Matt Kemp, Center Field, Los Angeles Dodgers
Date of Birth: 9/23/1984
Birthplace: Midwest City, Oklahoma
Nickname: The Bison
Matt Kemp, center fielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was drafted by the Dodgers in 2003. He played in the Dodgers' minor league system from 2003 until 2006, when he was called up to the Dodgers for 52 games. The following season, he played in 98 games with the Dodgers, batting an impressive .342.
In 2008, Kemp batted .290 with 176 hits, a career high 38 doubles, 18 home runs, 76 RBIs, and 35 stolen bases. The following season was an even better one for Kemp. He won his first Silver Slugger award and his first Gold Glove in 2009. That season, he batted .297 with 180 hits, 25 doubles, 26 home runs, 101 RBIs, and 34 stolen bases in 159 games. As a center fielder, he made 367 putouts and 2 errors with a .995 fielding percentage.
Kemp had his best season in 2011 when he led the National League in home runs, RBIs, and runs scored. He won a second Silver Slugger award, a second Gold Glove, and the National League Hank Aaron award. He batted .324 with career highs in hits (195), home runs (39), RBIs (126), and stolen bases (40). As a center fielder, he made 345 putouts and 5 errors with a .986 fielding percentage.
After his outstanding 2011 season, Kemp signed an eight-year, $160 million contract with the Dodgers. He suffered from injuries in 2012 and 2013, playing in 106 games in 2012 and just 73 games in 2013.
Kemp was healthy in 2014 and he had a strong season, finishing with 155 hits, 38 doubles, 25 home runs, 89 RBIs, and a .287 batting average. He performed well in the postseason, getting 6 hits, 1 home run, and 2 RBIs in 17 at-bats in 4 games.
On December 11, 2014, Kemp was traded to the San Diego Padres. On August 14, 2015, he became the first player in Padres' history to hit for the cycle. He finished the season with 158 hits, 31 doubles, 23 home runs, 100 RBIs, and a .265 batting average in 154 games. As a right fielder, he made 269 putouts and 8 errors in 149 games.
Kemp was traded to the Atlanta Braves on July 30, 2016. He finished the 2016 season with 167 hits, a career high 39 doubles, 35 home runs, 108 RBIs, and a .268 batting average in 100 games with the Padres and 56 games with the Braves. Defensively, he played 54 games in left field and 97 games in right field.
In 2017, Kemp batted .276 in 115 games. He finished the season with 121 hits, 23 doubles, 19 home runs, 64 RBIs, and 99 strikeouts to 27 walks. Defensively, as the Braves' left fielder in 103 games, he made 148 putouts and 1 error.
Kemp returned to the Dodgers in a trade on December 16, 2017.
Statistics for Kemp in twelve seasons (2006-2017) in the major leagues include:
- 7 seasons with 150 or more hits, with a high of 195 in 2011
- 5 seasons with over 30 doubles, with a high of 39 in 2016
- 7 seasons with over 20 home runs, with a high of 39 in 2011
- 4 seasons with 100 or more RBIs, with a high of 126 in 2011
- 3 seasons with over 20 stolen bases, with a high of 40 in 2011
- 3 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .342 in 98 games in 2007
Career batting statistics for Kemp through 2017 include:
- 1,541 games played
- 1,634 hits
- 308 doubles
- 259 home runs
- 183 stolen bases
- 920 RBIs
- 1,466 strikeouts to 466 walks
- .285 batting average
Kemp established Kemp's Kids to provide inner city children with baseball opportunities. Information on the organization is available at therealmattkemp.com/kids.