Time to get aboard the 'Matt Kemp for Starting All-Star' campaign
Really, what is it going to take?
I get that these voting tallies lag behind actual results somewhat, and that Matt Kemp is coming off a monster weekend, but it’s not like he was playing in the shadows before Cincinnati.
I was as hard as anyone on Kemp last season, but so far this year he has turned it all around and deserves appropriate recognition -- to be voted in as a National League All-Star starter.
Kemp is currently the N.L.’s top outfielder. Here are his current stats and league ranking: .323 batting average (fifth), 16 home runs (second), 48 RBI (first), 14 stolen bases (tied for fifth), 38 runs (10th), slugging percentage .591 (second), on-base percentage .406 (fifth).
No one else can match that body of work, yet Kemp remains fourth in the latest voting tallies released Monday by Major League Baseball for N.L. outfielders.
This is not a slam at those currently ahead of him -- Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun (the leading vote-getter) and St. Louis’ Matt Holiday and Lance Berkman. They’re deserving All-Stars, but they shouldn't start over Kemp.
Kemp has never been an All-Star. Maybe some are reluctant to vote for him because of his disappointing 2010, maybe his tallies are down because of decreased attendance at Dodger Stadium, maybe some of his votes have been siphoned away by teammate Andre Ethier.
But it’s time to do away with all that and vote him in. Most voting is done online these days and a ballot is available here. Voting ends June 30th.
Kemp is on pace for a record season for the Dodgers. A season that has earned starting All-Star recognition.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Matt Kemp. Credit: Joe Robbins / Getty Images