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Clayton Kershaw

A photo of Clayton Kershaw.

Clayton Edward Kershaw (born March 19, 1988, in Dallas, Texas) is a 6' 3", 210 lbs., left-handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is the great-nephew of astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of Pluto.[1]

Early life[]

Kershaw attended Highland Park High School, where he established himself as an elite high school prospect in 2006 when he posted a 13-0 record with an ERA of 0.77, and recorded 139 strikeouts in 64 innings. In a playoff game against Arlington Martin High School, Kershaw pitched an all-strikeout perfect game. He was selected by USA Today as "High School Baseball Player of the Year" and was also the Gatorade National Player of the Year for baseball.

Entering the 2006 MLB Draft, Kershaw was considered the top high-schooler available. The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Kershaw with the 7th overall pick in the draft. He turned down a scholarship at Texas A&M to sign with the Dodgers, with a bonus estimated at $2.3 million.

Minor league career[]

Kershaw continued to show dominance with the Gulf Coast League Dodgers. He pitched in 37 innings in which he struck out 54 batters (walking only 5), while compiling a record of 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA. He featured a 93-94 mph fastball (topping out at 96 mph). He was rated as the No.1 prospect in the GCL and the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect by Baseball America.

In two starts in 2006, he fanned 21 batters in 11 innings from 7/29-8/3.

In 2007, for the Great Lakes Loons, Kershaw recorded a record of 7-5 with a 2.77 earned run average and was selected to play on the East Team in the 2007 Midwest League All Star Game. He also was selected to appear in the All-Star Futures Game for the USA Team.

On August 6, he was promoted to the Double-A Jacksonville Suns[2] where he produced a 1-2 record and 3.65 ERA in 5 starts.

Kershaw entered the 2007 season as the top prospect in the Dodgers' system according to Baseball America.

During spring training in a game against the Boston Red Sox, Kershaw gained much attention for throwing a remarkable 1:7 curveball to Sean Casey that started behind Casey but at the end looped into the strike zone and struck him out looking, which announcer Vin Scully dubbed "Public Enemy No. 1." [3] Kershaw was 0-3 and had a 2.28 ERA with 47 strikeouts through 43.1 innings pitched in his first stint of the year with the Jacksonville Suns in the Southern League. He was then called up to the majors, but optioned back to Jacksonville on July 2, 2008.

Kershaw pitched 18 innings during his second trip to Jacksonville (two starts and one 7-inning relief appearance), winning two games. During this stretch, he allowed only 2 runs earned runs, lowering his ERA to 1.91. He was recalled on July 22.

Major league career[]

On May 24, 2008, Kershaw's minor league contract was purchased by the Dodgers, and he was added to the active roster. He made his debut on May 25, starting against the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched six innings, allowed two runs and recorded seven strikeouts. When he debuted, Kershaw was the youngest player in Major League Baseball,a title he held for one full year.

Kershaw won his first major league game against the Washington Nationals on July 27, 2008. He pitched six-plus shutout innings, allowing four hits, a walk, and struck out five.

On April 15, 2009, Kershaw pitched 7 innings, striking out 13 batters while allowing only one hit (solo HR) against the rival San Francisco Giants. On May 17, 2009, Kershaw had a no-hitter against the Florida Marlins through 7 innings, then gave up a lead-off double to Florida's Cody Ross.

In 2009, despite an 8-8 record, he led the major leagues in opposing batting average (.200), opposing slugging percentage (.282), and hits per nine innings (6.26). He also posted an ERA of 2.79 and 185 strikeouts.

Scouting report[]

According to the 2008 Baseball America Prospect Handbook, Kershaw's fastball now sits comfortably in the mid 90s and he often mixes in a 71-77 MPH curveball, with a hard 1-to-7 trajectory (from hitter's perspective). He is developing a circle-change that is considered to have "plus" potential, and recently introduced a low 80's Slider to compliment his Curve. Kershaw has very clean mechanics and a power pitcher frame, without any history of arm trouble.

See also[]

  • USA Today All-USA high school baseball team


  1. Kershaw, Clayton (2009-12-22). Chat with Clayton Kershaw. Retrieved on 2009-12-22.
  2. Hasty, Dan (2007-08-06). Clayton Kershaw Promoted To Double-A Jacksonville. Retrieved on 2008-11-25.
  3. Passan, Jeff (2008-05-14). Clayton Kershaw’s great expectations. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved on 2008-11-25.

External links[]

Preceded by:
Justin Upton
Youngest Player in the
National League

Succeeded by:
Fernando Martínez
Preceded by:
Cameron Maybin
Midwest League Prospect of the Year
Succeeded by:
Ben Revere