Thursday, September 19, 2013

Matt Kemp, Poised To Rebound Big In 2014

Jim Bowden of forecasted some players he expects to have huge comebacks in 2014:

Forecasting how well these players will bounce back can be tricky, but based on a player’s track record and work ethic, general managers often will take gambles based on hunches. They often are the best offseason acquisitions because they cost nothing in terms of trade assets or signing values.

Here are seven players who I believe will have bounce-back seasons in 2014 after subpar 2013 seasons:

1. Matt Kemp | CF | Los Angeles Dodgers

Kemp’s injury-plagued 2013 season was nothing short of a nightmare. Early in the season he didn’t display his typical power, and while the team maintained he was healthy, most observers attributed his lack of power to a surgically repaired shoulder. He also was hampered by a sore right hamstring in May, then again in June.

However, with Kemp’s high character and work ethic, I would expect him to return 100 percent in 2014. A fire will burn inside him to prove he can regain his 2011 form, when he led the NL in runs, home runs and RBIs. To have a healthy Kemp and Yasiel Puig in the same lineup next season will be can’t-miss baseball. The Dodgers will boast two of the best power/speed combination players in baseball.

In fact, Kemp made his first start since July on Tuesday night and went 4-for-4 with two doubles, giving us a glimpse of what he is capable of. I would not be surprised if he returned to be an MVP candidate.

Bowden also gave some love to the Angels' Albert Pujols, not to mention Matt Cain and Pablo Sandoval of the Giants.