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Why Dodgers Fans Love: Matt Kemp



The Los Angeles Dodgers have a great core of players, and a talented roster. That’s why Dodgers Nation has decided to run a ‘Why We Love’ series, featuring some of your favorite Dodgers players. Our third installment focuses on possibly the most popular current Dodgers player. Today – is why we love Matt Kemp. 

Matt Kemp returned to the Dodgers in the 2017 off-season as a ‘salary dump’. After parts of three seasons in San Diego and Atlanta, Kemp was mentioned as trade bait and a platoon bat if he was on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. What has followed has been a 56-game run straight out of a story book.

Kemp currently leads the National league in hitting at .347, and displays a .958 OPS in 2018. He has a 1.7 fWAR, his highest total already since his 2.8 he posted in 2012 as a member of the Dodgers. Furthermore, Kemp has been the glue and constant in a trying season of injuries and slumps to the Dodgers.

We probably should have known that big things were in store. Baseball often gives us clues of what is to come in the way of silver linings. For Kemp, perhaps it was this homer in the Dodgers’ first spring training game at Camelback Ranch.

Kemp had a quote not long before that which managed to stick with me.

“I’m gonna ride this thing until the wheels fall off. Literally.”

To me, it was one of those rare things a player says that wasn’t just the individual saying the right thing. The quote felt genuine. It was then I knew that Matt Kemp – who entered spring in the best shape of his life – was going to leave it all on the field in 2018. He seemed genuinely enchanted by the thought of being a Dodger again. Kemp’s play has shown he has cherished the opportunity.

Why We Love Matt Kemp

  • Kemp was drafted a Dodger – in the sixth round of the 2003 MLB Draft.
  • He ranks 19th all-time in franchise history in hits, and 8th in home runs.
  • Kemp’s 2011 season: he finished second in MVP voting to Ryan Braun. His tally for that season was a .324 average, .399 on-base, 39 homers, 126 RBI, and 40 steals. He was worth 8.0 fWAR that season, and it was one of the best seasons in modern Dodgers’ history.
  • It seemed like Kemp has matured – he’s truly just trying to let his play speak for him at this stage in his career.
  • He’s taking younger players like Cody Bellinger under his wing.
  • It seems that Kemp genuinely realizes how fortunate he is to be playing in Los Angeles, wearing Dodger blue.
  • Everyone loves a good comeback story. Kemp got himself into shape and has earned his spot on the 2018 Dodgers one plate appearance at a time.
  • The 2014 NLDS – Kemp’s last postseason appearance as a Dodger – he hit .353 in the series against St. Louis.
  • I love his nickname; ‘The Bison’.

Why You Love Matt Kemp

I remember this story – so great to recall. Thank you.

https://twitter.com/michaelsweeney_/status/1002795511055724544

https://twitter.com/Dodgerlover18/status/1002805449870041089

Appreciate Matt Kemp

Dodgers’ nation gave us some great additional reasons on why it’s so easy to love Matt Kemp. Day in and day out, Kemp is playing hard and doing what he can to make the 2018 season a memorable one for Los Angeles. To this point he has been the marquee storyline of the season. Here’s to a healthy remainder of the season, and continued things like #BisonBlasts and phenomenal throws from the outfield to nail a runner at the plate. Kemp has been a joy to watch in his second reincarnation as a Dodger.

[button color=”yellow” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/analyzing-yasiel-puigs-career-the-5-year-ride-on-the-wild-horse-ac0897/2018/06/03/”]Five Years With The Wild Horse[/button]

Written by Staff Writer

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  1. Matt Kemp wanted to be a Dodger when no other players did. We are beyond happy to see him setting the example for the younger players day in & day out. He has been the glue that has held this team together through all the early season struggles. Now it’s time to take over the division! Keep it up Bison!

  2. Kemp is terrific, and I love seeing him back in Dodger blue. But I do still miss the days when I went to the park early to watch #27 & #16 warming up together on the outfield grass throwing base balls 300′ back and forth to each other. Still miss Dre…

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