Is Kemp a future Hall of Famer?
Following an impressive 2011 campaign, Matt Kemp said, "I'm going to go 50-50 next year," referring to finishing a regular season with at least 50 homers and 50 stolen bases.
No one in the long history of the game has accomplished such a feat.
In 2011, Kemp hit 39 home runs and stole 40 bases, finishing just one homer shy of joining the elite, four-member 40-40 club. Only Jose Canseco (1988), Barry Bonds ('96), Alex Rodriguez ('98) and Alfonso Soriano ('06) have done so.
In 2011, Kemp played 161 games and led the NL in homers, RBI (126) and runs (115), while hitting .324, which was third in the National League behind the Mets' Jose Reyes (.337) and the Brewers' Ryan Braun (.332). Had the Dodgers made the playoffs — they placed third in the NL West — Kemp might have won the NL MVP instead of being the runner-up to Braun, who powered Milwaukee to an NL Central crown.
Chasing 50-50, Kemp lived up to half of his goal in the first month of 2012. He was hitting the homers, but was short in the stolen-base department.
He cranked two homers and collected eight RBI in the Dodgers' opening series vs. the San Diego Padres, won back-to-back NL Player of the Week awards to start the year, set a Dodgers record for homers in April (12) and was named the NL Player of the Month.
His April numbers: Twelve homers, 25 RBI, .417 batting average, .490 on-base percentage and .893 slugging percentage — but only two stolen bases.
Those stats had people talking about the possibility of the first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski's in 1967 — of course, by now you know Detroit's Miguel Cabrera ended the drought.
Meanwhile, Kemp ended up on the disabled list on May 14 with a hamstring injury and had his major league-leading consecutive-games played streak snapped at 399. Injuries hampered the rest of his 2012 campaign, as he played only 106 games. He finished the year with a .303 batting average, 23 homers, 69 RBI and just nine stolen bases.
Currently in his eighth major league season, Kemp, who turns 29 in September, owns a .292 career batting average with 153 homers and 543 RBI (through June 23). He also has 160 career stolen bases, which ranks 25th among active players.
Now, before you let your blood pressure rise — and feel like commenting on how silly it is to say Kemp belongs in the Hall of Fame — FOXSports.com isn't saying that.
We're just wondering, and asking, if you think the Midwest City, Okla., product will end up there when his career is over.
To make it, of course Kemp will have to improve on his numbers and play for at least 10 more years.
Watch the above video to hear more of his case.