Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Matt Kemp: Best April Ever, Notwithstanding That Shrunken Testicle Guy

Cliff Corcoran over at SI.com says that Matt Kemp's April is one for the ages, but not as good as Barry Bonds' Aprils:

Matt Kemp is off to an incredible start this season, hitting .425/.495/.888 with 11 home runs and 24 RBIs through Sunday. He's so hot that it has prompted the question as to whether or not Kemp is having the greatest April ever by a hitter, and if not, just where he ranks on the all-time list. (For a look at hot starts by pitchers see my story on Jered Weaver from a year ago.)

The easy answer is that Kemp isn't having the best April ever. With one game left to play, Kemp is going to fall far short of Barry Bonds' 2004 performance, even though Kemp's counting stats outpace those of Bonds, who had 10 home runs and 22 RBIs but but put up the absurd slash-line of .472/.696/1.132.

Unless he has a game for the ages in Denver on Monday [Sax's note: he didn't] , Kemp will also fall short of the April records for home runs (14 by Albert Pujols in 2006 and Alex Rodriguez in 2007) and RBIs (36 by Juan Gonzalez in 1998, including one on March 31 -- note that, where applicable, the April splits below include games played in March).

Corcoran goes on to place Kemp's April in relative comparison to other April greats. Kemp makes the list handily, but based on different cuts falls somewhere in the middle, and well after Bonds' Aprils (1993, 2002, 2004) among others' breakout starts.

No worries! We've got other months to conquer, right Matty?


Dusty Baker said...

From the article, as originally pointed out in D Hernandez's article:

"only the fourth time in major-league history a player has finished April with a batting average higher than .400, with more than 10 home runs and more than 20 RBI"

Bonds, Larry Walker, and Tony Perez were the others.

Hideo Nomo said...

I'm curious how many games in April that each played, too.