Corey Kluber, Stetson University
Four years into his major league career, Kluber's story is one of making the most of his opportunities. Since 2013 he has entrenched himself as an ace in the Cleveland Indians' starting rotation, but his star began to shine at Stetson.
Primarily used as a reliever in 2005, Kluber moved into the Hatters' rotation in '06 and posted a 6-5 record with a 3.61 ERA in 14 starts. He became a star in 2007, earning A-Sun Pitcher of the Year honors after posting a 12-2 record with a sparkling 2.05 ERA in 17 starts. Three times that year he was named A-Sun Pitcher of the Week and, at the end of the year, he was a first team All-Conference selection in addition to earning second team All-Region from the ABCA and second team All-America from Collegiate Baseball. His 117 strikeouts in 2007 still stand as the fifth most in a season in Stetson history.
After the San Diego Padres used a fourth-round draft pick on Kluber in 2007, he perfected his craft in the minor leagues for three years until a trade to the Cleveland Indians in 2010 led to his MLB debut on Sept. 1, 2011. Once he arrived in the big leagues for good in 2013, Kluber has continued to capitalize on his opportunities. In 2013 he posted an 11-5 record with a 3.85 ERA in 24 starts, then followed up in 2014 with an 18-9 record, three complete game performances, a 2.44 ERA, 269 strikeouts, the most wins in the American League and the American League Cy Young Award.
This season "KluBot" has 9 wins and 245 strikeouts, including a career-high of 18 in his first win of 2015, an eight-inning shutout effort that tied Bob Feller's 77-year-old franchise mark for strikeouts in one game set in 1938. His 245 K's also place him in the Top 5 among all pitchers in MLB in strikeouts this season.