Even with an early season breakdown against the Arizona Diamondbacks and two disappointing outings during the NLDS, Clayton Kershaw enjoyed a season for the ages during 2014.
For his efforts, Kershaw has already collected numerous awards and accolades from a variety of outlets including Baseball America, FanGraphs, and Sporting News. Baseball Prospectus released their 2014 Internet Baseball Award Winners Friday with Kershaw taking NL Pitcher and Player of the Year to add to his already impressive collection and the publication had this to say:
It’s not often that pitchers win MVPs, and while Kershaw is poised to do so this year, he’s already won MVP in our minds and souls.
Kershaw beat out Andrew McCutchen and Giancarlo Stanton with 300 first-place votes to earn Player of the Year honors. As for Pitcher of the Year, there was no competition as Kershaw took 504 of the first-place votes to run away with the award.
Despite missing the first month of the year with a shoulder inflammation, Kershaw led the Majors while also reaching new career bests in wins (21), ERA (1.77), WHIP (0.857) and complete games (six).
The 2014 season also marks the fourth straight year Kershaw held the lowest ERA in the Majors, which is the first time a pitcher has accomplished the feat. To cap off his season accomplishments, Kershaw threw his first career no-hitter during a June matchup with the Colorado Rockies, which was a Hanley Ramirez error from being a perfect game.
On Tuesday, Kershaw was announced as a finalist for the NL Cy Young and MVP award, both of which he is widely considered the frontrunner to win. In doing so, he would take home his third Cy Young in the last four years as well as becoming the first pitcher to claim the NL MVP since St. Louis Cardinal Bob Gibson did so in 1968.
Major League Baseball will be announce the Cy Young winners Nov. 12 with MVP winners set to be revealed the following day.