Can Max Scherzer Be Elite?

Apr 7, 2012


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Max Scherzer went 15-9 last year with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He collected 174 strikeouts. He has the ability to put up better numbers this year, but can he be elite?
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Prior to last year, the only time Scherzer’s ERA has been above 4.00 in his professional careerw as 2009 for the Diamondbacks.
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Part of the problem came in the form of the longball, as he yielded a career high 29 deep shots. Most of the damage came on the road as he allowed 11 home runs in 18 home starts and 18 home runs in 15 road starts. His ERA (3.80 at home, 5.23 on the road) was affected by that fact.
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Interesting enough he pitched better in the second half (4.09 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, .263 BAA) than the first half (4.69, 1.44, .279), but had more success in the first half (10-4 compared to 5-5 record).
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Scherzer was 8-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 16 starts against the AL Central. On paper the Indians, Royals, Twins, and White Sox do not provide an intimidating presence, and continued success remains a strong likelihood.
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Scherzer has an Mock Draft Central ADP of 147, which puts him in the 13th round of 12-team drafts. He’s the 43rd pitcher to come off the board making him a fourth starting pitcher.
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He needs to improve his strikeout percentage, which was a career low 20.9 percent last year and keep more balls in the yard. I don’t think he’ll be an elite starting pitching option, but he top 25 option.
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He starts off against Boston, who bombed him for seven runs in two innings last year, so temper your expectations early on, but he should be a solid SP3 with SP2 upside.
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