Kemp Polishing His Game in the Dominican

If Matt Kemp is to take over fulltime in center field for the Dodgers in 2007, there's some brushing up that he needs to do, Pitch recognition and running better routes in the outfield are the two areas of main concern so that's what he's in the Dominican Republic doing right now.

Kemp is playing for Oriente in the Dominican Winter League where he isn't exactly off to a sensational start. Right now he's hitting only .167 although he has ripped one home run. A lot of what he can accomplish this winter could go a long way toward determining his chances of fulltime employment in Los Angeles next season.

Also, in the Dominican is Mark Alexander, the organization's choice as Pitcher of the Year for his great work in relief at Jacksonville. He's pitching for Licey, doing the closing naturally, and so far has worked in three games although he's totaled only one and one-third innings in which he hasn't allowed a hit or a run while walking two and striking out one.

Alexander is a teammate of James Loney at Licey. Loney, like Kemp, hasn't done any real hitting so far, averaging just .190 with one home run.

Another prime Dodger prospect, second baseman Tony Abreu, is back home in his native Dominican playing for Aguiles. He's been in just one game where he went hitless in three at-bats.

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