In the first round of the 2006 Amateur Player Draft, the Los Angeles Dodger selected an 18-year-old pitcher who had just graduated from Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas. While expectations are typically set high for first-round draft picks, this pitcher may have exceeded those expectations and has become one of the best players in the game.
The player, of course is Clayton Kershaw. Last year he arguably had one of the best seasons from a pitcher in MLB history. Since removed from winning the National League Cy Young and MVP awards, Kershaw has been nominated for the Best MLB Player award at the ESPYs.
The 27 year old faces some stiff competition, as 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Cluber, 2014 AL MVP Mike Trout, and last season’s NL home run leader Giancarlo Stanton are also nominated.
With a 1.77 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in 2014, Kershaw seemed to dominate every team he pitched against. He was nominated for the best MLB player award in 2014 as well, but lost to Miguel Cabrera, who nearly won the Triple Crown.
Kershaw highlighted his 2014 season by throwing his first career no-hitter, which was arguably the most dominant pitching performance in baseball history, which had a 102 gamescore. If not for a Hanley Ramirez error, Kershaw would’ve thrown a perfect game.
As great as Kershaw was in the regular season, he was unable to bottle it up and replicate the success in October. The St. Louis Cardinals once again proved to be his and the Dodgers’ postseason nemesis as they eliminated Los Angeles in the NL Division Series.
Voting ends on July 15 at 8 p.m. ET. Cast your votes HERE.