Matt Kemp began his Major League baseball career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006 at the age of 21. He’s back in Dodger blue fourteen seasons later at 33 years young. According to MLB.com he’s about to be voted in to the National League outfield and go to his third All Star Game this year. Kemp has been very cat-like living several lives during his Major League career but this life seems to be treating him well.
I remember the first time I saw him play left field for the Dodgers his rookie year in 2006. The Dodgers were playing at Coors Field and it was easy to see that Kemp was the most athletic player on the field. Even with his size he was quick to the ball in the outfield and you could tell he had pop at the plate. You could tell he was going to do well in the game. There was a lot of hype surrounding him as an up and coming young outfielder and at the time that hype was real.
2 All Star Game Appearances
2 Silver Sluggers
2 Gold Gloves
2nd place in National League MVP voting in 2011
According to MLB.com statistics Kemp currently ranks 5th in the National League with a .322 batting average, 4th in slugging percentage for those with at least 200 at bats, and has 12 home runs and 43 RBI’s. He’s helping a Dodger team that got off to one of their worst starts in history come back to life in the NL West. At 33 Kemp is the producing most of the Dodger offense and now are only a game and a half back the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This season Matt Kemp is an unlikely star. Traded from the Atlanta Braves this off-season in a trade that had more to do with keeping the Dodgers under the luxury tax than the players acquired. Not many expected him to make this years 25 man roster. Losing an estimated 30 pounds this off-season he looks like a new man. If Kemp had something to prove to Dodger management he’s done it.
His account has lots of photos of him smiling, showing off his shoes or fashion choices and photos with his teammates. Kemp looks like a new man and it’s not just the weight he’s lost. He now looks the part of a veteran player that wants to lead, wants to contribute and wants to win. It looks to me like the second time around in Dodger Blue is more enjoyable. The real Matt Kemp is having fun with it this time and it shows.
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