A Brief Conversation About Hitting and Home Runs with Matt Kemp

Kemp is a tough nut to crack. He’s often stand-offish with the press and is the brunt of criticism, sometimes undeservedly, but he is who he is and he’s a fantastic baseball player.

So when I tried to talk to him about home runs and fastballs, he didn’t give me a whole lot, but he gave me a few things.

Without further ado:

Matt Kemp: I can’t count how many times someone’s thrown me a fastball and I hit a home run or swung through it.

Dingers: Say you got a good pitch and you know it’s coming and you put a good swing, what is it that leads to the home run?

Matt Kemp: Just putting a good swing on a good pitch. I don’t call home runs, I don’t know when I’m gonna hit a home run. It’s just when everything’s together; my body’s together; my hands are together. When I make a good swing, it’s most likely gonna be a base hit or a home run. I’ve never called a home run.

D: When you go up to the plate then, is your mind completely clear? Are you not thinking about the upcoming pitch?

Kemp: That’s not really good to go up there [thinking]. Let your reactions take over. Sometimes you might sit on a pitch and you get that pitch. I try not to go up there thinking about what’s going on, I try to see the ball and hit the ball.

D: Is it easier to hit a 100 mile-per-hour fastball over a 90 or 95 mph fastball?

Kemp: No chance. [pause] Well, it depends. Was the 95 sinking or cutting? If the fastball’s 100 mph straight, [then no]. It’s harder to hit something that’s moving than something that’s moving.

D: What’s the toughest fastball you’ve faced this year?

Kemp: I got no idea.

D: C’mon, name anyone.

Kemp: Nah

D: Tim Lincecum?

Kemp: Nah.

D: Josh Johnson?

Kemp: [pause] There’s some guys. There’s a couple guys that are tough to hit.

D: Moving to change-ups, what makes change-ups more effective from your batter’s eye, the juxtaposition to the fastball or the movement?

Kemp: Definitely if it looks like a fastball. Almost all change-ups look like fastballs from the pitcher to the mitt.


Leave a comment

Filed under Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s