Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was named the National League Comeback Player of the Year by Sporting News. The award was voted on by his peers, and Kemp was the clear winner with 51 votes.
His former Atlanta Braves teammate, Nick Markakis, received 32 votes, while St. Louis Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas drew 24 and reliever Jonny Venters garnered 13. There were 20 different NL players that received votes.
Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price was the recipient of the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Kemp was very deserving of the award after having an outstanding 2018 season. The Dodgers traded for him last offseason, sending Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir and Charlie Culberson to the Braves in what was a salary-motivated trade so they could get below the luxury tax threshold.
Kemp wasn’t expected to remain with the Dodgers for long as the team explored other trade options for him. They were unable to deal him though, so he reported to Spring Training and wound up winning the starting left field job.
The 34-year-old, who has battled a multitude of injuries in recent years, got off to a hot start and rode it all the way to the All-Star break, where he was named a starter for the NL in the Midsummer Classic.
Overall in 146 games in 2018, Kemp hit .290/.338/.481 with 21 home runs and 85 RBI. He also improved defensively, which can be attributed to all of the weight he lost last offseason.
Kemp’s role down the stretch of the season has decreased a bit, but he is still in the lineup against left-handed pitching in the postseason as he and the Dodgers pursue their first World Series championship in 30 years.
Want to get your content COMPLETELY AD FREE? Click here to follow us on Apple News!