidify a spot in the rotation but be one of the Marlins’ most productive arms in the rotation in 2024.


Jesús Sánchez

2023 Stats: (402 PA): .253 AVG | 43 R | 14 HR | 52 RBI | 3 SB

Soler leaving in free agency leaves a hole in the outfield, which could benefit Sánchez, who played in 125 games last year.

Bryan De La Cruz and Avisaíl García are more familiar Marlins outfielders to fantasy managers, but Sánchez possesses the most upside of the three, especially in the power department. Even though Sánchez did have a bit of a dip in power between his 220th to 225th batted ball events, he was consistently around the 90th percentile in expected bases added per BBE, according to his PLV power chart.

That profile is an upgrade over De La Cruz and Garcia who posted good, but nowhere near as elite power PLV numbers as Sánchez a season ago, which can be seen in the PLV power chart comparison below.

It is not just PLV where Sánchez shines either in terms of power. Even when throwing in Jazz Chisholm Jr., Jr. into the mix, who’s the 40th-rated hitter in terms of NFBC ADP, Sánchez’s expected metrics and hard-hit rates from last season still rise to the top of the Marlins’ returning outfielders for this upcoming season.

Sánchez-Chisholm-De La Cruz-Garcia Comparison-2023

Compared to Chisholm, Garcia, and De La Cruz, Sánchez led in maxEV, hard-hit rate, xSLG, and xWOBA. Furthermore, he was tied for first in exit velocity and barrel rate and was second in xBA. When it came to the quality of contact last season, there weren’t many hitters on the Marlins roster who were better than Sánchez (beyond Soler of course).

With more playing time to be expected on the horizon for Sánchez in 2024, he should outperform that 400 overall ADP he is receiving right now in NFBC leagues. He should be a prime target of fantasy managers looking for outfield power upside in the middle to later rounds, as he could be a 20-25 home run hitter at the very least, especially if he should get 600 or more plate appearances.




Braxton Garrett

2023 Stats (159.2 IP):  3.66 ERA | 1.15 WHIP | 156 K | 9 W

Garrett had a career year of sorts in his first full season with the Marlins in 2023. He set career-highs in innings (159.2), starts (30), wins (9), and fWAR (2.9). Thus, it seems like Garrett is getting a lot of hype among fantasy managers in upcoming perspective drafts as the possibly second-best pitcher in the Marlins rotation after Jesús Luzardo.

On the other hand, considering that his ADP is around 53 though for starting pitchers, according to Fantasy Pros, it may be good for fantasy managers to pump the brakes on Garrett in their respective fantasy drafts.

In terms of strike-throwing, Garrett may be the best of the projected starting pitchers in the Marlins rotation for 2024. When looking at the plate discipline metrics of the Marlins’ projected rotation next year, according to Roster Resource, Garrett led in many categories, especially in the called-strike areas.

Unfortunately, it’s a different story when it comes to generating whiffs and chases.

Garrett-Perez-Luzardo-Cabrera-Rogers Comparison-2023

In terms of O-Swing% and swinging-strike rate, Garrett ranked second-to-last and last respectively of this sample of five Marlins pitchers. He certainly can pepper and flood the zone with strikes. After all, he led in zone percentage, first-strike rate, called-strike rate, and CSW%, which is encouraging. However, he also sported the highest contact rate of the five, which makes one wonder what could happen to Garrett in 2024 if the command isn’t pristine.

Unfortunately, the batted ball numbers from Garrett last year aren’t exactly encouraging, especially when compared to his four other Marlins peers.

Garrett-Perez-Luzardo-Cabrera-Rogers-Statcast Comparison 2023

When hitters made contact against Garrett in 2023, they hit the ball hard.

While the barrel rate wasn’t that bad, he sported the worst exit velocity, maxEV, hard-hit rate, and xERA of this group of projected Marlins starting pitchers. If hitters can launch the ball a little bit more against Garrett in 2024, the actual numbers could end up being a lot closer to the expected numbers that Garrett produced a season ago.

It also doesn’t help when the PLV metrics on Garrett’s pitch quality aren’t exactly promising, which isn’t a good indicator for success fantasy-wise for this upcoming year.

Courtesy of Pitcher List

The Marlins have a cadre of talented young arms in their rotation, even with Sandy Alcantara expected to miss all of 2024.

That said, Garrett should be one that fantasy managers should avoid, especially with where he is going in drafts right now according to early ADP numbers.


Luis Arraez

2023 Stats: (617 PA): .354 AVG | 71 R | 10 HR | 69 RBI | 3 SB

Arraez is a classic example of a player who is more valuable in real-life baseball than fantasy.

There’s no question that Arraez’s contact skills and plate discipline are elite. Not only did he set a career-high mark in batting average, but he also had a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 1.03, the second-straight season where he posted a walk-to-strikeout ratio over that 1.00 mark (which is elite). His batting average also led the league, with the second-best mark by Ronald Acuna, Jr. being 17 points behind Arraez.

According to PLV hitter performance rolling charts from last year, it does seem that Arraez’s skills are sustainable and should transition to 2024, though he did see a bit of a dropoff at the end of last season.

Courtesy of Pitcher List

And yet, so much of Arraez’s fantasy value stems from his ability to hit for a ridiculously high average.

His 10 home runs last year were the most he has hit in his career as well as the first time in his career where he hit the double-digit mark. Unfortunately, he did this with a barrel rate of 3.5%, which was roughly the same percentage as in 2022 (3.6%). Thus, it may be hard for him to reach that 10 home run mark again in 2024, especially if the barrel rate remains the same or stagnates.

He also benefited from a BABIP of .362. Not only was that another career-high, but it was 31 points higher than in 2022, his last season in Minnesota. Now, BABIP can be somewhat sustained from year to year depending on the hitter. That said, it will be difficult if not impossible for Arraez to sport a BABIP that high again in 2024, especially with a hard-hit rate of 25.2% last year, the second-worst rate of his career in that category.

It also doesn’t help when Arraez’s decision value rolling charts showcase a hitter with below-average plate decision skills. His runs added per 100 pitches actually hovered around or below the 25th percentile for most of the 2023 season.

Courtesy of Pitcher List

Should the BABIP or batted-ball luck regress in any way, Arraez’s other numbers could dip considerably, especially batting average, his one premium category as a player in fantasy.

Lastly, Arraez also seems to be shopped around right now on the trade market, according to a recent report from MLB Insider Jon Heyman. Right now, the 26-year-old Venezuelan benefits from being at the top of the Marlins lineup, which gives him ample opportunities to maintain his high batting average.

Should his team change though before Opening Day? He may not get those leadoff at-bats, especially since he doesn’t offer elite-level speed (his sprint speed ranks in the 21st percentile) or baserunning (only 3 stolen bases). He most likely would get at-bats in the middle or even bottom of the order, depending on the team.

That could further depress his value and outlook for this upcoming season, and make him a reach in fantasy drafts, even with his modest 156 ADP in NFBC leagues.


Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@justparadesigns on Twitter/X)

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien is a high school educator and baseball blogger based in the Kansas City metro area. In addition to writing for Pitcher List, he writes about the Kansas City Royals at his own blog, the Royals Reporter, which can be found at royalsreporter.com.

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