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  1. Great article. It is a shame he is stuck on the Divorce-Dodgers for the foreseeable future though.

    What was his ranking in the Trade Value series? I hope it was Top 5.

    Comment by Matty Brown — September 1, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  2. He’s pretty awesome.

    Comment by Tim — September 1, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  3. Why is it a shame? He should be on your favorite team instead?

    Comment by Shamus — September 1, 2011 @ 11:55 am

  4. Because he won’t be given a legitimate chance to compete for the time being, and quite possibly won’t be offered an appropriate contract by his first major league team. It essentially forces his hand to become a monetary or competitive mercentary

    Comment by Ben H — September 1, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  5. Because we won’t get to see him in the playoffs very often, that is why it is a shame. Better players deserve more exposure, and the playoffs allow that to happen.

    Comment by Cliff Lee's Changeup — September 1, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

  6. He’s got a good chance to be your Cy Young. Absolutely stunning that one of the bally-hooed Philly Big 3 didn’t runaway with it.

    Comment by Jon Bongiovi — September 1, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

  7. The Dodgers ownership situation will be settled before Kershaw is a free agent, and to say he won’t be payed appropriately is incorrect. He will go through the same arbitration process as every other arbitration eligible player.

    Yeah, it’s a bummer the Dodgers have a bad owner, but every team deserves to have a great player.

    Comment by Shamus — September 1, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

  8. You mean Big 4, right?

    Comment by AA — September 1, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

  9. He is a reminder that, for all of the much talked about busts, many of the top prospects turn into top players.

    Comment by Sitting Curveball — September 1, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  10. At 23 years old, Kershaw is an elite pitcher. He has also garnered plenty of recent support for the Cy Young Award, which seemed like Roy Halladay‘s to lose for most of the season.

    [1] Good point. The difference with Upton is that he had a monster age 20 season. Upton is viewed as kind of a disappoint since then … but then 2011 happened. Kershaw has been, surprisingly, under the radar. Kershaw and Verlander are two high strikeout guys that are figuring out how to reduce balls or increase command. A lot of MLB pitchers are pitching like MLB has just imposed new standards to deaden bats, if you’ll pardon the pun.

    [2] Since coming to the NL, doesn’t halladay start off every year as the default choice for NL CY? Before him, it was Lincecum’s to lose.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — September 1, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  11. “didn’t run away with”

    oh, so you’re from the future and know how the awards voting is going to go with a month-plus of regular season ball left?

    Comment by jim — September 1, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

  12. Just noticed Halladay’s FIP is 2.10. Snap!

    Comment by Matt Cain — September 1, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  13. One of the main reasons Kershaw’s under the radar isn’t the divorce, per se. It’s the fact that MLB and Selig does a horrible job at marketing players outside of the AL East and the Phillies. Pujols, Fielder, Strasburg, Joe Mauer, Lincecum, Brian Wilson are the only players off the top of my head that I see constantly getting love from most forms of the national media . Why not market around young players like Mike Stanton, Kershaw, Upton, etc? I know for a fact that Kershaw is a pretty charismatic guy.

    The other two main sports (NBA, NFL) do outstanding jobs are letting people know are the superstars of each team. Hell, you can make a case for the NHL marketing their players are favorably.

    Comment by Ed Ed and Eddy — September 1, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

  14. He’s got my vote for CY.

    Comment by cory — September 1, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

  15. I have to give Roy Halladay the edge in the Cy Young vote. My obvious Toronto bias not withstanding Doc pitches in a tougher park, probably tougher offensive division and IMO just slightly more impressive stats all things considered.

    Kershaw is the real deal, best lefty in the game but he does benefit a great deal from his home park and unsustainable HR suppression (though at some point it has to be viewed as a skill considering it has been career long). The NL West is filled with extreme pitchers park (San Fran, San Diego, LA) and some pretty awful lineups.

    The NL East isn’t MUCH better in terms of offensive talent (outside Philly of course) but it is a smidgen tougher.

    Neither is a poor choice, but Doc has the edge.

    Comment by tdotsports1 — September 1, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  16. I’ve gotta agree with you on the marketing of stars… I’m not into the NBA at all, but follow the NFL closely. The teams and players that get coverage in football are teams that win and players that put up big plays. The MLB only chases the big markets and the casual fans get sick of hearing about the Red Sox and the Yankees et al.

    Comment by Jake S — September 1, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

  17. Moved to LA many years ago and go to Chavez Ravine when I can (although not a Dodger fan). Kershaw has the best pure stuff I’ve seen in a long time. His late movement is violent. He’s one of the few pitchers that I rearrange my schedule to go see.

    Comment by FFFFan — September 1, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

  18. Seems to me that Halladay and his career-low 4.3% HR/FB ratio despite playing home games in a HR friendly park is the unsustainable rate, not Kershaw’s.

    Comment by Dave — September 1, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

  19. So glad you were here to point out his very minor incorrect-word-usage mistake. I couldn’t have enjoyed this article or his comment with out you!

    Comment by Ugh..Jim — September 2, 2011 @ 12:05 am

  20. That doesn’t matter because you don’t have a vote.

    Comment by Jeff — September 2, 2011 @ 12:06 am

  21. Kershaw is probably my third favorite pitcher to watch now, after Cliff Lee and Verlander. What is truly scary is that I think he still has some upside left, meaning he could eventually reach a Pedro or Maddux-like prime in a year or two.

    Comment by Phantom Stranger — September 2, 2011 @ 12:13 am

  22. He was #11 or 10, but he was the highest ranked pitcher.

    Comment by Bip — September 2, 2011 @ 2:59 am

  23. But he’s talking about as the season was happening. Halladay was clearly the best pitcher in the National League for a while. Kershaw was mediocre in April and some bad starts scattered since then. Going 11-2 in his last 13 start starts with a 1.18 ERA over his last 10 can change people’s perceptions though.

    Comment by Bip — September 2, 2011 @ 3:05 am

  24. I sure do not tire of “Clayton Kershaw is awesome” posts from fangraphs. [not sarcasm]

    Comment by Bip — September 2, 2011 @ 3:08 am

  25. While Halladay will finish off this season with a career-low HR/FB ratio, is that something that should be held against him while deciding post season awards? He is unlikely to sustain that ratio ever again (but then if Halladay never gave up a home run again, I wouldn’t be surprised at this point) but he still went an entire season with very few home runs. The same question could be asked for hitters as well. If somebody had a monster season hitting 100 pts higher than his career BABIP, should that be held against him?

    Comment by Kevin — September 2, 2011 @ 8:39 am

  26. Kershaw is like a little kid, he’s awesome to watch in the dugout. I’m with you, market the future with the guys you mentioned as well as maybe Jay Bruce, Tulo, Felix, etc… If they aren’t marketed how will non rabid baseball fans know who they are more than just some name.

    Comment by ivdown — September 2, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

  27. I’m with you 1000% :)

    Comment by ivdown — September 2, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

  28. Matt Kemp and Kershaw would pretty much cover the entire gamut of markets (black, white, pop star dating, descendent of great physicist, both are charismatic and well-spoken, hitter, pitcher, young, freakishly talented) and as a Red Sox fan I’d love any opportunity to be less annoying to the rest of the country. But I go to school in LA and whereas in Boston all our billboards have current players and the tagline “We’re all in”, in LA they only have nostalgia billboards from the 70s and 80s. I think they understand that the current generation of Los Angelinos could give a crap about much of anything but raves and weed, so they appeal to the heavy drinking baby boomers who still care. It’s sad to see dying baseball markets, especially when it comes at the detriment of young players who could be superstars.

    Comment by Desdroia — September 2, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

  29. Oh jeez. Amazing generalization and over-simplification of the demographic of the second most populated city in the US.

    Maybe if you ventured away from the westside or the valley you would have a different opinion.

    Comment by good Will hunting — September 2, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

  30. I live in downtown, my parents grew up in east la and next door to Chavez ravine and I go to the 2nd largest school in the city. I’ve been to numerous Angels and dodgers games, as well as games in cities with real baseball fanbases.
    So yeah, I’m generalizing, but that’s the point of sports teams: if you don’t support them, especially when you’re lucky enough to have one with a rich history and good young players, your city looks crappy.

    And if you think those are the only parts of the city where kids are like that you don’t know the city as well as you think.

    Comment by Desdroia — September 2, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

  31. agreed with Kevin, besides Halladay has never had a true outlier season in terms of luck (BABIP, HR/FB etc) he was due for a bit of luck.

    Comment by tdotsports1 — September 2, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

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