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Champ or Chump: Robert Gasser and Christian Scott Fantasy Baseball Outlooks

Robert Gasser - Fantasy Baseball Prospects, Rookies, Call-Ups

Fantasy managers never seem to have enough pitching, so it's easy to make a claim whenever an arm makes a promising debut. Sadly, many of these arms blow up our ratios, forcing us back to the wire to rinse and repeat.

Of course, we cannot ignore waiver arms either. Wins, strikeouts, saves, and quality starts are all counting stats, meaning our teams are at a competitive disadvantage if our rivals throw more innings than we do. It's impossible to draft enough innings without in-season supplementation.

We have to roll the dice, but we can stack the odds by analyzing the arms we're considering before blindly rostering them. Recent call-ups Robert Gasser and Christian Scott are two interesting names on many wires. Let's take a closer look at what they have to offer.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Robert Gasser (SP, MIL) 20% Rostered

Gasser's MLB career is off to a fantastic start as the 25-year-old lefty has a 2-0 record and 0.82 ERA in 11 IP. His 1.77 xERA is equally outstanding, though his 4.12 xFIP is concerning. From a fantasy perspective, his 14.3% K% suggests limited upside and trouble if his 2.4% BB% regresses.

The good news is that Gasser threw more strikeouts in the minors, though they came with many more walks. He first reached the High Minors in 2022. In Double-A (Biloxi), he had a 2.21 ERA but a 3.99 xFIP over 20.1 IP. His 31.3% K% was exceptional while his 9.6% BB% was serviceable, but he was a bit fortunate with his .267 BABIP.

The Brewers liked what they saw and promoted Gasser to Triple-A (Nashville). It didn't go well as his ERA and xFIP ballooned to 4.44 and 4.97, respectively, over 26.1 IP. Gasser's K% fell to 26.1%, his BB% increased to 13.4%, and his BABIP jumped to .357.

Gasser returned to Nashville in 2023 and logged 135.1 IP with a 3.79 ERA and 4.52 xFIP. His 28% K%, 8.4% BB%, and .318 BABIP all represented an improvement over the previous year but weren't strong enough to garner fantasy interest.

Gasser began the 2024 season back in Nashville, posting a 5.25 ERA and 3.32 xFIP over 12 IP before his big league debut. His K% surged to 33.3%, but the uptick was accompanied by an 11.8% BB% and .348 BABIP. Gasser's MiLB history suggests strikeout upside but also a pitcher who struggles with control and getting hit hard.

Looking at Gasser's scouting report might help us figure out why:

His fastball and changeup are below-average while his slider and cutter are more good than great. Gasser possesses plus command, but his stuff isn't good enough to challenge hitters. That forces him to nibble, explaining the walks on the farm. If he's forced into the zone, hitters do damage. His MLB.com scouting report notes that "the left-hander doesn't have a particularly high ceiling," an extremely pessimistic take from a usually positive source.

The situation only gets worse if we take a closer look at his repertoire. Gasser's slider has a 13.3% SwStr%, 48.3% Zone%, and 35.5% chase rate. It's Gasser's most thrown pitch as a major leaguer but doesn't measure up to the average MLB slider. His fastball has looked good thus far with a 9.1% SwStr% and 61.4% Zone%, but it lacks velocity (93 mph) and spin (2,180 RPM). Its success is likely a small sample fluke rather than anything sustainable.

Gasser's sinker (8.1% SwStr%, 62.2% Zone%) and cutter (7.1% SwStr%, 64.3% Zone%) are effectively inferior versions of his fastball, and his change has been nothing more than a show-me pitch. Gasser is a two-pitch pitcher and neither is elite, making him a risky proposition in fantasy.

Gasser is best deployed as a streamer in favorable matchups. His start on May 21 at Miami should be decent, but you don't want this Chump on your roster when he faces the Cubs at home on May 27.

 

Christian Scott (SP, NYM) 32% Rostered

Scott's MLB tenure hasn't started as well as Gasser's: he's 0-2 with a 4.32 ERA in 16.2 IP. That said, both his 3.15 xERA and 3.85 xFIP suggest he deserves better numbers. His 23.9% K% and 5.6% BB% are solid as well.

Scouts also like Scott much more than Gasser:

The FanGraphs scouting report above is more generous in terms of rankings, but MLB.com gives Scott higher grades. His fastball and slider have the same grades while his change (classified as a split above) gets a 55 and his control gets an excellent 65. For the record, MLB.com ranks Scott 57th on its list of the top 100 prospects in the game.

Control is Scott's game as evidenced by his MiLB performance. The now 25-year-old first reached the High Minors last year with Double-A (Binghamton) and excelled, posting a 2.47 ERA and 2.96 xFIP in 62 IP. He was dominant with a 32.8% K% against a 3.4% BB%, and opposing batters didn't hit him that hard if his .279 BABIP is any indication.

Scott was promoted to Triple-A (Syracuse) to begin the 2024 campaign and pitched to a 3.20 ERA and 3.39 xFIP over 25.1 IP. His "luck metrics" were all over the place in the tiny sample, with his .111 BABIP and 100% LOB% balanced out by an inflated 26.9% HR/FB. More importantly, Scott remained dominant with a 38.3% K% and 6.4% BB%.

The overall MiLB track record is somewhat reminiscent of Shane Bieber. In 2018, Bieber posted a 1.66 ERA and 2.57 xFIP at Triple-A with a 26.7% K% and 3.4% BB% before entering the Show, mirroring Scott's combination of strikeouts and control. Scott gives up a few more walks for a lot more strikeouts, making him the better fantasy prospect.

Scott features a three-pitch mix. His fastball averages 94.9 mph and has dominated big-league hitters with a 16.1% SwStr% and 64.5% Zone%. His slider is comparable to Gasser's with a 13.2% SwStr%, 48.2% Zone%, and 28.8% chase rate. Finally, his change-splitter hybrid has a 12.9% SwStr%, 38.7% Zone%, and 36.8% chase rate. Scott doesn't walk anyone, so his strikeouts come from aggressively attacking hitters rather than hoping for chase.

The only knock on Scott is his limited workload. He worked primarily as a reliever in college and has never thrown more than 90 innings in a professional season, so he's likely to be shut down at some point. Still, the upside of Shane Bieber with more strikeouts makes Scott a Champ who needs to be rostered in nearly all formats. His next start is favorable, scheduled for May 24 at home against San Francisco.



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