Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Matt Kemp is Still an All-Star in My Eyes

Thanks to everyone who entered in my contest that ended last night. It will be a few days before I have the chance to tally up the entries and run them in the randomizer, so you will all have to wait for the results. 

Until then, enjoy this beautiful bat slice relic from 2012 Panini Prime Cuts of Matt Kemp. 

I picked this bad boy up a few weeks ago for just a couple of bucks shipped. Being that is is #'d 142/199, that's a good deal any day of the week. 

Kemp did not make the All-Star team in 2014, and probably won't ever be an All-Star caliber player again. After Kemp's crazy good 2011 season in which he narrowly missed the 40-40 mark, Kemp started out 2012 on fire. After a month of being the best player in baseball, Kemp went down with a bad hammy, forcing him to miss the next few months. Upon his return, Kemp destroyed his shoulder in Colorado, effectively ending his season. Kemp, determined to come back strong in 2013, may have rushed back as he never quite got it going. A month into the season, Kemp aggravated his ailing shoulder and required a lengthy trip to the DL. He came back for a single game, only to completely destroy his ankle in Washington. He came back again at the end of 2013 for a handful of games, but his season was over shortly after with more ankle problems. Kemp came into 2014 one-hundred percent ready to go, but with 4 full-time outfielders, playing time was hard to come by. Kemp became a regular fixture in the lineup after a few injuries and overcame his slow start by batting .317/.375/.525 in the month of June. He has been in a bit of a slump in July, but should put up numbers near his career averages by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, home team fans tend to dislike Matt Kemp for some reason. Kemp does strike out fairly often, shown by his 25.9 K%. Perhaps fans want to see him get the bat on the ball more? I tend to think that fans have unfair expectations for Kemp. After a couple of monster seasons, fans are expecting Matt Kemp to put up similar numbers, but are left disappointed because Matt has put up numbers close to his career norms. Primarily because of a major shoulder surgery that sapped his power, Kemp will never be the same. Sadly, fans will probably continue to boo him at games like the one I was at on Saturday. 

Whether or not Matt Kemp can ever produce like he did in 2011, he will always be an All-Star in my eyes. 

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