Deep League Risers and Fallers Week 10

Rookies stumble and "washed up" veterans surprise us in this weeks DLRF

Lucas Spence played the role of hype-man last week and now Elly De La Cruz is in the Majors and we can all rejoice.  The Reds recently promoted minor league strikeout leader Andrew Abbot and that only added to speculation that EDLC could get the call sooner rather than later. Cinci fans have good reason to be excited.

Also, both Lucas and I have now recommended Guardians’ starter Logan Allen.  Allen allowed just two earned runs over 13 innings last week.  He struck out 14 batters while walking just four, and picked up both a win and quality start in each outing.  Allen is still rostered in fewer than half of all Yahoo leagues and that needs to change.  He does draw the Astros in his next start however and that one is skippable.

Lucas also recommended Bryan De La Cruz, who provided immediate returns with three multi-hit games and a dinger last week.  But that’s enough recap.  Let’s get through the negativity first with some fallers, and then have some fun with the risers section.  It is call-up season after all.




James Outman, Outfielder, Los Angeles Dodgers

(56% Rostered)

Outman was fantasy gold through April.  He finished the first month of the season with a gorgeous .292/.376./615 triple slash while blasting seven homers and swiping four bases.  He drove in 20 runs over the first month of the season and looked like he could be the next great Dodger outfielder and the perfect replacement for Cody Bellinger.  Sadly, once the calendar flipped to May, James mostly just got out, man.

He slashed just .165/.261/.291 in May with 34 strikeouts in 94 plate appearances.  His small sample in June looks even worse so far.  Outman’s biggest issue has been his league-worst whiff rate which has in turn led to an almost league-worst strikeout rate.  He does carry a healthy walk rate, just above league-average, but couple his strikeout tendency with his below-average exit velocity and you get a player that has not been helping for the better part of the season now.

The Dodgers also just called up Johnny Deluca (who sounds like a dead ball era hall of famer from the Brooklyn Dodgers).  This could be a sign of dwindling at-bats for Outman.  Even if it’s a platoon situation, Outman, the (left-handed batter of the two) has reverse splits. Outman does still have a decent overall line for the season and could be tradeable if you find a willing manager that won’t bother to look at monthly splits.


Bryce Miller, Starting Pitcher, Seattle Mariners

(75% Rostered)

Miller allowed just four runs over his first five major league starts.  Sure, that included two games against Oakland and one against Detroit, but it also included six shutout innings versus the Astros and a quality start (three runs over 6.1 innings) versus Atlanta.  Last week, though, he blew up fantasy manager’s ERAs on Monday allowing eight runs on 11 hits (but no walks) versus the Yankees.  Then if you were foolish enough to start him in Texas over the weekend, he finished burying you with seven more earned runs in just 2.1 innings.  Thankfully, we all know by now that you don’t mess Texas.  The Rangers are the premier team to avoid thus far.

Even after those misfires, Miller still maintains a decent ERA at 4.46, and an excellent WHIP at .97.  Still, it’s been a major correction for the rookie hurler.  Miller has made batters earn their way on base having issued just five free passes over his first 38 MLB innings.  That puts his walk rate right up at the top of the league.  He also possesses a strong chase rate, ranking in the league’s top fifth, but his whiff rate is barely above the bottom tenth, and his strikeout rate is below average.  Miller has also gotten hit pretty hard with an average exit velocity allowed over 91 MPH, which also ranks just above the league’s bottom tenth.  He is similarly getting barreled up too often.

In short, hitters are not swinging at his pitches out of the strike zone, and over the last couple of games, they have crushed his pitches in the zone.  But rookies are going to have their ups and downs, and we can’t be too upset about the Rangers game because we should be avoiding using pitchers vs Texas almost entirely.  Miller is set to face the less-scary-even-though-they-have-Ohtani-and-Trout Angels next and I strongly suggest trying to use this hiccup as a buy-low opportunity.


Michael Harris II, Outfield, Atlanta Braves

(80% Rostered)

Harris took the league by storm in his rookie 2022 season.  The 21-year-old phenom slashed .297/339./514 with 19 long balls and 20 stolen bases in just 441 plate appearances (114 games).  Dreams of a 30/30 season danced in the minds of fantasy managers as they eagerly drafted Harris in the third round back in March.

Those dreams have turned into waking nightmares as fantasy GMs check their daily rosters and are faced with the eldritch horror of a .168/.254/.252 line and just a pair of home runs and a handful of steals.  Harris II has been the Alek Manoah of outfielders.

If we check out some of Harris’ underlying rates, things look much rosier.

Michael Harris II Batted Ball Data




Andrew Abbott, Starting Pitcher, Cincinnati Reds

(42% Rostered)

As I said, it’s call-up season.  Abbott had absolutely dominated AA and AAA through ten starts this year.  He was the MiLB strikeout leader with 90 Ks against just 17 walks over 54 innings pitched.  He had an ERA of 2.50 and a WHIP of just .93 over that span.  Abbott debuted just a couple days ago at home in Great American Ball Park against the Milwaukee Brewers and cruised to a 2-0 victory.

Abbott mostly threw his 93 MPH four-seamer and his 80 MPH curve.  While he generated just a 23.8% CSW and walked four batters, he only allowed a single hit.  The Reds do play in one of the worst stadiums for pitchers in the entire league, but the upside with Abbott and his eye-popping strikeout numbers is obvious.  He lines up to face the once-again-slumping Cardinals on the road next and I am signing off on that one. If Elly De La Cruz can have an impact similar to Abbott and Matt Mclain, the Reds could be on the upswing.


Luke Raley, First Base and Outfield, Tampa Bay Rays

(19% Rostered) 

Late bloomers are often the most overlooked group of useful players in our game.  We collectively get super hyped up over prospects and big names that we miss out on the Max Muncys of the world.  Don’t miss out on Raley.  Through 151 plate appearances, the lefty slugger is slashing .252/.344/.550.  That comes with ten dingers and seven steals and some incredible supporting rates as well.

Raley ranks in the top 6% of MLB hitters in average exit velocity, hard hit percentage, max exit velocity, and barrel rate.  We should just call him Luke Rakey, because that’s all he does.  He’s also fast, clocking in with a sprint speed in the league’s top 15%.  He whiffs a bit much, striking out in nearly one-third of his appearances, but he’s also gotten stronger as the season has progressed.  Raley batted .226 in April and March, .262 in May and .375 in a couple of June games.

He also platoons, since everyone in Tampa not named Wander Franco, Yandy Díaz or Randy Arozarena gets platooned. That being said, Raley has hit .286/.286/.717 in just 14 at-bats against lefties this year.  If you are rostering Vinnie Pasquantino, Rowdy Tellez, or still holding on to José Abreu as your first baseman, consider giving Raley a shot.


Julio Teheran, Starting Pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers

(19% Rostered)

Julio Teheran pitched just 36 major league innings since 2019. He pitched four games for the Angels in 2020, posting an ERA of 10.05, and made one start for the Tigers in 2021.  He began this season in the Padres minor league system before being released and signed by the Brewers just a couple of weeks ago.  Milwaukee has to be ecstatic so far as Teheran has posted a 1.56 ERA and .92 WHIP with 10 strikeouts and just two walks over his first 17 innings (3 starts).

He carries just a 25.8% CSW, but also just a 3.1% walk rate that would rank amongst the league’s top few percent if he qualified.  Teheran’s fastball has averaged just about 90 MPH so far, but he’s relied mostly on his sinker and slider to get outs.  It’s been a recipe for success over his first three games, which includes six shutout innings in a win at Toronto, and a tough-luck loss at Cincinnati in Andrew Abbott’s debut.  He next lines up to face Oakland at home, which represents a great opportunity to stream Teheran with a real chance of keeping him around for a while.

Good Luck out there, and see you next week for more Deep League Risers and Fallers!



Sam Lutz

A Pittsburgh native and long suffering Pirate fan, Sam turned to fantasy baseball to give him a reason to follow the sport after July.

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