1. Clayton Kershaw
Photograph By AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
The three-time Cy Young Award winner -- who capped off another stellar regular season by becoming the first hurler in 13 years and the first Dodger in 49 years to strike out 300 batters in a season -- always seems to be on the mound for his team's defining moments. The fact that two of those moments ended in Kershaw walking off the Busch Stadium field as the losing pitcher in consecutive postseasons hasn't dimmed the Dodgers' confidence in their left-handed ace in big games. Kershaw, who is 1-5 with a 5.12 ERA in the postseason, responded to last season's disappointing end with another Cy Young-caliber regular season -- and he outdueled Madison Bumgarner to clinch the NL West on Sept. 30, throwing a one-hit shutout. Kershaw's dominant season certainly suggests he is building toward a dominant postseason -- and this could be the year he finally shines in October.