The Astros outfielder has made the most of his opportunity, he started as a role player and has worked his way into the starting lineup consistently.
Drafted in the fifth round back in 2013, the 5’6″ outfielder has finally proven he can be an everyday player. Kemp opened the year in Triple-A Fresno. But he was called up due to Jake Marisnick‘ s injury back in May and has never looked back. Kemp has had brief stints with the Astros before but has always found himself back in Fresno.
This time is different. In the last five months with the Astros, Kemp has put up worthy numbers that have allowed him to stay with the Major League club.
Kemp is batting .289 with 6 HR’s, 30 RBI’s and .809 OPS, Kemp has never been a power, but he is always someone who gets on base. Kemp is a hit for average type of player, and in his last seven games, he is batting .714. His average is top five on the team, and he has only received about thirty at-bats less than most Astros starters.
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Kemp is also a great fielder. He can play all three outfield positions as well as second base. Back in college he was known for his glove and has carried that over to the professional level. In his last three years where he has been with the major league club, he has had only three errors in 186 chances.
In the playoffs, he will have the opportunity to play either in right or left field. I believe the Astros will switch between Kemp and Josh Reddick in right field, allow last years World Series MVP George Springer to play center, and let World Series game two hero Marwin Gonzalez play in left. Defensively, it is the best case scenario for the Stros, all four of these players have good arms and speed.
In my opinion, Kemp has shown enough to be an everyday starter in the lineup. He is 26 years old and can be another young piece to an already stacked roster. Kemp has been a valuable player for the Astros this season and has shown manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow that he is more than just a role player.
Him and teammate Alex Bregman stepped up when the team needed them the most during all-stars Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa absents. Kemp deserves not only to be a starter in the playoffs but an everyday player for the Astros in the future.