Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Matt Kemp Named National League Player of the Month for April
Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp has been unanimously voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for April. Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and sponsor for 24 of 30 MLB clubs, is also the presenting sponsor of the National League and American League Player of the Month Awards.
Through 23 April contests, Kemp led the Majors with a .417 (35-for-84) batting average and 12 home runs while ranking tops in the National League in RBI (25), hits (35), runs (24) and slugging percentage (.893), and second in on-base percentage (.490). The Oklahoma native’s 12 April homers set a new franchise record and were the fifth-most ever during the month behind Albert Pujols (14 in 2006); Alex Rodriguez (14 in 2007); Luis Gonzalez (13 in 2001); and Ken Griffey, Jr. (13 in 1997). Kemp joined Tony Perez (CIN, 1970), Larry Walker (COL, 1997) and Barry Bonds (SF, 2004) as one of only four players since 1921 to finish April with a .400 batting average, 10-or-more home runs and at least 20 RBI. His 75 total bases in April tied for the eighth-most all-time. The 27-year-old’s sizzling bat played a key role in the Dodgers’ National League-best 16-7 record in April, the team’s best start since 1983. On Saturday, April 28th, Kemp clubbed his fifth career walk-off homer in the 10th inning of the Dodgers’ 4-3 victory over Washington at Dodger Stadium. The sixth round selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft collected hits in 10 straight games from April 11th-21st, hitting .556 (20-for-36) in that span. The 2011 N.L. All-Star selection won consecutive Player of the Week Awards for the weeks ending April 8th and April 15th after hitting a combined .487 (19-for-39) with six homers and 16 RBI to begin the 2012 campaign. It marked the first time that a player had won back-to-back N.L. Player of the Week honors to begin a season and the first time that a player had won the award three straight times (Kemp was named N.L. Player of the Week during the final week of the 2011 season). This is Matt’s first career Monthly Award.
The Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month, Matt Kemp, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, in recognition of his accomplishment.