Matt Kemp Finds a Home at First Base
The 2019 season was not kind to Matt Kemp as he struggled in Cincinnati where he played only 20 games and hit just one home run for the season. Coming to Miami offers the 35-year-old veteran a chance to play every day and return to the form that saw him hit 21 home runs in a Dodgers uniform just two years ago.
Kemp signed a minor-league deal and was offered a chance to come to Spring Training as a non-roster invite. It plays out well for him in that if he shows consistency, there’s no reason to think he won’t make the 26-man roster.
It’s one of the better “low-risk, high-reward” deals within the organization. Given that he can play both corner outfield spots and first base, he provides versatility the front office looks for with its players. He also could fill a role that was vacated when Martin Prado retired with leadership on the bench and in the clubhouse.
If he is able to make the roster, stays healthy, and gets into the lineup more than 300 at-bats this season, there’s no reason to think he can’t hit 15 to 20 home runs this year and drive in 60 RBI.
Don’t expect camp to be in the starting lineup on Opening Day, but do expect him to replace an injured player and stick around for a while.