Dodger Of The Month: Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Edward Kershaw was born March 19, 1988, in Dallas, Texas. Kershaw attended Highland Park High School , establishing himself as an elite high school pitcher in 2006 when he posted a 13-0 record with an ERA of 0.77, and recorded 139 strikeouts in 64 innings.
During a playoff game, Kershaw pitched his first all-strikeout perfect game against Arlington Martin High School. He was named “High School Baseball Player of the Year” by USA Today and was also named National Player of the Year by Gatorade.
As he entered the 2006 MLB Draft, Kershaw was the top high school prospect available. Turning down a scholarship at Texas A&M, the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Kershaw with the 7th overall pick in the Draft, with a bonus estimated at $2.3 million.
Continuing to show dominance for the Gulf Coast League Dodgers, Kershaw pitched 37 innings, striking out 54 batters, while accumulating a 2-0 record and an ERA of 1.95. He was rated as the number one prospect in the Gulf Coast League and the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect by Baseball America.
After a few stints in the minor leagues (Great Lakes Loons, Jacksonville Suns), Kershaw entered the 2007 season as the number one prospect in the Dodgers’ farm system.
On May 24, 2008 the Dodgers bought Kershaw’s minor league contract and he was instantly 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. 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, ending with six plus shut out innings and allowing four hits, five strikeouts and a walk.
Clayton Kershaw helped the Dodgers reach the National League Championship Series in 2008 and 2009. Kershaw is now the Dodgers ace and is having a very successful year.