Padres Editorial: Padres Will Go As Far As Kemp Takes Them

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Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images

When the San Diego Padres acquired slugging outfielder Matt Kemp, he brought a swagger to the locker room that hadn’t been seen in quite a long time. Most recent Padres teams had been led by quiet leaders such as Chase Headley or Adrian Gonzalez. Every Major League ball player is different and each have their own way of getting ready for the daily grind that a baseball season is.

Matt Kemp has been out there every day. He has only had two days out of the starting line-up. At the age of 30, Kemp is eager to prove that his health is 100 percent and he is still one of the best players in the game. He believes that, and why shouldn’t he? He has performed at an unbelievable pace in the Major Leagues. Recently he has been slowed by injuries and once he overcomes the last mental barrier, he should explode with offensive production.

The game of baseball is such a mental sport. If you go to bat with any doubts in your mind, you are going to make a fool out of yourself. Kemp has had many issues including health and production. Because he has been pressing so hard at the plate to perform, his natural swing has eluded him.

The Padres lineup with a healthy Matt Kemp could be very lethal. Justin Upton has been producing for the Padres and teamed with Kemp that duo could wreak havoc on the National League. Kemp has shown signs of breaking out of his nearly five-week slump. With his thord home run of the year on Thursday, Kemp could be in store for a hot streak. He has always been a streaky hitter, perhaps a streak is about to start.

A healthy Kemp could take this team on his back and guide them to the promise land. It remains to be seen if Kemp is able to regain the form that he has flashed through out his career. Last year in Los Angeles, Kemp had an incredible second half of the season. If he is capable of performing at that level last season, one would think he could still easily have a great year.

With the loss of Wil Myers the team has even more need to rely on Kemp to produce. Myers had been producing as the teams lead-off hitter. He is lost for the next eight weeks. In his absence, Melvin Upton Jr.and Will Venable will be heavily relied on. Both have an excellent glove in center field and that is a positive for the Padres team.

Matt Kemp must help guide this team over the next few weeks. The team is very much in the playoff race, but needs to succeed now. If the team fails to remain close, most fear in San Diego that the Padres will start to dismantle the team to a certain degree. Not a firesale by any means, but the Padres will surely take a look at acquiring some talent for their veteran Major League talent, Justin Upton, Ian Kennedy, Joaquin Benoit and Will Venable are likely to be shopped if the Padres fall farther out of the race.

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