Happy Friday, Razzball friends and acquaintances, and welcome once again to the deep league corner of this fine website. It’s been another week of crushing injuries, a smattering of thoroughly disappointing pitching mixed with a handful of pleasantly surprising performances, and I hope you and your teams are staying afloat as we navigate the always dicey early-season waters. Looking at this week’s trends is a reminder of just how quickly a player’s value can change, with at least two players going from deep leaguers to full-fledged mixed league status, for the time being anyway. I’m talking about the crazy ownership jumps taken by Brian Anderson (from 11% to 83%) and Bryce Elder (5% to 78%); now all we have to do is figure out who the next guys that might make that kind of a leap could be (and, more importantly, whether they’ll justify those new ownership numbers). Let’s look at some players who’ve been added in the most leagues this week according to CBS (with the biggest gainers listed first), but whose ownership numbers are still low enough that they may be available in NL-only, AL-only, and other deeper leagues.

Bigger Leaps:

Geraldo Perdomo. The Diamondbacks shortstop had some decent sleeper heat on him last year but was basically forgotten coming into 2023. He’s back on the fantasy radar, however, going from 1 to 22% owned after an incredibly hot start (9 for 22 with a homer, 8 RBI, and a steal) while he’s been in the starting lineup against righties even with the presence of Nick Ahmed. I don’t know that he’ll reach shallow mixed league status any time soon, and there could be some quick and painful average regression coming at any time… but he’s worth monitoring, and seems like a guy who could go on a new-rules stolen base tear at any given time.

Matt Strahm. The Phillies pitcher went from 1 to 12% owned in a week after a near-perfect start against the Marlins, and in the last day has jumped up again, to 15%. He’s pitching over his head (or just about anyone’s, given that he hasn’t given up a run in 10 innings), so the sailing may not be this smooth for long. If he’s available in your league, though, I’d say he’s worth a cautious pickup in deep leagues and, as Grey mentioned the other day, a Streamonator-based call in shallower leagues.

Franchy Cordero. Franchy is one of those players that I feel like I’ve mentioned annually for about a decade after a hot week for whatever his newest team is, and then we don’t hear from him again until the following season. He may not even be available in your deep league at this point anyway; he went from 1-5% owned in a week, and in the last 2 days is already up to 13% now 21%. I’m trying to decide if he’s worth a decent-sized FAAB bid in my AL-only league where I could use an extra hitter and we don’t have our first chance at FAAB pickups until this weekend… and my answer keeps coming us as a cloudy “maybe.” Talking about unsustainable paces, Cordero has 3 homers and 10 RBI in just 21 at bats… but I like his current situation with the Yankees, and I suspect he’s earned at least a medium leash for continued regular at bats, at least against right-handed pitching.

Medium Jumps:

J.D. Davis, David Villar. Both qualify at 3B, both play for the Giants, and both have had a similar increase in ownership (4 to 13% and 8 to 14%, respectively). Davis is hitting .294 with 2 homers and 7 RBI, and Villar has 3 homers already (albeit with a .210 average), and I think they are both worth a look if you’re in need of a corner infielder with some pop as we see how the season progresses. For now, I like both over the likes of Reds corner infielder Jason Vosler, who has had a similar 6 to 13% increase, but who to my eye has looked thoroughly overmatched after his first week of success, and who theoretically should be giving his job back to Joey Votto soon.

Stone Garrett (from 1% – 8% owned over the last week). Garrett has only appeared in 3 games as I write this, but has enjoyed the aforementioned ownership jump after producing a homer and 5 RBIs, with a video game-like .583 average in that tiny little sample size. The Nationals certainly fall into that category of teams that should be giving a young (well, young-ish, Garrett is 27) outfielder like Garrett, whom they signed over the winter after he was DFA’d by Arizona, as much opportunity as possible to see if and where he fits in terms of the future of the organization. It remains to be seen if this opportunity will come to fruition since the Nats actually have a relatively crowded outfield, and whether Garrett will take advantage of it if it does, but it’s a situation to keep an eye on.

Luke Raley (4% – 9%). Has anyone else wondered if they could have just literally drafted a 23-man fantasy team of only Tampa Bay Rays to start the season and if you’d now be comfortably winning your mixed league even after filling your roster with part-time/platoon players like Raley? Raley’s only hitting .208 but he has 3 home runs already, and qualifies at 1B and OF in most leagues. Feeling like, even when (if?) the Rays come back to earth a bit, Raley could be a serviceable deep league player throughout the season, and someone to keep an eye on as a stream or short-term fill-in in shallower leagues when the schedule and matchups are right.

Tiny Hops:

Akil Baddoo (3-5%). Will we ever see anything close to the solid 13 HR/18 SB Baddoo had as a rule 5 player in 2021 again? Baddoo’s horrible 2022 (2 HR/9 SB, .204 AVG/.289 OBP) feels more realistic, but a deep-leaguer can dream, especially now that Baddoo is back with the big club in Detroit and has the opportunity to re-impress us, at least. He almost literally has no counting stats yet (okay, one run scored) but is off to a 4 for 14 start with 2 walks, so might be worth a quick look-see if you’re in need.

Edmundo Sosa (4-6%). Not gonna say there’s upside here, but there may be better-than-nothing type deep league value, as Sosa has been playing pretty regularly for a seriously banged-up Phillies team. He qualifies at 3B and SS in most leagues and has already appeared in 9 games at third this year, in addition to one each at short and outfield. He has yet to draw a walk, but a not-horrible average with an occasional homer and a few counting stats along the way is, as I said, better than nothing.

Ryan Noda (1-3%). Speaking of Rule 5 guys, I have rostered Noda in one draft and hold league, as I’m often a sucker for a Rule 5 hitter on a team without a lot of solid offensive options (to put it politely, in the case of the 2023 A’s). Noda’s a 27 year old right-handed hitter who’s played 9 games at first base; he’s just 6 for his first 30, but has two homers and has scored 8 runs. Classic, very deep-league scavenging on a bad team here, I’d say. (Also: while we’re in Oakland, I have to give a shout out to 1% owned OF Brent Rooker. He’s on his fourth team in about a year, but I’ve been rooting for him to find a team and stick since I had him on an AL-only farm team a couple years ago when he was with the Twins. He had a nice spring, is off to a great start this year, and has been hitting third or fourth when he plays… definitely worth a deep-league check in*).

*Wow… literally wrote that blurb about 10 minutes before the A’s game in which Rooker had 2 homers and 5 RBI began. Methinks his ownership might already be above 1% by the time you read this.