In a recent article on MLB.com, reporter Will Leitch identified a current player from each club most likely to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. While he iterated that his list doesn’t exactly mean he thinks they are a lock for Cooperstown, he is simply giving each team’s next best shot.
While the list contains ten or so players that could likely head into the Hall once they hang up their spikes, two or three are virtual locks: Anaheim’s Mike Trout, perhaps Washington’s Max Scherzer…
And guaranteed Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw as a lock future Hall of Famer. So much so the author didn't even bother to explain why. You love to see it.https://t.co/JmsZoFIWQH
— Clint Pasillas (FRG) (@realFRG) December 29, 2019
Leitch didn’t even have to explain why he sees Kershaw as a lock — he had paragraphs listing almost every other player’s resumes — For Kershaw, the author simply said, “he’s almost certainly already in.”
The body of work from the long-time Dodger ace certainly speaks for itself. Through 12 major league seasons, he leads all active major leaguers in ERA (2.44), winning percentage (.695), shutouts (15), WHIP (1.008), hits per nine innings pitched (6.8), and home runs per nine innings pitched (0.7).
In addition, Kershaw has eight All-Star selections, three Cy Young awards, a National League MVP, a Gold Glove, and Major League Player of the Year award all next to his name. Plus he’s a five-time ERA champ and has earned the pitcher Triple Crown.
Baseball-Reference has a few different statistics they keep for predicting future Hall of Famers. Notably the black ink test, gray ink test, and the Hall of Fame monitor, with test having an average score for the average Hall of Famer. For the black ink test, Kershaw scores a 65, above the average of 40. While he’s just below the average score of 185 for the gray ink test with 174, he blows away the next one.
The Hall of Fame monitor regards a player whose score is 100 to have a “good shot” at the Hall of Fame while a 130 indicates a “virtual clinch.” Kershaw’s Hall of Fame monitor score is 186.
Fault his postseason appearances all you want, but that doesn’t take away from the dominance that we have seen Kershaw display throughout his career, one that is rarely seen.