Originally written 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

Anthony Davis wants gold medal more than NBA MVP

Report: Ronda Rousey’s last fight topped 900,000 PPV buys

Rose issues statement denying sexual assault allegations

Giants’ rookie Tomlinson blasts a grand slam for first MLB home run

Coughlin treats training camp-weary Giants to ‘spa day’

Wilson: Comments about miracle water ‘perceived wrong’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ryan Mallett missed Texans practice after oversleeping

Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case

Martavis Bryant reportedly failed multiple marijuana tests

Mortensen: Krafts called me to apologize amid Deflategate drama

Packers smart to sit Aaron Rodgers for rest of preseason

Is Rich Paul steering Tristan Thompson towards Toronto?

John Elway talks up Colin Kaepernick: ‘I’ve always liked Colin’

Enrique Hernandez falls down trying to hit Aroldis Chapman pitch

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

WATCH: McElwain surprises six players with scholarships

LeBron James gives shout out to writer recovering from surgery

Frank Gore calls Andrew Luck ‘football God’

Eddie Royal joins the list of injured Bears receivers

Terry Stotts, Damian Lillard and the shapeless Trail Blazers

Jim Harbaugh thought phone call from Michael Jordan was a prank

The Buffalo Sabres have a 96% season ticket renewal rate

Karl-Anthony Towns is perfect for today's NBA

Serena’s grand slam bid prompts sell out of women’s US Open final

The Opening Drive: Utah alum Jordan Gross is fed up with the HarBros

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

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case

Packers smart to sit Rodgers for rest of preseason

Towns is perfect for today's NBA

The Opening Drive: Utah alum Jordan Gross is fed up with the HarBros

Five greatest NBAers without a ring

Exactly how bad is the NL East?

Five potential college football Week 1 shockers

Top 10 storylines for Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Wilson’s ‘Recovery Water’ plug sends the wrong message

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