Atlanta Braves: Can Matt Kemp turn the clock back?

Aug 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Matt Kemp (27) Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Matt Kemp (27) Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Braves were able to pick up a much needed piece before the trade deadline ended on August 1st. In a surprising move, they added Matt Kemp from the Padres for Hector Olivera. This trade will help provide the Braves with the power that they have been missing in the lineup.

The Atlanta Braves have lacked power this year and were looking to add some via trade. Luckily for them, the San Diego Padres were willing to unload the contract of Matt Kemp and give him to the Braves. Now Atlanta has a true cleanup hitter that can hit behind Freddie Freeman and drive in runs.

Two of the happiest people in Atlanta right now have to be Freeman and manager Brian Snitker. With Kemp in the lineup, this gives Snitker the chance to shuffle it more and create mismatches. With Kemp on the tail end of his career, it will be interesting to see how he plays and how he performs at Turner Field for the Atlanta Braves.

Pure Power

Before any Braves fans get upset, Freeman is no slouch hitting with power. This year especially hitting with more power the opposite way. Kemp provides something that the Atlanta Braves have not had all season. A hitter from the right side, who can muscle it over any part of the ballpark. With Turner Field being very hitter friendly, Kemp should have no problem hitting them out.

Matt Kemp has been hitting .259 with 23 home runs and 69 RBI’s this season. For someone who will turn 32 next month, that is pretty decent. Look for those numbers to continue to rise as Kemp plays for the team he cheered for growing up.

Growing Up a Braves Fan

Earlier this week, Kemp helped contribute to an article about the trade and growing up an Atlanta Braves fan in Oklahoma. In the Players’ Tribune article, Kemp said, “I used to rush home from school to finish my homework so I could turn on the TV and watch Chipper Jones, Ron Gant, David Justice, Fred McGriff, Greg Maddux and Jon Smoltz play their hearts out for the Braves.”   

That article shows just how much Kemp wants to get his baseball career back on track and is willing to do what it takes. With Kemp in Atlanta, it’s almost a homecoming for Kemp. It will be like he never left.

Moving Forward

Although the Atlanta Braves will not make the postseason this year, Kemp is more than a consolation prize. He provides something that can help the Braves on their road to rebuild. It also won’t hurt having more people go to the games just to watch him.

Next: Atlanta Falcons sign veteran DE Dwight Freeney

Kemp has the tools and the attitude to turn his career around and regain the success he had in the past. What better way to turn it around, then under the lights at the ballpark he grew up watching on television.