Draft Day Decision: Is Matt Kemp Being Overdrafted At #4?

At this point Matt Kemp is almost a unanimous Top 5 selection as, according to Mock Daft Central, he has an ADP of 3,95. Fantasy owners are clamoring to pick hm as the cornerstone of their team. The question is, however, is he really worth it?

I am not about to question his talent or that he is a first round pick. However, to consider him a lock as the fourth best player feels like a mistake. While he did struggle with injuries in 2012, the numbers just don’t necessarily warrant the pick:

403 At Bats
.303 Batting Average (122 hits)
23 Home Runs
69 RBI
74 Runs
9 Stolen Bases
.367 On Base Percentage
.538 Slugging Percentage
.354 Batting Average on Balls in Play

The first number that jumps out at you is the stolen base total. Granted he has stolen 34+ bases in three out of five seasons, but seeing him with 9 is alarming. While he “improved” in the second half, he still had just 7 in 282 AB (70 games). With Adrian Gonzalez now behind him in the lineup, will he be allowed to run less? It’s a fair concern.

Then you have the power. It is promising that he hit 23 HR when on the field and nearly matched his HR/FB from 2011 (in fact, he improved on it at 21.7%). However, his fly ball rate did fall and he is nursing a shoulder injury this spring (he is working his way back from October surgery).

Could he hit 35+ HR again? It’s not impossible, but he has only accomplished the feat once and the injury does bring a little cause for concern. Expecting 27-32 may be a lot more realistic.

The average isn’t a real concern, as he as posted a BABIP north of .340 every year but one (2010). A career .295 hitter who has hit .297 or better in three of the past four seasons, there is no reason to think he will be anything different in 2013.

Throw in 100/100 potential in the loaded Dodgers lineup and there is a lot to like. However, there is also reason to be skeptical.

Let’s just say he doesn’t recover in the SB department and the shoulder injury does help to stunt his power. Instead of 30/30 potential we are talking maybe 20/20, or even 25/10…

Again, I am not advocating passing him up, especially since there is arguably no guarantees at the fourth slot. Would anyone really prefer Albert Pujols or Robinson Cano or Andrew McCutchen over him? Maybe Joey Votto, but as a 1B even that’s a stretch. The moral of the story really is that, after the first three picks, the questions begin quickly.

While Kemp is the fourth overall pick, just make sure you go in with your eyes open.

What are your thoughts of Kemp for 2013?  Is he a player you think should be taken 4th overall?  Are you at all skeptical about his potential?

***** No matter how you purchase the Rotoprofessor 2013 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (whether you buy it directly or get it as part of our FanDuel promotion), one lucky purchaser will win a:

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Make sure to check out all of our 2013 projections:

Buy 'Em Or Deny 'Em: Early Spring Fallout: Brandon Belt, Jedd Gyorko & Dan Uggla
Random Stat of the Day - Adrian Beltre's Power/Strikeouts

4 comments

  1. Darin says:

    After last year, I see Kemp as a #7-#9 pick.

    I would go with #1&#2 Braun or Miggy (whoever you like more) #3 Trout (if keeper league, bump him to #1)
    I like Cano #4, Votto #5, McClutch #6 and then maybe Kemp at #7. Kemp is still a great player, but last years injuries, I feel, make him an unsure top 5 pick.

    In most of my autodrafts this spring, I seem to get Votto anywhere between 5th – 11th rounds. I will always take him before Kemp or Pujols (if Votto’s gone after 7th round I like to grab a pitcher – Kershaw-Verlander-Strasburg) if Kemp is still around at #10 or later, I feel thats a pretty good bargain for the injury risk.

  2. Tony Jaramillo says:

    Not everyone gets the #1 pick in drafts. Unfortunately, there is someone that is stuck with the last pick in round 1 of a 10 team draft. In this case someone will be “given” the 4th overall pick. Suppose that someone is a Dodger fan, he wants Matt Kemp plain and simple.
    Question to you that is worried about “OVERDRAFTING.” Do you think that the owner in slot 4 has a chance to land Matt Kemp in the 2nd round (17th overall pick)?
    Plain and simple folks, GO AFTER the player YOU WANT. This is FANTASY baseball and you want to have fun during the season with the players you like. Disregard “OVERDRAFTING” mumbo-jumbo talk.

    • jmax says:

      I guess the month of March brings all the tools out of the shed.
      This site offers info to those of us involved in competative leagues. If you are a casual participant who’s in it for fun that’s fine but don’t insults one’s work. Save your “mumbo jumbo” for someother clown site

  3. Darin says:

    We ALL want to have FUN!

    We also, ALL want to be competitive and WIN!!!!!! (or we should be trying at least!)

    You really can’t go wrong in the 1st and 2nd rounds of a draft. All the players are studs,

    But there’s nothing wrong with ranking players and trying to establish player values for everyone to compare.

    Everybody have a GREAT FANTASY BASEBALL SEASON!!!

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