In his last six games, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has hit five home runs and powered the Dodgers to a few victories.
Before this past week, Kemp had just eight home runs on the season and lacked the power that saw him hit 39 in 2011. The 29-year-old had picked up his play at the plate, but had yet to break out with the long balls.
According to Pedro Moura of the OC Register, Kemp’s power surge may stem from a change in the batters’ box says assistant hitting coach Jose Valentin:
He actually has straightened his stance,” Valentin said. “It used to be locked. What that created was a difficulty to have the freedom to stay through the baseball. This offers a clear path to hit balls in and away.”
It’s no secret that Kemp looks more comfortable at the plate, especially in his follow through, which is reminiscent of his MVP runner-up season. The starting right fielder has shown pop to all areas in the outfield.
Valentin also discussed what sparked the change in the stance:
The struggles,” Valentin said. “We brought it up to him a long time ago. But him being such an accomplished player, he had to want to do it.”
Kemp has pushed his average to .285 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs on the year. His transition to right field has also coincided with his recent hot streak. Kemp even acknowledged the fact that he feels comfortable in right field. Another reason Kemp may feel more comfortable at the plate is the passing of the trade deadline. The slugging outfielder was rumored to be on the move after his agent said that Kemp wanted to be traded somewhere he could play center field.
With his strong play, it is safe to say that Kemp will remain with the Dodgers and could be a key component to a World Series run.
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