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Player Profile #3: Matt Kemp | OF | LAD

Matt Kemp had a career worst season in 2010, but came back in a big way in 2011. While he didn’t win the NL MVP reward (although maybe he should have) he can take consolation that he was fantasy baseball’s MVP. He comes into this season as our top outfielder and many people’s top overall pick. The combination of home runs and steals is very rare in a player and he says he’s aiming for a 50/50 season. Remember when we all thought he was crazy when he predicted a 40/40 season two years ago?

Best case scenario: Top outfielder
Similar players: Ian Kinsler (TEX) with a better BA, Curtis Granderson (NYY) with a better BA, Ryan Braun (MIL) with a worse BA
Worst case scenario: He gets back together with Rhianna

Strengths

Power/speed, all counting stats, walks.  Kemp can easily rank among the top-five across all positions in every offensive category in standard leagues and that kind of upside is very rare. He improved on his plate discipline last season as his walk percentage rose almost three percentage points.

Weaknesses

Contact. This tends to be true with most elite power hitters, but Kemp’s approach at the plate leads to a lot of swings and misses. His O-Swing% (32.9), Contact% (73.3) and SwStr% (12.8) are all worse than the league averages and pose a threat to him repeating a season like 2011. Last year was the first time Kemp posted a GB/FB ratio under one (which is crucial to hit a lot of home runs) so it would be nice if he put more balls in play.

ADP Report (2.0)

Kemp is the public’s consensus number one pick, but I’m a little hesitant to put him over perennial juggernauts Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols. Sure Kemp can match them at every category and then obliterates them in steals, but he’s the only player of the three to have a below-average season. Hey, when you get this high you have to pick nits.

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About the author: George graduated with a degree in Journalism, but instead of walking at his graduation, he walked down the aisle at his wedding. He’s been playing fantasy baseball for over a decade and his interest and knowledge in the sport is as big and growing as his eyebrows are bushy…and growing. (@BaseballProf)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Zach Pincince

    HAHAHAHA……I love your worst case scenario here! But in all seriousness, I’d say that Kemp’s worst case scenario is his 2009 season.

    • George Fitopoulos

      I would agree with you Zach, Kemp should be a perennial 30/30 player at worst. It’s become clear to me that Rhianna was the problem in 2010.