After missing over one month of the regular season, Clayton Kershaw pitched his way to one of the more impressive seasons in MLB history. Kershaw’s season led to the expectation he would not only win the NL Cy Young Award, but also contend for NL MVP.
While his history of struggling against the St. Louis Cardinals in the postseason reared its ugly head, the ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff has been rewarded for his regular season performance. Kershaw was named the Player of the Year by Baseball America and Sporting News, and he made the Sporting News 2014 All-Star team.
On Monday, the southpaw collected another honor as he was named FanGraphs Player of the Year ahead of Mike Trout. FanGraphs assembled a 10-person panel and had an 11th ballot determined by voters from their readers. Dave Cameron summed up Kershaw’s 2014 season:
Based on the results of the voting, we are proud to honor Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw as the inaugural winner of the FanGraphs Player of the Year Award. Congratulations to the best pitcher in baseball for having his best season yet, and one of the best pitching seasons in baseball history, even while missing the first month of the season. Kershaw finished at the top of six of the 11 ballots, and finished second in the five ballots in which he didn’t claim the top spot. His average score of 77.3 was the highest mark as well, and he received the highest individual score of any player on any ballot, with Jeff Sullivan crediting him with a grade of 90.
Below is a breakdown of the voting:
This marks the third time Kershaw has essentially beat Mike Trout for a Player of the Year honor; Trout held a two-year run as the game’s top player in the eyes of Baseball America. Kershaw led the Majors in wins, ERA, WHIP and WAR.