Player Poll: Scherzer intimidating, Rendon underrated

Ben Krimmel
March 28, 2019 - 10:53 am
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He's intense. He's nasty. He strikes out 35 percent of all batters he faces.

That's Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer. He knows what he can do and those who dig into the box to face him do as well. 

For the second year running, MLB player's surveyed by The Athletic voted the Nationals' Opening Day starter the most intimidating pitcher in baseball.

"Mad Max" received 38.7 percent of the vote, improving his total from 2018 when he received 24.7 percent.

READ: Scherzer's goal remains the same: Win the World Series

Scherzer is looking to build off a 2018 season in which he posted an 18-7 record with a 2.53 ERA over 220 2/3 innings pitched while striking out 300. He finished second in the NL Cy Young race to his Opening Day opponent, Mets' Jacob deGrom.

But more impressive than the vote totals were the quotes, given anonymously, by Scherzer's opponents. 

"I would not want to face that guy."

“Just nasty. Nasty, nasty.”

“The motion, the way he gets after it. He’s got that game face.”

"I don’t think there are many of them left that will throw at you and don’t give a s---."

The Washington ace beat out the Red Sox's Chris Sale (18.5 percent) and Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman (11 percent). 

But Scherzer wasn't the only member of the Nats to take home a top honor, as Anthony Rendon was recognized as the most underrated player in baseball.

READ: Players vote Harper most overrated

In a tighter vote, Rendon won the category with 11.4 percent of the vote, beating out the Cardinals' Paul Goldschmidt (8.9 percent), the Rockies' DJ LeMahieu (5 percent), and Braves outfielder Nick Markakis (4.4 percent).

It is a bit of a mystery as to why Rendon has not garnered national recognition despite putting up stellar numbers. While injuries are a bit of a concern, Rendon has put up big numbers. Over the past two seasons, he has averaged 24 homers, 42 doubles, 96 RBIs and slashed .305/.389/.534 with a 138 OPS+.

Fortunately for him, his colleagues have taken note of his great production. One anonymous player said of Rendon, "Every time we play the Nationals, he makes every single play. I think he’s a superstar."

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