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San Diego Padres: What can we expect from Matt Kemp?

Chris Schubert/ UT San Diego

Opening day is just around the corner. After an abysmal 2014 campaign the San Diego Padres made a huge splash this past offseason in hopes of closing the gap between the Los Angeles Dodgers in a race to claim the NL West division title. They started their overhaul by acquiring many players, notably Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, and James Shields to revamp their team.

The Padres acquired outfielder Kemp from the Dodgers in a trade for catcher Yasmani Grandal who led the team in home runs a season ago with 15. It’s not a huge loss considering Kemp hit 25 homers last season. He was brought in to bring some life to the stagnant Padres offense that finished dead last in just about every statistical category.

SD Offense 2014

30th BA .226
30th Hits 1199 7.4/gm
30th RBI 500 3.08/gm
30th OBP .342
30th SLG .342
30th OPS.634

Yikes! Now you know why the organization had to make drastic changes.

Having said that, what can we really get out of Matt Kemp? If you are expecting the Matt Kemp from 2011 you will be sorely disappointed.

But Kemp playing slightly better than he did last season with the Dodgers isn’t far fetched.

2014:
Batting Average .287
Homeruns 25
RBI (runs batted in) 89

In fact there is a bit of optimism as he looked great at spring training. If you compare his numbers from 2013 and this year, he is exceedingly better which indicates he has regained some strength and he isn’t bothered by any of his previous surgeries.

Spring Training
2013               2015
BA .250          .370
Hits 13             20
HR 1                  4
RBI 9                14
OBP .333        .393
SLG .423         .741


OPS .756        1.134

The problem isn’t his offensive capability. He is a defensive liability! He recorded a DRS of -3 that ranked among the worst in the Majors. For you folks that don’t know what DRS is, it stands for defensive runs saved above average. This is a measure of how efficient he is on defense. A -3 means that he is 3 runs worse than the average right fielder at his position.

If you want more detailed info on it, the kind people at Fangraphs can help.

Overview:
The numbers suggest that Matt Kemp will have a big year as he has a lot to prove. But will that translate into wins? Only time will tell…

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Daiki Sato

Daiki Sato a Southern California native and San Diego State Alumni. Loves all things sports. He covers the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Dodgers for Sports Out West.
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