Los Angeles—After missing half of the 2013 season, Matt Kemp awaits to show his worth to Los Angeles, but he won’t rush his debut.
Kemp spoke to reporters at the Dodgers Fan Fest in February and said he might not be ready to return to the starting lineup this month when the Dodgers kick off a two-game series in Australia March 22-23. A month later he’s still feels the same about his decision.
” I’m going to be on my own program for the moment. I’m not rushing back, Kemp said. I want to be 100 percent. When I’m 100 percent, that’s when I’ll start playing.”
Last season was not so riveting for the centerfielder; you can describe it as one of his roughest seasons ever. Kemp was sidelined with three different injuries last year to the hamstring, left shoulder and ankle.
Despite what anyone else says or thinks, Kemp has not let his absence from baseball shoot his confidence down. He still perceives himself as one of the greatest players in baseball.
“Of course I do,” Kemp said. “I never thought I wasn’t one of the best players in the game. I work hard at this game. It’s something I love to do. I’ve had some pretty good success at it. You’ve got to consider yourself one of the best to be the best and I do.”
A healthy Kemp is arguably one of the best players in the league, but he has a lot to prove to his naysayers and doubters. And if you think he’s not capable of making his non-believers look unintelligent, you are wrong.
Back in 2010 baseball wasn’t going too well for Kemp and just about everyone in the sports world had written him off, and said some merciless words about him. His batting average dwindled down to .249, which became a big deal in Los Angeles. The following season (2011) he put his troubles aside and started living.
He took his game to another level. He went .324-39-126 in 2011 (with 40 steals to boot). Kemp had a prolific season and the Dodgers would sign him to an eight-year, $160 million extension.
What I’m trying to say is Kemp is known to bounce back after having a severe season, so don’t be so quick to write him off.
Kemp also reminded reporters at Fan Fest that’s he’s still the same Kemp that everybody considered to be the best player in baseball in 2011 when he was a NL MVP candidate.
“I’m not made of glass,” Kemp told them. “I’m a beast still.”
The Kemp wait is almost over. Stay tuned.