Matt Kemp
Matt Kemp
34-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Cincinnati Reds
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Kemp rewarded those who gave him another chance coming off a career-worst level of offensive production, quite nicely finishing the season 22% above the league average offensively. While his 21 home runs and 147 runs-plus-RBI do not look special on paper, Kemp was dirt cheap during draft season coming off five consecutive seasons of declining production and his bounce back was a nice windfall for owners. The rebound came from him getting more loft to his swing, as his groundball-to-flyball ratio improved from 1.7 to 0.9 last season. He is big, old and slowing, so groundballs give him zero chance for hits while he still has the power in the bat to get to and over the fence. Now with the Reds following a December trade, Kemp is looking like a short-end platoon player unless the Reds turn around and flip him to an American League team that can allow Kemp to become the DH he really should be to finish off his career. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed an eight-year, $160 million contract extension with the Dodgers in November of 2011 that runs through the 2019 season. Traded to the Padres in December of 2014. Traded to the Braves in July of 2016. Traded to the Dodgers in December of 2017. Traded to the Reds in December of 2018.
Hits second homer of spring
OFCincinnati Reds
March 4, 2019
Kemp hit his second homer of the spring Monday against the Diamondbacks. He's off to a good start this spring, but right now he doesn't have a projected place to play, Mark Sheldon of reports. "It's a great question, because he's been such a good player for so long," manager David Bell said on Monday. "He's the kind of player that can carry a team. He's that kind of offensive player. He's been on good teams, he's been on great teams. He just brings so much. I don't have the answer to that."
Bell has stated that he wants Yasiel Puig to start in right field and Jesse Winker in left field, with the starting center field job up between Nick Senzel and Scott Schebler. Kemp's best bet is if Senzel begins the year in the minors and that he starts against lefties.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .836 452 53 25 69 0 .278 .330 .506
Since 2016vs Right .789 1192 145 50 188 1 .277 .314 .475
2018vs Left .828 197 23 11 32 0 .273 .320 .508
2018vs Right .812 309 39 10 53 0 .301 .350 .462
2017vs Left .684 109 6 3 10 0 .250 .330 .354
2017vs Right .808 357 41 16 54 0 .284 .314 .494
2016vs Left .954 146 24 11 27 0 .306 .342 .612
2016vs Right .761 526 65 24 81 1 .258 .293 .468
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
Since 2016Home .769 778 82 32 102 1 .268 .314 .455
Since 2016Away .830 866 116 43 155 0 .285 .322 .508
2018Home .789 252 26 11 38 0 .275 .321 .468
2018Away .848 254 36 10 47 0 .306 .354 .493
2017Home .732 208 20 7 21 0 .264 .317 .415
2017Away .820 258 27 12 43 0 .286 .318 .502
2016Home .777 318 36 14 43 1 .266 .305 .472
2016Away .825 354 53 21 65 0 .270 .302 .523
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Stat Review
How does Matt Kemp compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
If your league format values defense, Kemp is pretty much undraftable. By Statcast measures, no outfielder was worse than Kemp last season. Kemp is still hitting for power, but he maintains an impatient approach at the plate (5.8 walk percentage last season) and in his current form, is a replacement-level real-life player. Here is the kicker: Kemp is due another $43,000,000 over the next two seasons. Forty-three million. He is a designated hitter trapped in the National League and new GM Alex Anthopoulus will have his work cut out for him trying to trade Kemp to an American League team while getting said team to assume any part of that deal. Kemp as a DH is intriguing in 2018 as it would allow him to focus on hitting and forget about being a lawn ornament in the outfield. If he sticks in the National League, do not pay full price.
It was a tale of two seasons for Kemp in 2016. The San Diego version hit a surprising number of home runs, but an abysmal May (.186/.189/.333) hurt his overall numbers. He went into the break with a .254/.275/.448 line and two weeks later was sent packing to Atlanta. The move east saw him improve his approach at the plate and hit .287/.339/.567 for the rest of the season. The running game is completely gone, as he only attempted one steal all season. He also has this odd Saberhagen-metrics thing going on where he has a strong slugging season followed by a very weak one, dating back to 2012. He remains a free-swinging player who doesn't walk much, strikes out quite a bit, but hits for a lot of pop in even years. Despite the fact that this is an odd year, most projection systems will still peg him as a solid bet for 25 homers and decent contributions in runs and RBI.
It was a tale of two halves for Kemp, who hit a brutal .250/.291/.382 before the All-Star break, but was back to his old self in the second half behind a .286/.339/.528 line and 15 of his 23 home runs. The late surge helped Kemp reach 100 RBI and 10 stolen bases for the first time in five years. Kemp did not seem particularly affected by Petco Park, as his line at home (.288/.335/.487) was actually far superior to his road numbers (.241/.288/.398). He managed to stay healthy and play in 150 games for a second straight year after missing at least 50 games in both 2012 and 2013, a great sign for the 31-year-old. Kemp's season was a far cry from his best years, but his second half was All-Star caliber, and if he can carry that forward, he can be the engine for the Padres' lineup.
Through April and May of 2014, Kemp appeared to be a broken-down version of the superstar who fell just one home run short of reaching the 40-40 plateau in 2011, as he hit just .248/.306/.418 with five home runs over his first 47 games. From June 1 on, he looked like an MVP candidate, hitting .303/.363/.545 with 20 homers and 74 RBI -- numbers that pace out to 32 homers and 117 RBI over a full 162-game slate. Perhaps most importantly, Kemp finished with 150 games played last season, his highest total since the aforementioned 2011 campaign. Given the nature of the injuries that derailed him throughout 2012 and 2013, it should come as little surprise that his stolen-base total (eight) was low even with the significantly increased volume of playing time. The Dodgers also moved Kemp to left field, and he made just two appearance in center over the final four months, but the shift to the corner should help reduce the wear and tear on his legs. While his days as a five-category stud appear to be over, Kemp's steady batted ball profile and ability to make consistent hard contact should enable him to be an excellent power source again in 2015. After being traded to the Padres in December, Kemp will head south down I-5 as part of a completely rebuilt offense in San Diego.
Kemp suffered a second consecutive injury-plagued season in 2013, playing in just 73 games due to hamstring and ankle injuries. Pile on offseason shoulder surgery, and Kemp enters 2014 with a lot to prove. Kemp's 2014 will be his age-29 season, so in theory he could have another 2011 ahead of him, but the recent track record of injuries make it easy to be pessimistic. Kemp by all accounts is a hard worker, so he could come to camp 100 percent, play in 155 games, and go 30/30, but don't pay a premium to find out if he's still capable of reaching that level.
Kemp saw a four-year run of 600-plus at-bats come to an end in 2012 as hamstring and shoulder injuries limited him to 403 at-bats. His slash line took a dip from 2011's near-MVP levels, as Kemp finished at .303/.367/.538. He also stole just nine bases, a number that we can probably safely say was also impacted by the hamstring even when he was in the lineup. Kemp had offseason shoulder surgery (on his non-throwing shoulder) that turned out to be more extensive than originally thought, but he's still expected to be ready for Opening Day. Assuming he makes it through spring training without a setback, Kemp should remain one of the first outfielders off the board on draft day.
Kemp may have lost out on the MVP to Ryan Braun, but he also netted himself an eight-year, $160 million contract despite the Dodgers' financial concerns. Kemp batted .324/.399/.596 with 39 home runs and 40 stolen bases while at the same time increasing his walk rate from eight percent to 11 percent of plate appearances. Kemp appears focused and ready to make a run at 40/40 this year. He's a clear top-three fantasy pick in most formats, as we can't say with certainty that we've seen his best.
Other than power, there wasn't a facet of Kemp's game that did not regress in 2010 - poor defense, less success on the basepaths (19-for-34 in stolen base attempts), more strikeouts and a loss of 48 points of batting average. On the plus side, the tools are still there and Kemp will be entering his age 26 season. With his skill set and upside, Kemp could actually be a good buy-low guy in the early rounds of 2011 drafts.
Kemp finished 10th in the NL MVP race, batting .297/.352/.490 with 26 home runs, 101 RBI and 34 stolen bases. He also won a Gold Glove for his work in center field, and at 25, it's likely there's more to come. A 30/30 season is well within reach this year, and after batting just .224 after August 31, improvement down the stretch would likely result in a .300-plus batting average. Kemp will likely find himself among the top three fantasy outfielders in this year's drafts.
The projected breakout didn't come, but Kemp acquitted himself well in his first full season, batting .290/.340/.459 with 18 home runs, 76 RBI, and 35 stolen bases. The steals and massive upside leave Kemp as a borderline top-20 fantasy outfielder headed into 2009, though to truly fulfill his potential however, Kemp will have to improve his contact rate (153 strikeouts). At this point, consider the risk of Kemp losing at-bats to Juan Pierre and/or Andruw Jones to be minimal.
After getting 154 at-bats in his first big league trial the year prior, Kemp came into his own in 2007, batting .342/.373/.521 in 292 at-bats. Kemp's skill set is impressive and his ceiling seemingly unlimited, leading some to predict he could be the organization's best offensive prospect since Mike Piazza. Of some concern is Kemp's plate discipline (16:66 BB:K in 2007), though he should be able to improve there with more experience. It is possible that the Dodgers' outfield situation will be crowded again in 2008, but it's difficult to imagine anything other than a full-time job for Kemp. There's the potential here for 30 homers and 20 stolen bases as early as this year.
Kemp's overall tool set has earned lofty (and unfair) comparisons to the likes of Dave Winfield and Manny Ramirez, and he was well on his way for the Dodgers last year, hitting seven homers in his first 17 games since being promoted from Double-A. Then reality set in and Kemp hit just .177 in 62 at-bats after June 30. Kemp had some difficulties with breaking pitches and though he seemed to remedy that in Triple-A, hitting .368/.428/.560, the team signed Luis Gonzalez to a one-year deal, allowing Kemp to get further seasoning. Expect him to spend at least half a year in Triple-A unless the big league club suffers injuries.
The 21 year-old Kemp is currently the team's best outfield prospect after a breakout 2005 in High-A. The 6'4", 210 lb. Kemp hit .306 with 27 HRs and a .918 OPS. He drew just 25 walks in over 450 plate appearances, so he's still a bit raw. Look for Kemp sometime in 2007.
More Fantasy News
Doubles twice in loss
OFCincinnati Reds
February 28, 2019
Kemp went 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored Thursday against Milwaukee.
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First base unlikely
OFCincinnati Reds
February 18, 2019
Kemp is unlikely to be part of the Reds' first base picture, Mark Sheldon of reports. "We hope Joey (Votto) plays every day for the most part, but I think there's going to be some thought to making sure he's strong all the way through," manager David Bell said. "Matt Kemp has never played there. I know we talk about moving positions a lot and try to talk about how possible it is because I believe that, but that's a tough thing. At this point in his career, to have never played the position, that would be a big ask."
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Traded to Reds
OFCincinnati Reds
December 21, 2018
The Dodgers traded Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood to Cincinnati on Friday in exchange for Homer Bailey, Josiah Gray and Jeter Downs, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports.
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Plates three runs
OFLos Angeles Dodgers
September 30, 2018
Kemp went 3-for-3 with a double, three RBI and one run scored during Sunday's win over the Giants.
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Drives in three, scores twice
OFLos Angeles Dodgers
September 23, 2018
Kemp went 3-for-4 with a solo home run, double, three RBI and two runs scored Sunday against the Padres.
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