In his first four seasons, Clayton Kershaw followed all of the right trends right to his first Cy Young Award. He kept his strikeout rate consistent while improving his walk rate by over one walk per nine innings each season. He also started lasting longer in games, which helped him go from eight wins to 13 and finally 21 last year. He’s the man with the best slider in baseball (22.9 runs above average) and he’s only 24 so while it’s hard to imagine him getting any better, his 2.47 FIP shows that he should be a top pitcher for years to come.
Best case scenario: Top-five pitcherSimilar players: Roy Halladay (PHI), Cliff Lee (PHI), Justin Verlander (DET)Worst case scenario: CC Sabathia (NYY)
Strikeouts, control, home park. Kershaw’s improvement with his control has been amazing to say the least. He walked 13.0 percent of batters in 2009, but has cut that down to five percent last year. Also, Dodger Stadium is known to be a pitcher-friendly environment and Kershaw’s numbe...