It’s always an interesting debate, in any sport: who’s the best?
That’s been an easy question to answer in recent years in Major League Baseball, as it’s a question that is usually followed by an answer along the lines of “Albert Pujols“.
However, that’s not the case anymore. There’s been a changing of the guard and when the question is now ask, the resounding answer as to who the best player in baseball is, is Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Not that this is a new development. It wouldn’t be any sort of stretch to say that Kemp should have been last year’s National League MVP. In fact, you’d probably be correct.
Kemp bested Ryan Braun in almost every single category last year, with the exception of batting average. He hit more home runs, knocked in more, stole more bases, and had a better on-base percentage. Not to mention the fact that Kemp plays the more difficult position out in centerfield.
This season, Kemp has set his sights on locking down the award by May, figuratively speaking of course. Even if that was possible, he’d be well on his way to doing it.
Kemp already has 11 home runs on the season, and has knocked in 24 runs. Oh yeah, he’s hitting an absurd .425 as well, which is tops in all of baseball. The only player comparable to Kemp at this point is Josh Hamilton, who is enjoying a hot start of his own. But he doesn’t represent the total package like Kemp does, as great as he’s been for the Texas Rangers.
Kemp’s hot start has helped the Dodgers get off to the best start in the National League, at a 16-7 record. Even at the end of April, it’s a spot that few expected them to be in.
It’s taken him a couple of years to piece together some consistency, but he’s becoming the player that most figured he would, with all five tools in tact. As the season and his career progress, you’re going to hear things like “Triple Crown” and “50/50” bounce around with Kemp’s name attached. And it’s possible he could end up doing both in the very near future.
There is no better all around player in baseball than Matt Kemp. He’s got the bat, he has the speed, and he has the glove. And having signed a big contract extension in the offseason, he has a great market to do it all in, in Los Angeles. This is a team that is going to be scary good in the next couple of years, if not now. And it starts with Matt Kemp.