Brett Anderson played with Clayton Kershaw ‘before he was Clayton Kershaw.’

Clayton KershawBrett AndersonWhen they were still in high school, Dodgers pitchers Brett Anderson and Clayton Kershaw played for the 18-and-under national team. It was quite a roster — former Dodgers pitcher Shawn Tolleson was on it, too.

So when the Dodgers signed Anderson in December to a one-year contract, it reunited two pitchers who grew up about five hours apart (Anderson in Stillwater, Oklahoma; Kershaw in Dallas).

Wednesday, speaking on a conference call with reporters, Anderson flashed back to the summer of 2005.

“It was kind of right before he became Clayton Kershaw,” Anderson said. “He had some hype. That summer between his junior and senior year, he had a tremendous arm. He flipped that switch. Next thing you know, he’s the Clayton Kershaw we all know now.

“I think he was the third or fourth starter on our 18-under team. Next thing you know, he’s the biggest left-handed prospect in the country. Now he’s arguably the best pitcher in the last decade or so.”

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.