With the first half of the season in the books, the Los Angeles Dodgers have managed to keep hold of first place in the National League West despite many injuries to key contributors.
Included in that are Adrian Gonzalez and Clayton Kershaw. While both players have excelled on the field, they’re also among the leaders in jersey sales. Major League Baseball recently announced the list of players whose jerseys were the top sellers, which includes Kershaw at fourth and Gonzalez 20th:
At age 27, Kershaw has already won three Cy young awards and one MVP, and currently has a scoreless streak of 29 innings. Through four July starts this season, he’s tossed 33 innings and allowed just one run on 19 hits, while issuing just two walks. Kershaw has lowered his ERA from 3.20 to 2.51 in the process and it’s clear that he’s found the rhythm he had for much of last season
Gonzalez started the season extremely hot. Although he cooled down in the month of June where he slashed .248/.320/.381, the month of July has been kind to the first baseman as he’s batting .313/.362/.703with eight home runs and 12 RBIs.
Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs, ranked second in jersey sales, is the highest ranking rookie since the MLB players association began releasing numbers in 2010.
While these numbers may show how popular a player is, it doesn’t necessarily represent how well said player has done over the course of the season. Kershaw ranks second in WAR among all starters just in front of Corey Kluber, who is not in the top 20.
Kershaw also leads all starters with 11.89 strikeouts per nine innings, nearly three points higher than Madison Bumgarner, who has the highest number of jerseys sold. Additionally, absent from the list is Zack Greinke, arguably the best pitcher this season.