Matt Kemp stole his 20th base of the season last night, which along with 20 homers puts him halfway to joining the 40-homer, 40-steal club after just 75 games.
Jose Canseco was the first 40-40 player in 1988 and since then Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano have joined him in the club.
Kemp obviously has a long way to go, as getting another 20 homers and 20 steals in the remaining 87 games would be a major accomplishment for anyone, but he’s off to a historic start.
Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. did some digging and found that Kemp is just the ninth player to reach 20-20 by the midway point (81st game) of a season. Actually, he’s the eighth player, as Canseco did it twice and Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, Eric Davis, and Ken Williams each did it once.
And Kemp still has another six games to add to his before-the-midway-point totals.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.