In what’s been a resurgence, Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielder Matt Kemp has put together an impressive stretch of baseball. The 29 year old was rewarded for his efforts by being name the National League Player of the Week.
Kemp received the recognition for games played during July 28 – August 3, in which he hit .409 with a .458 on-base percentage, 1.091 slugging percentage and five home runs with nine RBIs. One of Kemp’s hits was a walk-off single in the 10th inning of the second game against the Atlanta Braves.
The two-time Gold Glove winner has won the award four previous times — first in May of 2008, then in September of 2011 and twice in 2012.
The now-right fielder had been having a difficult season as he worked to find his swing amid plenty of trade speculation. Some of Kemp’s turnaround can be credited to him changing his batting stance with the help of assistant hitting coach Jose Valentin.
Along with changing his stance, Kemp being placed in right field has set well with him. The outfielder stated he’s more comfortable in what was his natural position when the Dodgers drafted him as opposed to left field.
Kemp also had to endure somewhat of a media firestorm that was caused by his agent. On multiple occasions, Dave Stewart voiced his concern with Kemp’s playing time and went so far as to say he hoped his client would get traded.
General manager Ned Colletti and manager Don Mattingly both stressed the importance of having Kemp on the roster for the production he’s capable of providing and his play in the days leading up to the trade deadline likely played a role in him remaining on the team.
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