During a spring training session, ESPN broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe asked Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax, ‘how good is Clayton Kershaw?’ He paused, then watched Kershaw deliver his next pitch to home plate. The former 3x Cy Young Award winner looked back at Sutcliffe and replied, ‘honestly, when it’s all said and done, I just hope they mention me in the same breath as him’. Lofty praise indeed from a man many consider to be the greatest pitcher of all time. However, at closer inspection, his statements may not be that far off.
Selected 7th overall in the 2006 MLB Draft, and now in his 10th big league season, the Texas native has done nothing but produce the greatest start to a career of any pitcher in history. His pitching repertoire features a 4-seam fastball, slider, changeup and 12’6 curveball which legendary broadcaster Vince Scully named ‘public enemy no.1’. He possesses the lowest ERA and 2nd lowest WHIP in the history of the sport since the live ball era (1920). Like his idol Koufax, he has also won 3 Cy Young Awards as well as the 2014 NL MVP. Since 2011, Kershaw has proceeded to dominate the game of baseball in ways mere mortals could only dream of. And the scariest thing is… he’s still only 29.