Deep League Risers and Fallers Week 9

Estrada looks like a potential closer of the future.

Welcome back deep leaguers! We are in week 9 of the 2024 season. Becoming a fantasy baseball expert can certainly be a Sisyphean task, but luckily baseball gives us the longest season out of all sports to try and get it right. Hopefully, this week’s Deep League Risers and Fallers column makes rolling that fantasy rock a little lighter for you.




Mitch Garver, C, Seattle Mariners – 32% Rostered


Mitch Garver has had hot streaks during his career when he has looked like one of the best hitting catchers in the league. Back in 2019, Garver won a Silver Slugger as he slashed .273/.365/.630 and hit 31 home runs and 67 RBI for the Twins. Last season with the Rangers, Garver formed a formidable 1-2 punch at catcher with Jonah Heim. Garver was injured early in the season, opening the door for Heim’s emergence. But once Garver got healthy, he forced himself into Bruce Boche’s lineup with his hot bat, at times even starting in the same games as Heim.

He finished 2023 with similar numbers to his career year of 2019 with a slash line of .270/.370/.500. Garver hit 19 home runs and knocked in 50 RBI in only 296 at-bats, and then in the postseason, added three more home runs and 15 RBI in 14 starts.

During the offseason, the Mariners rewarded Garv Sauce with a 2-year, $24 million deal to become their primary DH while also being able to serve as a backup catcher to Cal Raleigh. 

Unfortunately, Garver has been unable to replicate the magic from his career years and is hitting just .171/.285/.316 this season. He has five home runs and 14 RBI in half of the at-bats (152 thus far) that he received from last season. At this pace, Garver will end up with around only 10 home runs. His strikeout percentage has also jumped to 30.7% from 23.8% last season.

When he’s hitting Garver can be useful to a fantasy squad, especially in two-catcher leagues, but that isn’t happening at the moment. Feel free to keep Garv Sauce on the waiver wire.


Justin Turner, DH/1B/3B, Toronto Blue Jays– 59% Rostered


Turner got a late start to his MLB career, and after some small cups of coffee with the Orioles, and a bigger, although not full-time role with the Mets, he didn’t begin to fully emerge until he moved to the Dodgers at age 29 in 2014. Over the next 10 seasons Turner carved out a role as one of baseball’s most reliable hitters and hit a combined .293/.371/.486. He had three seasons with above a .300 batting average and was named an All-Star in 2017 and 2021. He also had playoff success, being named the 2017 NLCS MVP.

Year after year, Turner seemed to defy Father Time, and even after leaving Los Angeles in the 2022 offseason, he continued to rake. Turner had one of the best seasons of his career with the Red Sox last year, being one of the team’s bright spots in a down year. The third baseman hit .296/.345/.455 with 23 home runs and a career-high 96 RBI.

He stayed in the AL East during this past offseason, signing a one-year deal with the Blue Jays for his age-39 season. Despite his advanced age for a baseball player, most pundits would have agreed Turner could continue to hit for Toronto. Well as they say, Father Time is undefeated (although LeBron James is making a compelling argument), and he has seemed to catch Turner this season.

Turner is hitting only .219 on the season with four home runs and 18 RBI. His OBP is also way down from his career average of .361 and sits at a paltry .297. As one would expect for someone who seems to be nearing the tail-end of his career, Turner’s exit velocity has dipped from 89.5 in 2023 to 87.4 this season. His hard hit % has also decreased to 32%, down seven percentage points from last season.

If you have Turner on your roster, my advice would be to try and move him before cutting him loose. His name recognition could still fetch a usable piece in return from a manager who hasn’t been following this season as closely as they should.

Amed Rosario, 2B/SS/RF, Tampa Bay Rays – 32% Rostered


Rosario has been worth rostering as a fantasy starter in the not-so-distant past. In 2022, he hit 11 home runs, 71 RBI, and had 18 steals with a .283 average or going back a little further, in 2019, when he hit 15 home runs, 72 RBI, and had 19 steals with a .287 average. He has never been a high on-base percentage asset with a career OBP of .307, but with his power/speed combination, he was usable in deeper leagues with his counting stats.

After a 2023 season that saw him bouncing around between the Guardians and Dodgers, Rosario signed on with the Rays this season and came out of the gates with a nice start. In March and April, Rosario hit .307 with eight runs, two home runs and 13 RBI. He also nabbed three bases. That’s at least someone you can roster for bench depth or even start in deeper leagues. Rosario has also been starting in the outfield this season, so he holds eligibility at three positions.

However, over the past month, Rosario has hit only .237 with no home runs and only seven RBI. Brandon Lowe is also back from the injured list for the Rays, which could cut into Rosario’s playing time and force him into a platoon situation.




Jake Meyers, OF, Houston Astros – 34% Rostered


Jake Myers is putting the finishing touches on a superb month of May. After battling for playing time at the beginning of the session, he is hitting .357/.438/.586 with 11 runs and 25 hits in 80 at-bats since May 2nd. He’s added three home runs and knocked in 13 RBI over the past month.

A closer look at Myers’ numbers this season backs up the success. He’s cut down on his strikeouts, decreasing his strikeout percentage from 25.8% last season to 18.5% this season. Other advanced metrics place him among the top-10 percentile in:

  • wOBA (.391 – 94th percentile)
  • Solid contact % (10.4% – 94th percentile)
  • Ideal contact rate (46.9% – 91st percentile)

He’s coming out of the box aggressively against pitchers and attacking early in his at-bats. Meyers’ Early BIP% (balls in play/pitches on counts of 0-0, 0-1, 1-0, 1-1) is 22.1%. This also puts him near the top of the league and places him in the 98th percentile in all of baseball.

Meyers is hitting the ball confidently and is playing like a top-25 fantasy outfielder. He likely won’t be on your waiver wire much longer. This is the week to snatch him up if he’s still available.


Alec Marsh, P, Kansas City Royals – 33% Rostered


As of 5/27, the Kansas City Royals sit with a 34-20 record and find themselves only 2.5 games back in the AL Central as the season moves into June. A big reason for this success is their surprisingly strong rotation. Their starters have thrown quality starts 52% of the time, which is the third-best mark in all of baseball. We expected Cole Ragans to pitch like an ace, but 34-year-old ex-reliever Seth Lugo leads the team with an 8-1 record and a 1.74 ERA. Fourth and fifth starters Brady Singer and Alec Marsh also have been better than expected, and Marsh is our first riser of the week.

Marsh is a homegrown success story as he was drafted 70th overall by Kansas City in 2019. He debuted in the big leagues last season, which was a breakthrough in itself after Marsh’s 2022 season. In 2022, Marsh struggled with his command and for the season went 2-16 with a 6.88 and 1.62 WHIP.

His rookie numbers in the majors weren’t strong but were an improvement: a 3-9 record with a 5.69 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. This season Marsh sits with a 4-2 record and a 3.24 ERA through nine starts. More importantly, he hasn’t walked more than two batters in a game and his WHIP is a sparkling 1.06.

Marsh has tweaked his changeup and fastball locations this season and is hitting the strike zone more often with both pitches. This has led to not only fewer walks, but also better outcomes against hitters. In 2023, hitters managed a .346 average against his changeup and a .256 average against his fastball, this season those averages have dropped to .125/.188.

The heatmaps of these pitches show that Marsh is condensing the pitches to a tighter area within the strike zone.

2023 Changeup (Zone: 37.0%)

2024 Changeup (Zone: 47.9%)

2023 Four-Seamer (Zone: 45%)

2024 Four-Seamer (Zone: 50%)


While Marsh may not be able to match his early season numbers over a full season, he’ll likely end up somewhere much better than last season. He’s worth taking a look at, especially in favorable matchups as a streamer.


Jeremiah Estrada, P, San Diego Padres – 16% Rostered

Estrada set a new franchise record for the Padres in Sunday’s victory over the Yankees with his 10th straight strikeout. In the game, Estrada pitched 1.2 innings and struck out all five of the hitters he faced. He did the same thing in two innings pitched in San Diego’s May 23rd game against the Reds.

It continued Estrada’s excellent season during which he’s struck out 25 hitters in 15.1 IP and has a 2-0 record with nearly identical microscopic ERA and WHIP marks: 0.59 ERA and 0.587 WHIP. Over the course of the last three weeks, Estrada has collected two holds, two wins, and one save.

The 25-year-old righthander’s best pitches are a big fastball and a slider that he creates a lot of movement with. This season, his fastball is averaging 96.8 MPH, and he is throwing it 54.5% of the time. Estrada is throwing his slider 22.3% of the time and it is currently sitting at an average of 88.6. This combination profiles well for Estrada.

Looking back at Estrada’s scouting profile when he was a prospect with the Cubs, his fastball was graded at 70 and slider at 60, and he was called a “closer of the future.” This could still happen, albeit for a different franchise.

As covered by Rick Graham in this week’s Closing Time column, Estrada could be in line for save chances if the Padres decide to move current closer Robert Suarez into high-leverage duty. If you’re in need of reliever help and/or saves, Estrada is worth a speculative add.

I will be back again next week for more Risers and Fallers, before Sam Lutz takes the baton the following week.


Nate Kosher

Nate Kosher is based in the Twin Cities and is a staff writer for Pitcher List. He grew up watching low-budget Twins teams at the Metrodome before eventually converting to the Arizona Diamondbacks (the power of teal and purple in the 1990s). His goal is to someday visit all 30 MLB ballparks and he believes Barry Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame. You can read more of Nate's writing in his newsletter, The Relief Pickle.

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