Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was bashed by GM Ned Colletti in April 2010 after he appeared to be playing lackadaisically to start the season. He was called out by several coaches during the season as well, and ended the season with what many consider as a down season, as he hit just .249-.310-.450 with 28 HRs, 89 RBIs and 19 SBs. With the 19 SBs was 15 caught stealing, which was one of the reasons why Colletti called him out in the press last April. He also struck out 170 times, an increase from his 139 Ks in 2009.
Kemp came to camp a changed man. With a new manager and a new first base coach, Kemp was primed to have a bounce back season, and man has he ever. Yesterday, he went 3-4 with a game winning HR off of Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin. On the season, Kemp is hitting .474-.545-.719 with 3 HRs, 12 RBIs, 8 SBs in 10 attempts, and an excellent 8-9 K/BB rate.
I have watched several Dodgers games this year, and Kemp looks like a totally different hitter at the plate. It appears he isn't swinging for the downs as much this year, preferring to play some small ball and is attempting more SBs. He also isn't swinging at as many pitches off the plate as he did last year, and Fangraphs agrees.
I predicted Kemp would go 30-30 this season, and he is well on his way to stealing 30 and could eclipse the 30 HR level as well.