Dodger Prospect Matt Kemp

40th in a series as we count down among the top Dodger prospects.

Name- MATTHEW RYAN KEMP
Position- Outfielder
Residence- Midwest City, Okla.
DOB- Sept. 23, 1984
Height- 6-4
Weight-210
04 Club(s)- Columbus (low A); Vero Beach (high A)

In what amounted to his first full time effort at being a baseball player, Kemp made as many strides forward as just about any other player in the organization. In high school, the game had been merely an afterthought for the most part for he was a standout in basketball- a shooting guard on Midwest City's state championship team. In the spring, however, he decided that he could advance further on the diamond so the Dodgers selected him in the sixth round of the 2003 draft. Sent to the Gulf Coast League, he hit a respectable .270 but with just one home run.

This past summer his game took off . Starting the year at Columbus, he demonstrated a solid power stroke as well as speed. He was hitting .283 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI before a late promotion to Vero Beach where he collected five hits in just 11 at-bats for a .351 mark with one more out of the park.

His quickness is demonstrated by his eight triples although he still needs work on getting a proper jump to utilize it in stealing bases. He has more work to on shortening his strokes and his outfield instincts need polishing although he possesses a strong arm. He has a lithe body that projects very well. He'll probably start the year at Vero but if he keeps progressing the way he did this past season, he could move forward before the year's out. As it is, he's become one of the top outfield prospects in the organization.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories