From the beginning, Ian Kennedy seemed destined for stardom.
Drafted in the first round of the 2006 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees, Kennedy stormed through the minor leagues, posting eye-popping numbers and showcasing his maturity and poise.
In 2007, he was called up when rosters expanded to 40 men, earning his official "cup of coffee" in the Bronx. From that point forward, his Yankees career was spotted with injuries, including bursitis and an aneurysm in his right armpit.
He had all the tools he needed to succeed, but never truly had the good luck or fortune to use them in New York for an extended period of time. The Yankees wanted Curtis Granderson, and they parted with Ian Kennedy as part of the deal.
Since arriving in Arizona, Kennedy has shown a lot of promise and potential. With the 2011 season, he has finally put it all together, becoming the ace of a Diamondbacks team that lacked star power in the starting rotation.
After last night's series finale against the San Francisco Giants, Kennedy has pushed his ERA below 3.00, settling at 2.98. He has struck out 85 batters, and averages almost seven innings an outing.
Kennedy has hit several career milestones this season, including his first career complete game (and complete game shutout) against the Philadelphia Phillies back in late April.
Diamondbacks fans can only hope that this is the beginning of a long, valuable tenure in the desert. If he keeps trending in the same fashion as the past year and a half, Kennedy will quickly become one of the more respected pitchers in the National League.