Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was voted the 2018 Players Choice Awards National League Comeback Player of the Year. Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Clay Buchholz and St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas were the runners up.
Kemp was also named the NL Comeback Player of the Year by Sporting News. Though the Players Choice Awards carry added cache as the honor was voted on by Kemp’s peers in the NL.
When Kemp was traded to the Dodgers last offseason most expected he would not remain with the club. As a trade never manifested, he impressed in Spring Training and was included on their Opening Day roster.
Kemp was an integral part of the Dodgers lineup through the first half of the season, hitting his way to an All-Star Game selection for the first time since 2012. Though, his playing time began to fade during the second half as Kemp became more of a platoon player.
He finished the year batting .290/.338/.481 with 21 home runs and 85 RBI over 146 games. Kemp’s .818 slugging percentage was his highest since 2009, and he was part of the Dodgers setting a franchise record with seven players to slug at least 20 home runs in a single season, and their overall mark of 235 as a team.
Additionally, he drove his 1,000 career RBI and hit a home run on his 34th birthday in a win over the San Diego Padres.