Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 2/8/13
Mlb-rays-tigers-aug
Maybe it’s just me, but does anyone else find it hard to believe Max Scherzer has already spent three of his five Major League seasons with the Tigers? I feel like it wasn’t that long ago that we were raving about his potential as an Arizona farmhand. But alas, time moves on, and last year Scherzer finally began living up to his insane potential. His strikeout rate was an astounding 11.08 K/9, the highest single-season rate for a pitcher who’s thrown at least 160 innings since Kerry Wood‘s 11.35 mark back in 2003, and for the second straight year he was able to keep his walk rate under 3.00 BB/9. Combined, Scherzer’s 3.85 K:BB ratio was the 11th-best among all starters last year, better than what James Shields, Matt Cain, Chris Sale, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, and David Price were able to do. It was the second straight year his K:BB ratio had improved. Last year Scherzer’s average fastball velocity rose from 93.1 mph to 94.2 mph according to PitchFX, which also suggests he introduced a two-seam fastball for the first time. His 3.27 FIP was easily the best of his career, but a high line drive rate (22.1%) and HR/FB rate (11.6%) explain the gap between that FIP and his 3.74 ERA. At a Glance Strengths: K, K/9, W, L, QS Neutral: ERA, WHIP, BB Weaknesses: none Player Comparisons Best-case scenario: Zack Greinke (LAD) Likely scenario: Yu Darvish (TEX), Tim Lincecum (SF), Yovani Gallardo (MIL) Worst-case scenario: Jeff Samardzija (CHC) Max Scherzer 2013 Fantasy Projection Due to his hard-throwing nature, I don’t think Scherzer will really ever develop into a big-time innings eater. For now it’s probably best to project him for around 195 innings, but with his prodigious strikeout rates that should be enough to help him top 200 Ks. Strikeouts are Scherzer’s main source of fantasy value, and because he strikes out so many batters he can be at least average in WHIP. Last year the high line drive rate elevated Scherzer’s opponents’ BABIP (.333) and batting average (.248), which inflated his WHIP to 1.27. If he can correct that line drive rate a little and maintain a high strikeout rate, he shouldn’t have a problem threatening a sub-.240 OBA, and that would likely yield a WHIP around 1.20 with a similar drop in ERA. Comerica Park is around league average in terms of homers, so it’s not that surprising that Scherzer’s HR/FB rate was just north of the league average. Should he get a little lucky there and see his HR/FB rate fall to 9-10%, he shouldn’t have much trouble dropping his ERA to something around his FIP, which we project at 3.44 this year. Detroit has a great offense, and that’ll only help Scherzer’s win total. In points leagues he’s someone I’d love to own. Tweet
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bryce Harper has great response to $400 million contract question

Cavs discussed three-team deal that would net them Melo

Celtics reportedly discussing Kevin Love trade

New York Giants to pursue Matt Forte?

Joe Mauer to try wearing sunglasses to improve pitch tracking

Charles Woodson joining ESPN's 'Sunday NFL Countdown' team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

A’s land Khris Davis from Brewers for prospects

Family of deceased Kyle Field construction worker awarded $53 million by jury

Chris Bosh to miss All-Star Game with calf injury, Al Horford to replace

NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports bringing sports betting in to the light

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia becomes first player ever banned by MLB for PEDs

Eight bold predictions for NBA All-Star Weekend

Why the Virginia Cavaliers are a National Championship contender

Cardiff City owner tells team to shoot more, because ugly men can marry beautiful women

Report: American Pharoah will make $35 million as stud in 2016

City hosts Tottenham in Valentine’s Day clash

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker