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Clayton Kershaw was a bit more pudgy as a high school freshman, played center, snapped the ball to Matthew Stafford.
Actually, it’s Kershaw v. Josh Johnson tonight.
Interestingly, Dave Cameron at Fangraphs rates Marlin ace Josh Johnson at no. 30 in trade value and Kershaw at no. 29, and Chad Billingsley at 28:
#30: Josh Johnson, RHP, Florida: 3.4 WAR
…The strikeouts and groundballs skillset is an ace package, and Johnson throws strikes too. His present value is extremely high, though health concerns and the fact that he’s a free agent after 2011 make this the highest he’ll ever rank. Still, a 25-year-old ace making $1.4 million this year? …
#29: Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles: 1.9 WAR
Kershaw’s stuff is so good that even with well below average command at age 21, he’s still a good major league pitcher. He’s certainly still a work in progress, but there’s enough present value, combined with his enormous potential, to place him here during his pre-arb years.
#28: Chad Billingsley, RHP, Los Angeles: 2.4 WAR
Here, we start to get into the list of guys who just aren’t going to get traded. The Dodgers aren’t giving up their ace – he’s 24, he’s a frontline starter who they have under club control through 2012, and even with his arbitration reward coming, he’ll be vastly underpaid the next few years. Like Kershaw, he could stand to throw a few more strikes, but that’s just nit-picking.