So far, this year, Matt Kemp is the Dodger’s MVP! That’s quite a redemption for a player nobody wanted… who was supposed to just be a salary dump. Not many people even expected him to make the team this season. If the Dodgers couldn’t trade him (they couldn’t), it was expected that he would be DFA’ed (he wasn’t). I expected it and ever predicted it, not because I am clairevoyant, just because I know Matt Kemp a little bit. It’s no secret that I thought during Matt Kemp’s first tour with the Dodgers that he was an immature, moody brat (I am being kind), but it’s also no secret that Matt Kemp LOVED, I mean REALLY LOVED being a Dodger.
I believed that he would re-double his efforts and make the team… in fact I expected him to do well… maybe not this well. I had no idea he would lose 40 pounds and show up in the best shape of his life. What has not surprised me is that during Matt Kemp’ second tour with the Dodgers he has matured and is, by all accounts, a great teammate. Old Man Kemp is his new persona as he has grown out of that moody brat stage. Look at his stats:
- 151 AB
- 51 Hits
- .338 BA
- 6 HR
- 25 RBI
- .370 OB%
- .536 SLG%
- .907 OB%
- 1.3 WAR
If he keeps it up, Matt Kemp could well be the starting left fielder in the All-Star Game. Cody Bellinger will heat back up as he adjusts to how they are pitching him and Kemp will hit more HR going forward, but what is most encouraging is that Matt is taking what they are giving him and hitting it where it is pitched. Young Dodgers take note!
Do you think the Dodgers would trade Matt Kemp now? Hell no! They are hoping that he has one more year of this. He’s still only 33 – he will be 34 next year. He should have something left in the tank… especially if he continues to train and eat less, like he apparently has. He has also played over 150 games seven times. In 2016 he played in 156 games, so if you are counting on him being injured… that is not historically what has happened. Right about now, Matt Kemp has went from the Outhouse to the Penthouse and I love a good redemption story. Unlike in Tour 1, I am now a big Matt Kemp fan. Even his defense has improved – he’s not a Gold Glover, but he won’t embarrass you either. That’s all you can ask. After another year of this, Matt Kemp might be mentioned in the same breath as other Dodger greats!
Give Credit Where It Is Due
- Ross “Dodger Ace” Stripling!!!! Can he keep it up? He’s in a groove!
- Kenley is back to 100% Kenley!
- Don’t look now, but Chris Taylor’s OB% is up to .329 and climbing… ande he is tied for 14th in runs scored in MLB.
- That horrid Pedro Baez has a terrible 3.52 ERA which is great compared to Dylan Betances (4.71), Andrew Miller (4.40), Ryan Madson (4.15), Alex Colome (4.15 – still want him?) and a bunch of other relievers.
- Kike with another HR – all his hits are of the extra-base variety!
- Daniel Hudson has to go down… Please!
- The Dodger starters are 4th in team ERAWITHOUTKershaw, Hill and Ryu, right now. Depth? Nahhhh… just blind luck is what many will say.
- The relievers have a ways to go, but are up from 29th to 17th.
- I still think the Dodgers need another bat to make up for Corey’s absence!
- Still 3.5 games back, but edging closer to .500.