The 2018 season marks a renaissance for Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who continues to exceed expectations in the first year of his second stint with the organization that drafted him in the sixth round of the 2003 MLB Draft.
Kemp enters play on Monday with the highest on-base plus slugging among qualified National League outfielders at .910. For the season, he is hitting a superb .319/.360/.549 with 18 doubles, 15 home runs and 57 RBI in 297 plate appearances.
The 33-year-old’s resurgence at the plate earned him his first All-Star selection since the 2012 season when he was only one year removed from placing second in NL MVP voting. Kemp additionally tallied the second-most votes among NL outfielders on the ballot, and as a result, will start in the Midsummer Classic.
One of two Dodgers representatives in the All-Star Game, Kemp is thrilled to share the honor with longtime teammate Kenley Jansen, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“I get to enjoy the All-Star Game with Kenley. We’ve been locker mates all year and now we’re going to the All-Star Game together. That’s pretty cool,” Kemp said. “We have to get Max Muncy to the All-Star Game, too. He deserves it.”
It isn’t surprising that Kemp is relishing the chance to attend another All-Star Game with Jansen, given how far the two go back together with the Dodgers.
Kemp and Jansen have been teammates for six seasons and counting, and the latter was especially thrilled with the reacquisition of Kemp last offseason.
Kemp also campaigned for the inclusion of another teammate in Max Muncy, who’s one of five candidates in the NL Final Vote.
Muncy, like Kemp, has propelled the Dodgers offense to greater heights this season with elite production that includes a career-high 20 home runs and 1.017 OPS in 248 trips to the plate.
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