Breaking News just in to Dodgers Nation: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw is really good. Like, as in: really, really good. Okay, now that that breaking news is over with, let’s talk about how good he happens to be and where he ranks among the current crop of baseball players.
A little while ago, Jon Morosi, who is a baseball analyst for FOX Sports and MLB Network was on the radio and went through what he thought were his top ten players in the game. Naturally there were guys on that list that you’d expect. Kershaw is one of them, but where he was listed might be a surprise.
From MLB Network Radio’s official Twitter account (@MLBNetworkRadio):
.@jonmorosi's Top 10 players:
— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) February 22, 2016
First off, yes, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are the two best players in baseball. Partially because of their age, but mostly because they’re so frickin’ good. And then your eyes move a little bit above them and see Clayton Kershaw. This is a little shocking. But only because pitchers aren’t usually ranked that high.
Kershaw’s coming off of a season where he finished with a 2.13 ERA in 232.2 innings while striking out a league-high 301 batters. And all that was good for was a Cy Young Award finish of third. Over the last five years, he’s averaged a 2.11 ERA and 250 strikeouts in 226.0 innings per season. Seems decent.
After taking all of that into consideration, including his age since he’s still only about to be 28 years old, you can understand why he was put into one of the top three slots. In fact, he’s only one of two pitchers to even show up on the list at all. The other being Washington Nationals hurler Max Scherzer.
Also, look at how highly ranked Carlos Correa is after just one season. He’s eighth. There might be a possibility of Corey Seager cracking the top ten by this time next season if he has a Correa-esque 2016. But that’s all in due time. For now, enjoy Kershaw being one of the top players in the game. Not just pitchers, but players.