The 5 N.L. West sites here on FanSided had a vote earlier in the week on who we thought was the MVP for the first half in the N.L. West. For the Dodgers it’s a no brainier, it’s Matt Kemp and it’s not even close. If you look at his stats he’s making a legitimate run at the triple crown in the N.L.
Kemp is currently (prior to Saturday’s games) 3 points behind the Mets Jose Reyes in batting average at .331 (4th in ALL of MLB), he leads the N.L. with 21 HR’s (2 behind Jose Bautista), and he is 3rd in RBI’s with 60 (Fielder has 65 Ryan Howard has 62). It’s remarkable he has so many RBI considering Rafael Furcal has been hurt all year and Andre Ethier is about the only guy getting on base consistently ahead of him.
Even more amazing is his protection in the lineup is James Loney, imagine if he had a legitimate threat at the plate behind him his numbers would be crazy, it still amazes me teams don’t pitch around him more than they already do. Kemp adds one more skill to the equation that none of the league leaders aside from Reyes posses, speed his 21 steals put him in the top 5 in the N.L in that category as well.
He’s just outside the top 5 in Runs scored ranking 6th, he’s 3rd in On-Base Percentage, and top overall in Slugging Percentage giving him a whopping 1.050 OPS which is also tops in the N.L. He is on pace to have one of the greatest single offensive years in Dodger history but it’s a shame that hardly anyone is noticing.
The last update on the All-Star voting had Kemp in 4th place behind Ryan Braun, Lance Berkman, and Matt Holliday. Obviously Kemp is being hurt by the Dodgers struggling attendance, as pointed out by Steve Dilbeck at the L.A. Times, and the Dodgers poor play isn’t helping his cause either. St. Louis fans are obviously voting a lot but there’s no question Kemp should be the starting center fielder at the All-Star game. To see the rest of the FanSided N.L. West MVP’s click here.
FanSided has also recently launched a new site dedicated to baseball prospects called Seedlings to Stars, it’s a great resource for all of your prospect news and has some of the most talented writers on the network working for it. They recently did a write-up on Dodgers first round pick Chris Reed. The latest news I could find on the negotiations between the Dodgers and Reed’s agent Scott Boras (uh oh) comes from Tony Jackson over at ESPN LA. Jackson feels that:
The combination of being advised by Boras and the fact the Dodgers generally don’t go above “slot” money even for first-round draft picks — even though they did last year, signing Texas high-school pitcher Zach Lee to a $5.25 million bonus in the final hours before the deadline and spreading payment of that bonus over five years — would seem to suggest this won’t be a quick negotiation.
Just what Dodger fans wanted to hear. The combination of Boras and the mess that currently is the Dodgers front office tells me we won’t see Reed pitching up the road from me in Ogden anytime soon. Too bad. Speaking of the Dodgers front office mess Steve Soboroff who clashed big-time with MLB during his short tenure with the Dodgers resigned today. Here’s a copy of the letter he sent to Frank McCourt courtesy of Steve Dilbeck at the LA Times:
I accepted the position as Vice Chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers because I love Los Angeles and I love the Dodgers. I felt I could use my previous experience during the past 30+ years with civic and public policy projects like Staples Center, the city’s Recreation and Parks system, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, etc., etc. to help the Dodger organization and to help Los Angeles.
On the day my appointment was announced, last April, I received hundreds of messages of support from people throughout Los Angeles. It was a great start!
Unfortunately, the very next day, an unanticipated action by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball resulted (understandably) in elevating the resolution of ‘control and ownership’ issues to top priority, which remains to this day. As a consequence, it is not possible for me to effectively work on the very initiatives and contributions that you had hired me to implement.
My family and I have reflected on this turn of events and have determined that the present environment is not conductive to getting the results I was brought on to achieve for the Dodger organization or for Los Angeles
As a result, I am tendering my resignation as Vice Chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers, effective immediately.
I remain a lifelong Dodger fan and will now embark on a different path to continue my longstanding efforts to make good things happen in Los Angeles.
Well that was quick Steve, we hardly knew you were even around, think he saw the writing on the wall come June 30th? At least it frees up some money to help Frank make payroll. Oh by the way the Dodgers lost to the Angels last night 8-to-3 dropping to 9 games below .500, just in case anyone was wondering. And judging by the attendance at the first “Freeway Series” game last night, the lowest ever in the series history, most of you weren’t wondering.
At the very least go to MLB.com, take 5 minutes and vote for Matt Kemp 25 times, it’s the most votes you’re allowed to do, and based on Kemp’s efforts this year it’s the least we could all do for him.