When Matt Kemp returned from the disabled list on September 16, expectations were mild to lukewarm at best. He has returned from the DL a few times this year and neither time stood out as a positive, but this time may be different. Since that day he is batting .393 with one home run and six RBI. Sure it is a very small sample size and some may think this is jumping the gun comparing this to his MVP form from the 2011 MLB season, but this is a very positive thing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kemp is an amazing talent who is getting paid a lot of money for the next seven years, so this surge he is showing is nothing but positive for him and the Dodgers.
During Kemp’s absence, the Dodgers’ offense was carried by the resurgence of Hanley Ramirez, the steady Adrian Gonzalez and the rookie sensation Yasiel Puig, but having Kemp’s bat back in the middle of that lineup just makes the Dodgers that much more dangerous, especially heading into the MLB playoffs. Kemp is a five-tool player and he is also considered by most to be the future of the Dodgers, but that is only if he can stay healthy and on the field.
It is ridiculous to think that Kemp, who is just two years removed from being runner up for the National League MVP is a shell of his former self. However, he has a ways to go in terms of proving to himself and the Dodgers’ organization that he can be stay healthy and help carry his part of the offense. With Kemp healthy, the Dodgers have arguably the best lineup in all of baseball. Without Kemp, their lineup is still solid, but isn’t as good as it could be. Hopefully Kemp continues his good play through the playoffs, through the World Series and right on into next season!