Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp has been named National League Player of the Week for the period of April 9-15, 2012. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Kemp becomes the first player to win back-to-back National League Player of the Week honors to begin a season and the first player to win the award for three consecutive weeks (dating back to the week of September 25, 2011) since the award's inception in 1974. The only other player to capture consecutive Player of the Week awards to begin a season was Tony Armas, who accomplished the feat in the American League in 1981 while with the Oakland Athletics. In six games last week, the right-handed hitting slugger led all Major Leaguers with a .545 (12-for-22) batting average, four home runs, a 1.182 slugging percentage, .615 on-base percentage and 26 total bases. His seven runs scored tied for first in the National League while his 12 hits and eight RBI both tied for second. His torrid start has helped the Dodgers to a Major League-best 9-1 record, marking the club's best start through 10 games since 1981. Kemp played a key role in the Dodgers' sweep of their weekend series with the San Diego Padres at Chavez Ravine, going a combined 7-for-10 with four homers and seven RBI in the threegame set.
Kemp went 3-for-4 with a home run on Sunday as the Dodgers edged the Friars, 5-4. In Saturday's tilt, the Oklahoma native belted two homers and drove in four en route to a 6-1 Dodgers' victory. Kemp also notched multi-hit efforts on April 11th and 12th, leading the Dodgers to a three-game sweep of the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. The 27-year-old already has seven multi-hit games on the young season and currently leads the Majors in hitting (.487), home runs (6) and RBI (16). This is his fourth career weekly award, having won previously for the weeks of May 4, 2008; September 25, 2011; and April 8, 2012.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Kemp's Dodger teammates Andre Ethier (.304, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1.000 SLG, .471 OBP) and Javy Guerra (1-0, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 3 SO, 4.0 IP); rookie Matt Carpenter (.500,HR, 8 RBI, 2 3B, 1.000 SLG, .471 OBP) and Jake Westbrook (2-0, 0.64 ERA, 14.0 IP) of the St. Louis Cardinals; Miami's Omar Infante (.381, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 12 H, 7 R, .905 SLG); Washington's Adam LaRoche (.310, 9 H, 8 RBI) and Jayson Werth (.467, 14 H, 4 RBI, .600 SLG); Houston's J.D. Martinez (.391, 2 HR, 7 RBI, .739 SLG); San Francisco's Matt Cain (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 11 SO, 9.0 IP, CG, SHO) and Barry Zito (1-0, 1.13 ERA, 8 SO, 16.0 IP, CG, SHO); and Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel (0-0, 0.00, 4 SV, 6 SO, 4.0 IP).
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Matt Kemp will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.