Max Scherzer has been almost exactly the same pitcher the last three years. He pitches around a 3.75 xFIP then fights Nazis in the offseason. (He sure is limber for being thousands of years old, made of mud and having two different color eyes!) I say almost because his strikeout rate fell a tad in 2011, but nothing that I’m worried about. His velocity was fully populated with speedballs. Gas at 93 MPH on average. Sometimes turning the heat up to 98 just to confuse thermometers. Three years under his belt and he’s going to be 27 years old for half the season. Don’t think we’ve seen the best of what Scherzer has to offer. Can you tell my excitement. I can’t even make complete sentences. What’s got me even more excited for 2012? He cut his walk rate last year. To borrow a yokelism that no one says, that was the big junebug in his bonnet and he eradimacated it. So what can we expect of Max Scherzer for 2012 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
He’s not a Nolasco or a Morrow. He doesn’t perpetually have an out-of-whack xFIP or FIP or OMUPS (Other Made Up Stat). In 2010 his ERA was actually better than his xFIP. Does this matter? I’m not sure it does, but it makes me feel a lot more confident knowing that he’s not cursed every year. As previously mentioned, his K-rate fell last year, but it looks like it was an anomaly rather than a trend. So a pitcher that is between 185 and 200 Ks a year that always has a 3.75ish xFIP is a solid number two. Hey, Grey, I’m flush with solid number twos! Thanks, Random Italicized Voice. Yes, a number two that gives you a 3.75 ERA isn’t Cy Young material, but a pitcher with Scherzer’s K upside can give you a 3.30 ERA with 200+ Ks. Now we’re in number one starter territory. I see his line at 14-8/3.70/1.30/195 with upside for more. (Bee tee dubya, we ARE putting aside that I call him a sleeper every year. Thanks for not mentioning that!) The only man that can beat The Detroit Golem? The Verlander!