If today’s three-team blockbuster between the Tigers, Diamondbacks and Yankees is confirmed, a pair of very live arms are Motown bound. Max Scherzer, a 25-year-old right-hander, was taken by Arizona as the 11th overall pick in the 2006 draft. Daniel Schlereth, a 23-year-old left-hander, was the 26th overall pick in 2008. Each possesses a high ceiling, and few people have a better understanding of their potential than D-Backs manager A.J. Hinch, who served as the organization’s Director of Player Development prior to this past May. Hinch wasn’t willing to discuss the rumored deal when he met with the media earlier this afternoon, but he was willing to weigh in on the development of the two young pitchers.
Hinch Max Scherzer: “Max’s progression is…he’s good. Starting off in the bullpen, when he first got to the big leagues, and getting through that year — then, this past year, he got up to 170 innings, and for a young starter, that was a nice leap for him. We had tried really hard to get him to his innings total. The year before, we sent him to the Arizona Fall League to increase his innings total. So, he went from somewhere in the 130s to 170 last year, and had a very good year. If you toss out a start or two that imploded on him, he was a bonafide guy for us. We like him. He’s a guy that has room to grow, and he took some steps forward this year.”
Hinch on what Scherzer needs to do to take that next step: “I think he’s always worked on a third pitch; he’s always worked on incorporating secondary stuff and being able to utilize that as a full, three-or-four-times-through-the-order starter. Being able to pitch deeper into games is important for him as a next step, and we think he’s going to do that. He’s a hard worker who has some competitiveness to him. He’s a good, young starting pitcher in the big leagues.”
Hinch on Daniel Schlereth: “Schlereth has had a pretty rapid rise through the minors. He’s got some plus stuff that he’s shown in flashes when he got his big league opportunity. He didn’t have a ton of experience through the minor leagues, but in the short time we saw him in the big leagues, he was effective at times. He also struggled at times, which was really based on command. Obviously, as a power-pitching lefty, you usually get quite a few command issues at times, but you also get some strikeouts and swings and misses. There’s a lot to like there.”