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Can Kemp Go 50-50?

Matt "The Bison" Kemp has emerged as one of the great young talents in all of baseball. Just a season ago, he was only a handful of hits shy of winning the Triple Crown. Not only is he a five-tool player, two of his tools (power and speed) separate him as one of the rarest talents in the game. Even with such a unique skill set, he raised eyebrows with his bold offseason prediction that he would become the first player in MLB history to join the 50-50 club in 2012. Given the magnitude of the feat, many fans and reporters scoffed at the notion. But Kemp has been on fire so far this season, batting .487/.523/1.026 with six homers in 10 games, and the hot start has caused many to wonder if the prediction could come true. So, could Kemp ever hit 50 home runs and swipe 50 bags in the same season?

The Argument for “Yes”

Ultimately, Kemp has the best chance to get 50/50 out of anyone who is currently in the league. There are a handful of players who can feasibly push for 50 HRs, and stealing 50 bases is an annual accomplishment for several players. However, Kemp is the only player out there today who COULD do both. His power numbers have improved steadily throughout his career, and he is a running threat every time he gets on base.

The Argument for “No”

The biggest argument against this is that Kemp has never even gone 40/40, much less 50/50. Only four players have attained a 40/40 season, as it seems to be one of the more difficult things to accomplish in the Majors. Furthermore, with the amount of attention Kemp will garner every time he reaches first from the pitcher, catcher and manager, it seems that he will have to win the base running chess match a lot; so many times that it will be impossible for him to overcome.

My Take

Does Kemp have the best chance to get 50/50? Yes.

Can Kemp do this? Yes.

Will he ever get 50/50? No.

With Kemp’s start, he is projected to his 97 homers and steal 16 bases this season. Obviously, even without any unforeseen setbacks or injuries, neither of those numbers are realistically within reach. I do think that Kemp has an equal chance of hitting 50 HRs and stealing 50 bases at some point in his career, just not in the same season. My reason is because his HRs and doubles will likely continue to climb, as will the number of walks he will be granted out of fear. This just seems like an impossible feat, even for the immensely talented Kemp.

The debate gauntlet has been thrown down, so tweet me at @KyleOKC and @MLBFanCave. Let’s hear your take.

Matt "The Bison" Kemp has emerged as one of the great young talents in all of baseball. Just a season ago, he was only a handful of hits shy of winning the Triple Crown. Not only is he a five-tool player, two of his tools (power and speed) separate him as one of the rarest talents in the game. Even with such a unique skill set, he raised eyebrows with his bold offseason prediction that he would become the first player in MLB history to join the 50-50 club in 2012. Given the magnitude of the feat, many fans and reporters scoffed at the notion. But Kemp has been on fire so far this season, batting .487/.523/1.026 with six homers in 10 games, and the hot start has caused many to wonder if the prediction could come true. So, could Kemp ever hit 50 home runs and swipe 50 bags in the same season?

The Argument for “Yes”

Ultimately, Kemp has the best chance to get 50/50 out of anyone who is currently in the league. There are a handful of players who can feasibly push for 50 HRs, and stealing 50 bases is an annual accomplishment for several players. However, Kemp is the only player out there today who COULD do both. His power numbers have improved steadily throughout his career, and he is a running threat every time he gets on base.

The Argument for “No”

The biggest argument against this is that Kemp has never even gone 40/40, much less 50/50. Only four players have attained a 40/40 season, as it seems to be one of the more difficult things to accomplish in the Majors. Furthermore, with the amount of attention Kemp will garner every time he reaches first from the pitcher, catcher and manager, it seems that he will have to win the base running chess match a lot; so many times that it will be impossible for him to overcome.

My Take

Does Kemp have the best chance to get 50/50? Yes.

Can Kemp do this? Yes.

Will he ever get 50/50? No.

With Kemp’s start, he is projected to his 97 homers and steal 16 bases this season. Obviously, even without any unforeseen setbacks or injuries, neither of those numbers are realistically within reach. I do think that Kemp has an equal chance of hitting 50 HRs and stealing 50 bases at some point in his career, just not in the same season. My reason is because his HRs and doubles will likely continue to climb, as will the number of walks he will be granted out of fear. This just seems like an impossible feat, even for the immensely talented Kemp.

The debate gauntlet has been thrown down, so tweet me at @KyleOKC and @MLBFanCave. Let’s hear your take.