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Fantasy Baseball Profile: Matt Kemp

On the news that Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is dating Rihanna, we figured now is as good a time as any to drop a little 2010 fantasy baseball knowledge on the dude.

It’s way too early to speculate on whether or not Rihanna could one day be one of Baseball’s Hottest Wives – but we’re pretty sure she’d give Heidi DeRosa a run for her money were she eligible. However, that’s a whole ‘nother fantasy all together

In 2009, Kemp batted .297 with 26 home runs, 101 RBI, 97 runs scored and 34 steals – turning him into a fantasy baseball superstar and MLB Silver Slugger. And while the team at Fantasy Baseball Dugout doesn’t really care about fielding accolades – he won a freakin’ Gold Glove too.

Stealin’ bases. Silver sluggin’. Smoochin’ Rihanna… 2009 was a good year for Mr. Matt Kemp. No doubt about it.

So what the heck can we expect from Matt Kemp in 2010? His early ADP at Mock Draft Central is no. 7 overall, and he hasn’t been drafted any later than 14. He’s also been drafted as high as no. 3 – I’m guessing Rihanna made that selection. I like him late in the first round, but definitely not ahead of fantasy baseball stalwarts like Utley, Braun, or (gasp!) HanRam.

Look, the steals are very attractive when you’re evaluating Kemp, and he is only turning 25 this season. Will he hit 30 home runs in 2010 while also stealing 30 bases for the 3rd straight year? If so, then I have no qualms taking him at no. 7 because he’s likely a value pick.

Steals are at a premium in most leagues, so I get why Kemp’s value is so high – but I would still draft established fantasy baseball franchise players ahead of Kemp.

On my personal 2010 draft board, Kemp is a late first rounder or early second rounder. Grab a guaranteed 35+ homer, 100 RBI/100 run guy like Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, or Miguel Cabrera ahead of Kemp in 2010, then draft multiple 20 homer / 20 steal outfielders in the middle of the draft.

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