The “Matt Kemp is lazy and out of shape” meme got beat to death last year. Was there any truth to it? Sure, some. But it probably got overplayed because I’m not sure anyone is due as much garbage he got thrown on him in 2010. In light of all of that, I feel justified in relaying exactly one inning’s worth of Matt Kemp data as a means of trying to balance things out.
Kemp led off the top of the second here at Tempe Diablo. He cracked a single up the middle. Then he stole second base. Then he advanced to third base on a grounder to short that a lot of guys would have held up on but on which Kemp had such a great jump that he would have beat the throw even if Erick Aybar had tried to make a play. Then Kemp tagged, hauled ass and scored on a shallow fly to center by Russ Mitchell.
The way I see it, that was three instances of hustle in one at bat, his first of spring training. That’s not a lot of data, but maybe it’s time that we all pour our Matt Kemp Haterade down the drain.