As good as Clayton Kershaw was on Sunday in Miami, Joe Torre had to be sweating bullets. How do you take out your prized 21-year-old when he has a no-hitter going? Kershaw throwing 108 pitches in the first seven innings …. An average of 15 pitches an inning. If he keeps his no-hitter alive … do you keep Kershaw in for could have been a 138-pitch complete game?
Going back to the 2006 Draft …. Kershaw right now is clearly the third best player from that draft class in the big leagues. Evan Longoria (3rd overall pick) and Tim Lincecum (10th) are ahead of Kershaw. Maybe you can make the argument that Joba Chamberlain (41st) is in the conversation. But that’s it. The big difference? The Dodgers drafted Kershaw out of Highland Park HS in Dallas while Longoria, Lincecum and Chamberlain were drafted after college careers. As you probably know, high school picks are always a riskier proposition than college players with at least three years more playing experience. The Dodgers did their due diligence, took a chance and right now, things looking great.
Just asking, but is there another team in baseball that has two young pitchers (25 and younger) that have higher ceilings than Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw?
It’s really early … exceedingly early. But could Kershaw and Billingsley be a “poor man’s” version of Koufax and Drysdale? Kershaw and Koufax … electric lefties with big fastballs and dynamic curves. Billingsley and Drysdale … bulldog righties with moving fastballs and championship-level stamina.
On a side note, I just polished off Jon Weisman’s 100 Things Dodgers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. If there is a more erudite fan than Weisman I’d love to meet them. I think Weisman is in Manny Mota territory as a unique Dodger treasure.
The Marlins are moving into a new retractable-roof stadium in 2012. I hope that solves their attendance problems. I’m not sold that it will.
And yes, I’m the one who spent 20 minutes of my life researching how many Eric’s have played for the Dodgers (Eric Milton makes 9). But it was Dodger PR maven Josh Rawitch who came up with the number of Juan’s in Dodger history (5) Forty percent of the Juan’s (Pierre and Castro) in the line-up Sunday.
Too bad there haven’t been 10 Eric’s. Eric Stuckenschneider, a Dodger farmhand in the 90’s. If he had made it to the big leagues he would’ve had the longest name in MLB history. Stuckenschneider and his 16 letters stalling at Triple-A Albuquerque in 1998. He would’ve put Jarrod Saltalamacchia to shame.
And finally, shake hands with Juan Pierre at your own risk. He’s scalding hot. Eight hits in the last 22 innings that the Dodgers played in Miami. Good for him and good for the Dodgers.
Handing the reins back to the greatest that ever lived. Thanks for reading.
— Eric Collins