Still believing in Kemp, Berkman, Jeter 

January, 28, 2011

Anyone remember 2009? How about 2008? Yeah, I know it was a really long time ago, but it seems to me having a long memory can be invaluable when attempting to be a smart, well-informed fantasy player, or fantasy analyst. So it was that I found myself in a room with my ESPN fantasy editorial brethren, trying in vain to point out the virtues of what Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp accomplished before 2010. I wasn't literally on my own lonely island fighting for Kemp, but it didn't feel good.

[+] EnlargeMatt Kemp
Gary A. Vasquez/US PresswireMatt Kemp hit a career-high 28 homers in 2010 but also hit a career-low .249, which could drop his value in many drafts.
Kemp was a statistical -- read, fantasy -- disappointment in the most recent season, as his batting average dropped to a miserable .249. Hey, it could have been worse. He could have been Carlos Pena or Mark Reynolds. We didn't expect Kemp to drop 48 points off a batting average that wasn't supposed to be a problem in the first place. Kemp also ran less; well, that's not entirely true, he was just successful on a lot fewer stolen base attempts. Add it all up and yes, Kemp, despite a career high in home runs and enough speed to matter, didn't deliver the fantasy goods like the No. 2 outfielder he was supposed to be. Thanks to batting average, he finished as the No. 30 outfielder. It's quite a drop. But it doesn't mean he hits .249 in 2011. That was my point!