As the season winds down the talk of who deserves to be the National League Most Valuable Player will ramp up with the consensus being Kemp on a winning team would get it easily but because he’s on a .500 team and out of the playoffs that he shouldn’t because of the world “valuable.”
Here’s the question though, what does value have to do with winning? Dictionary.com defines valuable as:
1. having considerable monetary worth; costing or bringing a high price: a valuable painting; a valuable crop.
2. having qualities worthy of respect, admiration, or esteem: a valuable friend.
3. of considerable use, service, or importance: valuable information.
So, how many of these qualifies does Matt Kemp exude?
1. Is he worth a lot of money? Or would he bring a high price in say a trade or on the free agent market? Yup for sure. If he repeats this year, he’s easily worth $20 million plus easy, especially when you in add in his range, his arm and his speed, not to mention his bat.
2. Is he worthy of respect, admiration or esteem? Certainly. If you all remember, before the players vote Matt Kemp wasn’t even a starter in the All Star game but his fellow peers, respected, admired and esteemed him and his play so much that they voted him into the All Star Game
3. Is he of considerable use, service or importance? Most definitely. Let’s look at the Dodgers record. 80-78 and Matt Kemp’s stats through 158 games.
.324 batting average, 37 home-runs, 120 RBI’s 112 Runs
He has, by himself, generated 232 runs for his team and the Dodgers to date have scored 627, which means Matt Kemp has caused 37% of his teams runs, over a fourth of his teams runs, by himself!
Do you know who has the second most RBI’s on the team? James Loney…with 63, nearly half of Kemp. What about runs? That would be Andre Ethier with 67. Do you know what this means? Basically Matt Kemp has carried this Dodgers team on his back to a +.500 record with pretty much no help, no protection and no one to drive in. He also has more than 2x’s as many home-runs as the next Dodger hitter on the team (Barajas with 16 and he hits 8th).
If you take out Matt Kemp’s 232 runs, this Dodger team scores only 395 runs versus 598, heck even half his production and they score 511 still making them a last place team in the National League West and one of the worst (2nd or 3rd) in the National League itself.
So, throw out the wins, throw out your bias, throw out your traditions, Matt Kemp has owned National League pitching this season with his bat, and with his legs and there are people out there who feel he shouldn’t be MVP because his team sucks or his owner is broke? Please! Spare me. He IS the most valuable player in the sport of baseball today because without him, the Dodgers have NO future.