A Guest Blog from Roger Sobin (aka RodgerDodger):

Matt Kemp entered baseball with the Los Angeles Dodgers via the draft in 2003.  After spending some time in the minor leagues he entered the major leagues in 2006 playing in 52 games for the Dodgers at the age of 21

I believe that from the beginning of his dream to play baseball in the major leagues was a dream that he might make it to baseball’s Hall of Fame.  And that dream might still be there inside of him as he is now 29 years old.  (And one probably cannot do that if one is playing as one of four outfielders.)

The question we ask – is this possible?  Maybe.  If he can play at a sustained level for 6 years (till he is 35) that he is under contract with the Dodgers he just might have a chance.   Here is where he is and what he needs to reach Hall of Fame traditional numbers:

  • Hits 1,033                  to reach 2,000 – needs 967 == 160 per season
  • HRs 157                     to reach 500 – needs 343 == 57 per season
  • RBIs 559                    just get a bunch
  • B Avg. 293                  keep it steady

OK, the 160 hits is within reach for the next six seasons.  The 500 home runs might not be, but even hitting 400 would be nice.  Remember Duke Snider only hit 407 and he is in Hall of Fame.

A key element for Matt Kemp would be to “play” like a star player in the major leagues. 

  • To have at least one year being voted Most Valuable Player. 
  • To win at least one batting crown (average wise). 
  • To be voted to a number of All-Star games.
  • To have a number of Silver Slugger awards and Golden Glove awards. 
  • To play in the post season and be named MVP in some of them. 
  • To have some memorable hits in winning key games as a Dodger.

To say in the end, from age 29 to 36, that Matt Kemp was one of the most valuable, important, key players in major league baseball.  If so, he might have a chance.  And to do so would be a key element in keeping the Los Angeles Dodgers on top of all baseball.


  1. Bobbie17 says:

    Kemp’s athletic ability is what sets him apart. These injuries cannot help that aspect of his game. Can he take the extra base? Slide head first to beat a throw? Shag down a ball in the gap? Play “Puig ball”? He was good at that before. I doubt if he will be doing those things now. I think that will affect his value to the Dodgers. Time will tell.

  2. Bobby says:

    I thought Kemp had hall of fame potential/talent in 2009, as we saw him improve. I thought, at his age, and with his progression, he and Kersh had a good shot. By 2011, I was positive.

    Now, as far as hall of fame career goes, he’s basically wasted the last 2 years of his career. And he needs to get 100% healthy and have 4-5 years of 1-2 MVP seasons, plus a ring or 2, to even get close to Hall of Fame candidacy.

    As of now, I’d say no chance. But the next 5 years have to be deadly..

  3. Badger says:

    He needs to play 150 games a year for the remainder of his contract. If he does, he should have an outstanding career and contribute to the team’s success. Hall of a Fame? Personally I doubt it. He lost 2 of his most productive years, and we don’t know yet if he is healed.

  4. Quasimodo says:

    I posted earlier but it didn’t come up. But just as well because all I was doing was repeating myself. Pitchers don’t pitch the same amount of innings as the ‘old days’ and that doesn’t exclude their entries to HOF. Seems percentages has the most meaning. If four outfielders can perform better from being less exposed to a grind then they best except this. It means more to the game,fans,team and even themselves. If it results in more getting on base, it also means there’s more potential at bats. I haven’t attacked the math in where the line crosses, but over a season it could add up to surprising results. I’m looking forward to this.

  5. Bobby says:

    Buster Olney “suggested” we could swap Ethier for Brandon Phillips, for reasons I think are obvious for Cincy, but for reasons I don’t see as obvious for us.

    Similar 3-4 years left on each K. Phillips paid a bit less. But why do we need another expensive vet at 2b when we just signed Guerrero, are about to sign Barbaro, and have Saegar, etc coming?

  6. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Ethier for Brandon Phillips makes sense if it’s a three team deal, and Phillips is shipped from the Dodgers to the third team for something of quality that they really need. And of course, such a deal could also include other players from the Dodgers/Reds. Straight up it doesn’t make any sense for the Dodgers. But one thing is for certain. Ethier would love hitting in the the Great American Bandbox.

    As for Kemp and the Hall of Fame, that could only happen if he remains healthy for the remainder of his contract (6 more years), and puts up big numbers during those years. He’ll turn 35 in September of his final year (2019), so perhaps he might even have some time after that to add to his legacy. And some championships and stellar postseason numbers certainly wouldn’t hurt. Right now, I wouldn’t spend any time dwelling on Kemp’s chances of making it to the Hall. All I want is a healthy Kemp putting up big numbers, and contributing big time to some championships.

  7. Badger says:

    How many are elected into the Hall each year? How many from Kemp’s era? Is he one of the top 10 in his age group? Nope. Like I said, he missed two of what is typically a players most productive years. I don’t care about the HOF. I care about titles. If he can lead this team to a couple of them before that contract is up his name might be mentioned. 150 games a year until he is 35. He is being paid to put up huge numbers. Let’s see it.

  8. Roger Dodger says:

    At least we are not hearing more talk about trading Matt.

    Trust he has a great Spring Training, and gently moves into the 2014 season and establishes himself as a top player in the N.L. It is time he puts up some numbers and earns his money (on the field).

  9. Badger says:

    It’s my opinion that the trade of Ethier should bring back near Major League prospect talent at a position of need (i.g. catcher) or not be done at all. Brando Phillips would have worked last year but we already upgraded at his position. Like was already mentioned, Phillips works in a three way. I still say Ethier would thrive in Boston. I’ve said that for a couple of years now.

  10. Watford Dodger says:

    Why would we want to trade Ethier now? It makes no sense on many different levels. Why would we consider it?
    Ethier (or any other outfielder) has said they are unhappy to stay & fight for their place.
    This team is built to win now – why trade away an important piece when we don’t need to?
    The extra outfielder gives us bench strength – an area where we are weak.
    Who knows how long Mat Kemp is going to be out for – not even running on grass yet?
    How is Carl Crawford gonna hold up?
    Ethier showed last year that he can play CF to a high standard if needed.
    Prospects are great but that’s exactly what they are – prospects. Ethier is a good solid hitter with a career .290 batting average.
    We are not worried about his contract.
    Why trade him?

    Well done Roger on your piece – and I hope everything is going well with your health.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I agree Watford, there is no pressing need to trade Ethier, for all the reasons you cite. I would only trade Ethier if the return justified the deal. Certainly there is no need to trade him just for the sake of trading him. If the right deal comes along, fine, trade him. Otherwise, having four outfielders provides depth, a stronger bench, protection against injury, and an opportunity to keep everyone fresh the entire year.

    And I don’t think this is a bad idea. In fact, it’s something I’ve thought about.


    If Gordon and Guerrero both play well, why not?

  12. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    This sounds good.

    “Meanwhile, reliever Jose Dominguez tried out a new slider grip suggested by legendary lefty Sandy Koufax and reported improved downward break on the pitch.”

    I don’t expect Dominguez to open the season in LA, but definitely believe he can be a factor during the season. If he can learn to throw strikes more consistently, and develops improved secondary stuff, he could be lights out.

  13. Badger says:

    I don’t believe the Dodgers are looking to trade him, but I’m sure they are looking at offers. Everyone knows we have four starting outfielders so I’m sure the phone is ringing. Like many, I don’t see a 162 game player in any of them, so frankly I don’t find the situation a problem. If one if the players makes it a problem, then maybe it will be dealt with in a trade. For now, we look pretty damn good with one of them coming off the bench to pinch hit late in a close game.

  14. Quasimodo says:

    One year ago I’d of applauded Uribe expelled from the roster spot and Dodgers simply eating his contract. It was one of the several things I had wrong. I don’t think there’s need for all the noise about 2B other than we have little else to make noise about. And that’s pretty goddamn nice. I just hope I’m able to get in on viewing the ST games before they start so my eyes will can yap about what they see. I’m more concerned that I’ll miss something worth making noise about. 2B is gonna work its self out fine.

  15. Bobby says:

    U know, going to the topic of the original post, Matt Kemp:

    i think he was on his way to easily becoming the greatest LA Dodger hitter of all time. Even now, at age 29, if he can regain his form, he has plenty of time to become that.

    The stats above say he’s at 157 hr. I believe the all time LA record is 270 by Karros. Kemp can catch that in 4 years, if he’s back to form. Then again, Adrian Beltre and Mike Piazza can also say they were on the way to all time LA status if they didn’t leave :(

  16. Badger says:

    Greatest LA Dodgers hitter ever? Would have been Piazza in a walk if the Dodgers hadn’t bungled that one. It can be Kemp if he gets it back together. There is still time. Starting this year injured would not be a good sign though.

  17. Bobby says:

    In today’s LA Times, Donnie said the ease of Joc Pederson’s swing reminds him of Robinson Cano and Carlos Gonzales.

    Wow. That’s some serious praise. I look forward to seeing this swing al thru March!!

    • Badger says:

      Me too. Like I said, if he tears it up it might make it easier to let Ethier go. Not necessarily right away, but, perhaps a deadline deal? Ethier is being paid a starters salary, and he would earn it in the AL East. Those parks are made for guys like him. If Pederson shows he is ready, might as well give him some at bats.

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