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Shane McClanahan is the most under-the-radar pitcher in MLB

Shane
(CHARLES REX ARBOGAST / Associated Press)

Shane McClanahan is the most under-the-radar pitcher in MLB

The 2022 All-Star Game was a fun one. As always, it displayed the best of the American and National Leagues going head-to-head. Under the warm sun of Los Angeles, two pitchers took the mound as respected starters. The first was surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw. The second was Shane McClanahan.

The baseball world wasn’t exactly familiar with Rays’ left-hander McClanahan. After all, he’d only been in the big leagues since the 2020 Postseason. Yet Dusty Baker gave him the mighty task of being the American League starter for the All-Star Game. Luckily All-Star games don’t matter, as he gave up two earned runs.

Other than that blemish, McClanahan is one of the premier pitchers in the American League. As of Sept. 28, he is 12-7 with a 2.51 ERA. He also has 192 strikeouts and an astounding 0.917 WHIP. His ERA is fourth in the AL and second in WHIP.

McClanahan sadly will probably miss out on his first Cy Young award. Astros pitcher Justin Verlander is continuing on with his late career resurgence and leads in most categories.

This doesn’t take away what McClanahan has been able to do, however. He is only 25 years old and the ace of a team that’s looking to make a deep postseason run once again.

It’s even crazier that McClanahan was an afterthought in the draft, essentially. He was selected by the Mets in the 26th round of the 2015 draft. McClanahan chose not to sign, instead going to school. He was drafted again in by the Rays in 2018, but this time in the first round.

I have high hopes for this young lefty. He could really be one of the best starting pitchers for the next ten years. He deserves more recognition, as does his team as a whole.

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