08 August 2014

is he back?

matt kemp's got his average up to .283 for the season, and in the last two weeks, he's hitting .391 with 6 homers and 13 rbi plus two stolen bases.  still, that's not necessarily 2011 matt kemp or even 2012 matt kemp, but it's better than 2013 matt kemp.  i am hopeful that the injuries are healed and the confidence is back, and that don mattingly doesn't overthink his four outfielder situation and just lets kemp play.  meanwhile, this is kemp's 1972 topps basketball design insert from 2013 topps archives
featuring the brooklyn dodger helmet and the la dodger sleeve patch.  must have been a photo from an april 15 game.  i've been meaning to show that card for about a year now, but i guess i've been waiting for signs of life from the dodger (former) center fielder.

let's take a trip back in time and visit some card backs.  this one is from 2005 bowman
so, the dodgers hoped kemp "would develop into a bigger version of…brian jordan".  kemp is just 29, and i would say that mission has been accomplished, aside from the nfl career.

here's the front of the 2005 bowman card
sadly, i don't have one of the chrome autographed versions.

here's another back, this one from 2005 topps total
so, it appears that matthew could excel at the high-a level?  27 home runs, 90 rbi, .306 batting average, and an ops of .918 in 2005 at high-a vero beach.  yes, he did excel at high-a.

here's the front of that card, with kemp sharing space with heath totten
totten got his k/9ip ratio up to 6.2 in 2005 at triple-a, but that wasn't enough proof that he could "mow down hitters" to earn a call-up from the dodgers.  instead, he wound up going to the phillies organization before eventually returning to the dodgers' minor leagues in 2008.

here's one more kemp - this one from 2012 topps heritage featuring the league rbi leaders from 1963 and 2011
the "then and now" theme plays well with kemp's return to form.  i just hope there is a lot more of his "then" in his "now".

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