On the heels of being voted National League Comeback Player of the Year by Sporting News, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has also been named a finalist for the 2018 Players Choice Comeback Player of the Year.
The season was complete unexpected for Kemp, both in terms of returning to the Dodgers organization and playing his way to an All-Star Game selection. Even now, as Kemp’s playing time dwindled during the second half and he’s become part of a platoon.
He finished the regular season batting .290/.338/.481 with 21 home runs and 85 RBI over 146 games. Kemp’s .818 slugging percentage was his highest since 2009. He also was part of the franchise setting a record with seven players to slug at least 20 home runs in a single season, and their overall mark of 235 as a team.
Not only did Kemp help carry the Dodgers through the first half of the season, he’s been praised for establishing a positive presence in the clubhouse and helping mentor Cody Bellinger and others.
The winners and second- and third-place finishers for the Players Choice Comeback Player of the Year Award will each receive a grant from the Major League Baseball Players Trust to donate to a charity of their choice. The winners will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 27.
The Comeback Player Award was the first award distributed in the inaugural Players Choice Awards in 1992. Dennis Eckersley and Barry Bonds were the first two players to receive the honor. Since then, the Players Trust contributed more than $4 million to charities.
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