Though the Los Angeles Dodgers will finish this season with at least a .500 record, they’ve got problems: they won’t make the playoffs, and they’re owned by a guy with no business owning a Major League Baseball franchise (or, like, a car dealership, for that matter).
None of that struggling, though, can be attributed to Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, who’s putting together one of the best all-around seasons in memory. He’s hitting for average (.324, third in the National League), he’s getting on base (.399 on-base percentage, fourth in the league), he’s hitting for power (NL-leading 38 homers despite playing half his games in generally pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium), he’s a dangerous baserunner (40 stolen bases, second in the league – and he’s only been caught stealing 11 times), and while fielding metrics are far from perfect, Baseball Reference suggests he’s been impressive in center as well.
With that kind of play comes MVP talk (and quietly, an outside shot at the Triple Crown), even with the Dodgers having an unremarkable season. And that kind of play, when combined with being a young, 6-3, 215-pound archetypal athlete in L.A., leads to opportunities for photoshoots. Recently, Kemp did one of those with Flaunt magazine, and he did the hell out of it. It makes Mark Sanchez’ GQ photos look like nothing. See some of the results above, and learn through the linked piece that Kemp is something of a shopaholic for clothes.
Is it A-Rod-esque? Maybe, but there’s definitely nothing as bad as this…and we have to say, Kemp posed with gusto. Sure, maybe he’ll catch some flak like Sanchez did (and considering that A-Rod tweet we linked above, we suppose he already has), but you can’t say he didn’t put – and, um, nearly bare – all he had into this shoot. All in all, a strangely mesmerizing performance – maybe L.A. is Kemp’s kind of town.
[Vin Scully is my Homeboy, images from Flaunt]