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Clayton Kershaw’s decade to remember

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Kershaw leads all pitchers in FanGraphs WAR over the last 10 seasons

90th MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

We have another way to view Clayton Kershaw as arguably the best pitcher so far this century, and how his career to date compares to some of the all-time greats in baseball history.

Kershaw had a 3.03 ERA and 3.86 FIP in 178 innings in 2019, producing 3.4 Wins Above Replacement on FanGraphs. It was his 11th straight season of at least 3.3 fWAR, and his 59.1 fWAR over the last 10 seasons leads all pitchers in the majors.

He also led baseball in fWAR over the 10-year period from 2009-18, as well as the 10-year runs ending in 2017 and 2016 as well. As Craig Edwards at FanGraphs notes, that’s quite rare:

Since 1909, only 30 pitchers have ended a season as the game’s 10-year WAR leader. Only eight have more than Kershaw’s four seasons as 10-year WAR leader and only Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens have more than Kershaw over the last 60 years.

Kershaw’s best 10-year period by fWAR was 2009-18, at 59.8, the best 10-year run dating back to 2001. For comparison, Kershaw’s WAR per Baseball-Reference over that time was 60.7.

Edwards noted that Kershaw is very likely to add a fifth 10-year-period lead in 2020 — Kershaw is at 54.5 fWAR from 2011-19, with Max Scherzer at 50.9 — and would need to be a couple wins better than Scherzer the next two years to keep that going to 2021 and beyond.

From a Dodgers standpoint, Kershaw (64.5) narrowly passed Don Sutton (64.4) in fWAR for the all-time franchise lead. That also leads overall, with Duke Snider (63.4) tops among position players.

Kershaw also leads all-time Dodgers pitchers with 65.3 Baseball-Reference WAR, though he trails Pee Wee Reese (68.2) and Snider (65.4) overall.

Links

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“We are trying to help some people,” said Jarrin who has been a spokesman for Los Defensores for over 30 years. “We’re going to take advantage of our relationship with Los Defensores and their desire to help.”

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