Matt Kemp isn’t having the best April of all-time, despite what some people are saying without actually checking the stat sheets of anything that happened before 2012. Still, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Center Fielder has been having an incredible start on the right side of LA, while Albert Pujols is struggling in Anaheim and his first season in the AL.
Kemp ended his April tear by hitting his 12th home run of the season while losing to the Colorado Rockies 6-2. The Dodgers have the best record in the majors, starting out 16-7 in the first month of the season, maybe buoyed by the new ownership.
Kemp had a career year in 2011 – He narrowly missed on winning the NL MVP, beaten by Ryan Braun. He hit a career high 39 home runs with 126 RBIs, batting .324 and going .399/.586/.986 in the slash line.
This year? Historically great – He has 12 home runs with 25 RBIs while batting .417, leading the league in all the categories. His slash numbers? .490 OBP (2nd in the majors), .893 Slugging (1st in the majors) and an incredible 1.383 OPS, best in the majors as well. How does that stack up historically?
Well, Kemp, like we said earlier, isn’t having the best April ever. Barry Bonds in 2004, averaging .472 with .696 OBP and 1.132 Slugging has the most impressive month performance. Bonds, juiced up, if it matters or not, had more impressive monthly tears like that. Jason Giambi and Albert Pujols, in different years, also went on crazy starts in more recent times. Jose Bautista wasn’t too far away from that production last season as well.
But the game changes quickly. In a pitcher friendly league as it has been in recent years, these accomplishments might be even more impressive. The cleanliness of the era also has something to do with factoring in these numbers. Whether best or not, Kemp’s April has been one to remember.
Someone who would like to forget his April and his debut month with the Angels is Albert Pujols. At 32, after 11 season with the St. Louis Cardinals, 2 World Series titles and 3 NL MVP awards, age or the size of his contract is taking Pujols down. How bad?
He’s hitting .217 with a .265/.304/.570 slash line, all obviously career lows. Worst of all? Pujols has yet to hit a home run this season, driving in only four runs. This is from a guy with 445 career home runs, not hitting less than 32 HR a season since his rookie campaign. The Angels are currently last in the AL West after a 8-15 start. The first place to look at and criticize is Pujols’ 10-year, $254 million contract.