From center field to the bench and ultimately settling in as a right fielder, Matt Kemp’s 2014 season has been a tale of frustration and redemption.
Once he received regular playing time, Kemp’s production at the plate increased, which also coincided with him looking more comfortable in right field. With a .322 batting average, nine home runs and 25 RBIs in September, Kemp was named the NL Player of the Month.
Official press release included below:
Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp has been voted Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for September. Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and sponsor for 24 of 30 MLB clubs, is also the presenting sponsor of the American League Player of the Month Award.
Kemp led the Majors with nine home runs and tied his Dodger teammate Adrian Gonzalez for the Major League lead in RBI with 25, while leading the NL with 63 total bases and 21 runs scored. The 30-year-old slugger posted a .322 batting average (29-for-90) down the stretch, clubbing seven doubles and slugging .700 — the Senior Circuit’s second-highest mark.
The two-time NL All-Star capped the 2014 campaign with a 2-for-4, two-RBI effort in Sunday’s season-finale, helping the NL West Champion Dodgers to a 10-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. It was one of seven multi-hit games Kemp compiled during the month. The Oklahoma native tied a season high with four hits (also: 7/6 @ COL) and four RBI (also: 7/29 vs. ATL) on September 21 at Wrigley Field, just two days after leading the Dodgers to a 14-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on September 19 with a three-RBI performance. Kemp was a combined 7-for-17 with a pair of homers and eight RBI in the four-game series at Wrigley. He reached the 20-homer threshold for the fifth time in his nine-year Major League career with a sixth-inning blast against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on September 14. The home run gave the Dodgers a lead they would not relinquish in an eventual 4-2 victory over their NL West rivals. Kemp finished the season with 25 homers and 89 RBI, marking his highest marks in both categories since 2011, when he led the league with 39 home runs and 126 RBI. This is his second career Player of the Month Award, having won previously in April 2012.
Other players receiving votes included Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte, San Francisco’s Buster Posey, Washington’s Anthony Rendon and Kemp’s Dodger teammate Juan Uribe.