|Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 27|
September 23, 1984 |
Midwest City, Oklahoma
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|May 28, 2006 for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
(through May 20, 2013)
|Runs batted in||542|
|Career highlights and awards|
Matthew Ryan "Matt" Kemp (born September 23, 1984) is an American professional baseball player. An outfielder, Kemp plays in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He made his MLB debut with the Dodgers in 2006.
Kemp was drafted by the Dodgers in the sixth round of the 2003 MLB Draft and made his major league debut in 2006. In 2011, Kemp led the National League in runs scored (115), total bases (353), OPS+ (171), WAR (7.8), home runs (39), and runs batted in (126). Additionally, he became the first player to finish in the top two in both home runs and steals since Hank Aaron in 1963.
High school 
Kemp attended Midwest City High School in Oklahoma, where he was a standout in basketball and baseball. He was teammates with Shelden Williams on the varsity basketball team that won the state title their junior year.
Kemp, along with Williams and three other teammates, was accused of raping a 19-year-old woman at the time of a high school all-star basketball tournament on January 20, 2002, at the Columbus, Ohio Hyatt hotel. The players were suspended from the team during the investigation. The woman did not press charges, and the district attorney opted to not pursue the matter due to a lack of evidence.
Minor leagues 
He started his professional career for the Gulf Coast Dodgers in 2003 and followed that up with stints with the Columbus Catfish in 2004 and the Vero Beach Dodgers in 2004–05. He was selected to the Florida State League All-Star team in 2005, and set Vero Beach franchise records for home runs (27) and slugging percentage (.569).
Major leagues 
Los Angeles Dodgers (2006–present) 
He began 2006 with the AA Jacksonville Suns, where he hit .327 with 7 homers, 34 RBIs and 11 steals, prompting a promotion to the major league squad. His promotion was spurred by an effort to provide regular rest for center fielder Kenny Lofton and oft injured right field All-Star J.D. Drew.
Kemp made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 28, 2006, against the Washington Nationals. He hit his first Major League homer on June 1 in his second Dodger Stadium at-bat off the Philadelphia Phillies' Gavin Floyd. He homered in three straight games from June 1–3 against the Phillies and homered twice on June 11 off Colorado Rockies starter He also became the first Dodger and 5th major league player to hit four homers in his first 10 days with the team.
In mid-July, he was re-assigned to the AAA Las Vegas 51s but was recalled to the Dodgers on September 1.
Kemp started the 2007 season on the major league roster but lost his place after suffering an injury while running into the outfield fence at Dodger Stadium. Upon his return from the injury, he was optioned back to Las Vegas and didn't return to the Dodgers until mid-June. Once recalled, he enjoyed an outstanding sophomore campaign with the bat batting .342, clubbing 10 home runs, and driving in 42 runs while splitting time with Andre Ethier. However, he made the fourth most outs in the base paths in the National League in 2007.
Going into the season, Kemp was expected to battle for one of the corner outfield positions, though his spot in right field was essentially guaranteed. After driving in 11 runs and stealing 6 bases. He was named "NL Player of the Week" for the week of April 28 – May 4.
After a knee injury to Andruw Jones, Kemp became the Dodgers' regular center fielder. He finished the season with a .297 average, 18 homers and 76 RBI. He was also second on the team in stolen bases with 35. In addition, he set a Dodgers record with 153 strikeouts in a season.
Kemp had his first career walk-off hit on June 16 against the Oakland A's. On September 24, he became the first player in Dodger history to hit at least .295, with 25 home runs, 100 RBIs, and 30 steals in one season. He finished the year with .297, 26 home runs, 101 RBI, and 34 steals (3rd in the NL).
He hit his first career post-season home run on October 7 in his first at-bat of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals. After the season, Kemp was selected as a recipient of both the Gold Glove Award and the Silver Slugger Award. He also tied for second with three others in the majors with 3 grand slams.
Kemp began the 2010 season in excellent fashion, hitting 7 home runs in the month of April, including 4 in four days from April 13–16. However, he slumped badly in the second half of the season and finished with a .249 batting average, 28 home runs, 89 RBIs, and 19 steals while playing in all 162 games for the first time in his career. He also broke his own single-season Dodger record for strikeouts, with 170.
Kemp was the subject of some criticism in 2010 from General Manager Ned Colletti who called him out publicly early in the season for poor baserunning. Kemp had several embarrassing gaffes on the base paths during the season and was caught stealing 15 times.
He hit home runs in five straight games to end the season, the first major league player to ever accomplish that feat and the first Dodger since Shawn Green in 2001 to hit homers in five consecutive games.
After his much publicized problems on the base paths the previous season, Kemp arrived at spring training early to work with new Dodger coach Davey Lopes on his base running. Kemp announced his intention to steal 40 bases this season and Lopes hoped they would be high percentage steals. At the end of the season, Kemp had the 40 steals and was only caught 11 times, a significant improvement in percentage from the previous year, and his work with Lopes was credited for much of the improvement.
After being one of the league leaders in home runs, stolen bases, RBIs, and batting average during the first half of the season, Kemp was voted as a starter for the National League squad in the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Arizona. He also accepted an invitation to participate in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game.
The day before the All-Star Game, Giants' manager and 2011 NL All-Star Manager, Bruce Bochy, announced his decision to bat Kemp 3rd in the line up. Explaining his decision, Bochy said about Kemp, "He's a guy with speed, power, a guy that can beat you with a base hit or a long ball. He's what you call a complete player – tremendous defender, but more so in the 3-hole, he can do so many things for you. He's so dangerous." Kemp, with a single and a walk, became the first Dodger to reach base twice in an All-Star Game since Mike Piazza in 1996.
Kemp hit his 30th home run of the season on August 26, and in the process became the second Dodger player of all time to hit at least 30 homers and steal at least 30 bases in the same season (30–30 club). The only other one was Raúl Mondesí in 1997 and 1999. He picked up his 40th stolen base on September 17, becoming the 18th Major Leaguer and first Dodger in history to hit at least 30 homers and steal at least 40 bases. Kemp also scored his 100th run of the season, making him just the 10th L.A. Dodger to score 100 runs and have 100 RBIs in a season, and the first since Jeff Kent in 2005. He hit his 35th home run on September 21, making him the 14th Major Leaguer (and first since Alfonso Soriano in 2006) to hit at least 35 home runs and steal at least 35 bases in a season.
On September 20, the Dodgers announced Kemp was selected by his teammates as the recipient of the 2011 Roy Campanella Award, which is given annually to the Dodger player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Roy Campanella. He also won the NL Player of the Week Award for the week of September 19–25, 2011 after he hit .423 (11 for 26) with 9 runs scored and 3 home runs during that week.
Kemp wound up hitting 39 home runs in 2011 with 126 RBIs, leading the league in both categories, the first Dodger to do so since Dolph Camilli in 1941. He also led the league in runs scored (115), total bases (353), OPS+ (171), and WAR (10.0). He finished second in slugging percentage (.586), OPS (.986), extra base hits (76), and stolen bases (40, tied), and third in batting average (.324) and outfield assists (11). Kemp also extended his games played streak to 364 games, as he played in every game of the season. He was the first player to finish in the top two in both home runs and steals since Hank Aaron in 1963.
Kemp was selected for a number of post-season awards, including the Baseball America Major League Player of the Year, the Hank Aaron Award for the top hitter in the National League (the first Dodger player to ever win the award) the Gold Glove Award and the Silver Slugger Award. On October 27, he was named to the 2011 Sporting News National League All-Star team. On November 22, he came in second to Ryan Braun in the voting for the National League Most Valuable Player Award.
After the season, Kemp signed a franchise record 8-year, $160 million contract extension.
Kemp started the 2012 season off by winning the National League Player of the Week award for the opening weekend. He hit two home runs and drove in eight RBI during the opening series against the San Diego Padres. He was also the first Dodger to record three consecutive multi-hit games to start the season since Adrián Beltré did it in 2000. This was the third time he had won the award, and second consecutive as he had won it the final week of 2011 as well. On April 10, Kemp became the first LA Dodger to have an RBI in the first five games of the season since J. D. Drew in 2006 and, counting the end of the previous season, he had nine straight games with an RBI, tying Roy Campanella (1955) and Augie Galan (1944) for the Dodgers franchise record. Kemp also won the Player of the Week award for the second week of the season, which, combined with winning the award in the last week of 2011, makes him the only player to ever win three consecutive awards. He is also only the second player to win the award twice to begin the season, the other being Tony Armas in 1981. Kemp hit 12-22 with 4 HR and a 1.182 slugging percentage, leading the club to its best 10-game start since 1981. Kemp hit his 10th home run of the season on April 25, tying Gary Sheffield's club record for homers in April set in 2000. He broke Sheffield's record with a walk-off homer against the Washington Nationals on April 28. Kemp was also named National League player of the month for April. Kemp was placed on the disabled list on May 14 because of a hamstring injury, ending his streak of 399 consecutive games played, which was the longest in the majors at the time. After his DL stint, he promptly re-injured his hamstring two days later while running the bases and returned to the DL. Despite missing about 2 months with injuries, Kemp was voted by the fans as a starter for the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. As he was still on the disabled list, Kemp did not play in the game but he did participate in the Home Run Derby for the second straight year, hitting one home run in the Derby. Kemp finally returned to the Dodgers lineup on July 13 after missing about two months with his hamstring injury.
Kemp's injury woes continued as he crashed into the outfield wall in Colorado on August 28 and injured both his knee and his shoulder. He continued to play despite the injuries and finished the season batting .303 with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 106 games. His 9 stolen bases were his fewest since his first season.
After the season, Kemp underwent surgery on his sore shoulder to repair a torn labrum and some minor damage to the rotator cuff. He was told that he wouldn't be able to swing a bat again until January.
Kemp's nickname is "The Bison." During the second major league game of Kemp's career, on May 29, 2006, he stole second base in the fourth inning, after which Atlanta Braves television announcer Don Sutton said he looked "like a big buffalo running around the bases." The observation was appropriate due to Kemp's imposing size – the Dodgers' roster lists him at 6' 4" tall and 225 pounds – and surprisingly fast foot-speed. The word "buffalo" was modified to "bison", by the commenter D4P on Jon Weisman's popular Dodgers blog, Dodger Thoughts, as it is a more proper term for the North American mammal to which the moniker refers. It wasn't until the next day when the starting lineup did not include Kemp that baseball writer Eric Enders, also commenting in Dodger Thoughts added the capitalized article in front of the animal, completing the nickname, writing "So much for looking forward to watching The Bison tonight."
The nickname is also a play on Kemp's Oklahoma roots. A bison is the state of Oklahoma's official animal.
Personal life 
Kemp is actively involved in charities for children, even creating a community initiative called Kemp's Kids in 2008 and 2009 that hosted children from the Los Angeles area during several games at Dodger Stadium. Some of these children were from the Challenger Boys & Girls Club. Kemp has recently started to build his media presence with the creation of TheRealMattKemp.com. The site includes news and exclusive content featuring Matt Kemp with the aim of allowing fans to get to know him personally. 
Kemp likes to spend his down time at home, playing Minecraft.
- "Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers". Yahoo.com. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
- "The Official Site of The Los Angeles Dodgers: Player Information: Biography and Career Highlights". MLB.com. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
- "CNNSI.com – College Basketball – Men – Report: Duke, OU signees accused of rape". CNNSI.com. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Players named in Ohio rape complaint Investigation involves Midwest City athletes". NewsOK.com. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- DUKE BASKETBALL RECRUIT IS NAMED IN RAPE CASE IN OHIO, Winston – Salem Journal., retrieved January 22, 2010
- "RAPE CHARGE MAY NOT BE FILED AGAINST DUKE BASKETBALL RECRUIT". Winston – Salem Journal. February 1, 2002. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "DUKE RECRUIT WON'T FACE CHARGE OF RAPE". Winston – Salem Journal. March 9, 2002. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- [mlb.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_gamebygamelog.jsp?c_id=la&playerID=461314&statType=1 Matt Kemp Game Log], Major League Baseball official site
- 2008 Player of the Week winners MLB.com
- Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers Yahoo! Sports
- Game Wrapup – Kemp is Clutch – Dodgers 5, Athletics 4 dodgers.com
- Matt Kemp responds to GM Ned Colletti's criticism
- Matt Kemp's baserunning needs work
- Dodgers will let Matt Kemp run again, to a point
- Dodgers Coaching Staff to Return in 2012
- Dodgers' Kemp adds Derby to All-Star itinerary
- http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dodgers/2011/07/matt-kemp-dodgers-all-star-game.html, Los Angeles Times, July 11, 2011
- Dodgers' Kemp garners NL Player of Week
- 2011 Major League Player Of The Year: Matt Kemp
- NL homer, RBI champ Kemp wins Aaron Award
- "Sports Now". Los Angeles Times.
- Dodgers finalize Kemp's eight-year deal
- Kemp named NL Player of the Week
- Andre Ethier Provides Icing On The Birthday Cake
- Miller, Doug (April 16, 2012). "Kemp nets Player of Week three-peat". MLB.com.
- Gurnick, Ken (April 26, 2012). "Guerra falters as Dodgers drop series to Braves". MLB.com.
- Gurnick, Ken. (2012-04-29) Kemp's walk-off homer caps Dodgers' rally. Losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com. Retrieved on 2012-04-29.
- Berry, Adam (2012-05-02)Kemp unanimously named NL Player of Month. LADodgers.com Retrieved on 2012-05-03.
- Kemp goes on DL, games-played streak ends
- Kemp to have MRI, return to DL expected
- Gurnick, Ken (July 14, 2012). "Stars return, but M. Ellis' homers gives LA lift". MLB.com. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Matt Kemp suffers knee contusion in wall collision
- Kemp has surgery, can't swing bat until January
- Dodgers deliver Capuano's first win, take series
- Boren, Cindy (May 21, 2013). "Matt Kemp to donate $1,000 for every home run to Oklahoma tornado victims". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Jon Weisman (June 21, 2007). "Dodgers should make room for Kemp, youngsters". SI.com. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
- Jon Weisman (May 29, 2006). "Think of Somebody (comment 116)". baseballtoaster.com. Retrieved May 29, 2006.
- Rob McMillan. "Actual Origins of Matt Kemp's Nickname". blogspot.com. Retrieved September 14, 2009.
- Jon Weisman (May 30, 2006). "Suspended in Time (comment 84)". baseballtoaster.com. Retrieved May 30, 2006.
- http://twitter.com/#!/TheRealMattKemp/status/135884682653999104, Kemp's Twitter
- http://www.csnchicago.com/01/13/12/Dodgers-OF-Matt-Kemp-is-a-49ers-fan-/landing.html?blockID=630768, Dodgers OF Matt Kemp is a 49ers fan
- Fultz, Ashley. "Rihanna's Boyfriend Has Special Birthday Plans", E! Online, February 19, 2010
- http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20392403,00.html, Article posted on June 9, 2010
- http://www.people.com/people/gallery/0,,20399186,00.html#20807089, People, July 4, 2010
- MLB, July 12, 2011
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Matt Kemp|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Matt Kemp on Twitter
|Awards and achievements|
|National League Home Run Champion
|National League RBI Champion
|National League Hank Aaron Award
|National League Player of the Month