Los Angeles Dodgers centerfielder Matt Kemp has boldly claimed he’ll be the first 50-50 man in MLB history. No player has hit 50 homeruns and stolen 50 bases in a season. In 2011, Kemp was a homerun shy of the 40-40 club. Last season, Kemp finished runner up in the National League MVP balloting behind Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Despite his spectacular numbers in 2011, it’s still pretty big talk for someone who hit .249 in 2010. Who can say Kemp won’t regress in 2012?
It’s interesting that Kemp isn’t predicting the Dodgers will win the NL West though. I remember the flak Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins got into after he said prior to spring training in 2007 that the Phillies were the “team to beat in the NL East” against the heavily favored New York Mets. Yet the Phillies won their first of five consecutive NL East titles and Rollins ended up with the NL MVP that season.
Even if Kemp gets 50-50 don’t count on him winning the NL MVP if the Dodgers finish in fourth place in the NL West.