Padres News: Matt Kemp Nearing 100 RBI; First Padres OF Since 1998


You might not think that Greg Vaughn and Matt Kemp have much in common. Matt Kemp once had 40/40 potential, while Greg Vaughn had 121 stolen bases in a fifteen year career(which honestly surprised me). Yet with two more RBI Matt Kemp will be the first Padres outfielder since Greg Vaughn to achieve 100 RBI in a season. Greg Vaughn did it back in 1998.

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This really is no small feat. Chase Headley was the last Padre to achieve the milestone and keep in mind that in 2014 Jedd Gyorko led the Padres with just 51 RBI and Seth Smith led the outfield corps with 48 RBI. When Wil Myers, Justin Upton, and Kemp were brought in this off-season it was certainly to beef up an outfield with power and in that sense it has been a success. Justin Upton leads the team in home runs with 26 and 80 RBI by himself. Gyorko is right back at it again by the way with 53 RBI and up to 16 home runs with a strong second half.

Yet Kemp is the real story here, as reported by Ryan Posner. It would be the first 100 RBI season for Kemp since his near-MVP season of 2011, and only the third time in his career he has reached the mark. It is likely to be the second-most RBI count in his career with only that 2011 season and 126 RBI as a year he hit more runners in to score.

In August alone he brought in 25 RBI, but in general though in general his batting average has been much better in the second half (.290 to .250) it hasn’t much affected his RBI total. He brought in 47 RBI in the first half, compared to 51 in the second half with 12 games left to play.

How long Kemp can maintain this production year in and year out beyond 2015 remains to be seen, but it certainly shows that he has the productivity in him. While the Padres this season have failed to maintain a consistent lead-off hitter, what if Preller gets a consistent on base hitter for the top of the lineup? How high is the Matt Kemp RBI ceiling? Will another run producer step up to complement him in the lineup in 2016? For now, let’s revel in the moment as AJ Preller smiles in his box and says that at least with one player he guessed right.

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