Matt Kemp went deep last night for the second straight game as the Dodgers swept the Rockies out of playoff contention and afterward he had the following exchange with Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
With his long and strikeout-filled season coming to a close, Matt Kemp started making bold predictions about next season. … When he was asked how many home runs he will hit, Kemp replied, “40.”
How many steals? “Forty,” he said.
Forty-forty? “I have to pay the fans back, man,” Kemp said. “They deserve it.”
Laughing, he added, “They’ve been mad at me all season. I have to do something for them, something special. We all do. Give them a little taste right now.”
Setting lofty goals can be a good thing–the guy is dating Rihanna, after all–but Kemp has never hit even 30 homers. And while he has swiped 30-plus bases twice, Kemp has just 19 steals this season and has been caught stealing 15 times. In other words, don’t count on 30-30, let alone 40-40.
Also worth noting is that this isn’t the first time Kemp has talked himself up as a 40-40 candidate. In fact, it isn’t even the first time he’s done so with Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Here’s a similar exchange they had in March of 2009:
So will this be the year that Kemp puts up the kind of numbers that mirror his seemingly limitless ceiling? Can he hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases? “Sure,” he said. “I think I’m capable of doing something like that.”
Since then Kemp has 51 homers and 53 steals … in two seasons and 318 games.