In 2011, Kemp batted .324 with 39 homeruns and 126 RBI’s. He also stole 40 bases, and had career highs in On Base Percentage, and Slugging Percentage.
No baseball player has ever had 50 homeruns and 50 stolen bases in a single season, but Matt Kemp believes he can be the first in over 100 years of the sport’s history.
Back in November, when Kemp was runner up to Ryan Braun in the National League Most Valuable Player race, he set his sights high for the 2012 season. He felt the bitter taste in his mouth, and since the 2011 season ended, he has had a chip on his shoulder heading into the 2012 Major League Baseball season.
“I’m going to go 50/50 next year,” Kemp said. “I’m telling you, y’all created a monster. I’m about to get back in the weight room super tough so I can be as strong as I was last year. Forty-forty is tough, so 50-50 will be even tougher, but anything can happen. I have to set my limits high so I can try to get them as much as I can. I’m going to try for 50/50 which has never been done.” -Matt Kemp (November 23, 2011)
I have no doubt in my mind Matt Kemp can complete this improbable feat. If there is one professional baseball player who can do it, it’s him.
His consistency game in, and game out is unheard of. When watching Los Angeles Dodger games, I feel Kemp never has a bad game. He contributes in different ways every single night. One game he might hit a homerun, the next he might steal a base or two to put his team in the best position to score runs. He also makes great defensive plays out in centerfield. His presence alone on the field and in the lineup forces the opposition to strategize a game plan around him. He hits for power, for average, he has speed on the base paths, and I hardly see baseballs drop in centerfield.
If Matt Kemp sticks by his word, and remains consistent throughout the entire year, I believe he can put together one of the best season’s ever by a Major League Baseball Player. He felt he was robbed of the MVP Award a year ago, so I feel he will be back to prove all of those who voted against him wrong.
Matt Kemp for MVP in 2012? To be continued…
follow Dan on Twitter @DanCanova