Originally posted on Dodgers Rumors  |  Last updated 5/1/12


Matt Kemp just wrapped up the month of April in full on beast mode. To say Kemp finished the month off with a bang would be a huge understatement. Kemp blasted his 12th home run of the season in the Dodgers Monday night loss to the Colorado Rockies. Despite the disappointing loss Kemp finished the month of April with his named cemented in history.

So where exactly does this put Matt Kemp in the history books? Did Matt Kemp just have the greatest month of April in MLB history? Maybe. Did Matt Kemp just put up the greatest month of April in Dodgers history? I would say he did. As always I am going to state the facts, show some stats, and let you have your own opinion.

So no matter how you slice this, Kemp just put up some of the biggest numbers for the month of April in baseball history. However, picking a greatest of fill in the blank here in baseball demands the use of statistics, a solid argument, using the right stats, and the ones that factor in the greatest significance. Kemp offered up a serious dosage of amazing April numbers to play with. In 23 games he batted .417, had a .490 on-base percentage, .893 slugging percentage, 12 home runs, 16 extra-base hits, 24 runs and 25 runs batted in. He led all of the MLB in home runs, batting average, and .OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). He was tied for a MLB best in RBI's and runs. So where does this stack up?

As a Dodger, Matt Kemp's 2012 performance puts him in the Dodgers history books. He has the most home runs ever by a Dodger in the month of April, surpassing the record previously set by former Dodger Gary Sheffield, who hit 10 back in April of 2000. Some are making the argument that Ron Cey holds the best month of April in Dodgers history.

Back in 1977 Ron Cey posted some huge numbers of his own batting .425./543/.890, with 9 homers, 15 extra-base hits, 18 runs, and 29 RBIs in 20 games, three less than Kemp got in 2012. A fair argument, right? Sure. Especially with those three games coming into play, but as we all know that's just part of the game of baseball. The bottom line is in a stat by stat comparison Kemp beat Cey in four out of the seven categories used here.

Kemp also did something that Cey never did, as a matter of fact only three other players have ever done what Matt did this month in MLB history. This is only the fourth time in MLB history where a player has finished the month of April with a batting average higher than .400, with more than 10 home runs and more than 20 RBI. The others are Barry Bonds (2004), Larry Walker (1997) and Tony Perez (1970). Some little trivia facts for you lovers of the facts of trivia, both Bonds and Walker went on to win the National League MVP and it's worth noting Perez is in the Hall of Fame. Ron Cey is not on that list, so therefore I think we have our answer here. Best performance ever by a Dodger in the month of April. Matt Kemp.

So was this the best performance in the month of April in MLB history? A case could certainly be made. As ESPN's Jayson Stark put it, “It is, at the very least, The Greatest April Ever By A Hitter Who Played His Home Games At Sea Level.”  This is of course referring to the fact that it can be argued that Larry Walker is the aforementioned elite four that edged Kemp when back in 1997 Walker batted .456/.538/.911, with 11 home runs, 18 extra-base hits, 29 runs, and 29 RBIs.

Walker, of course, played for the Colorado Rockies. I'm sure you remember back in the day when baseball flew out of Coors Field like fireworks. Walker played 11 of his 23 games in Coors Field so perhaps putting his performance in doubt. Coors Field is the most hitter friendly parks in baseball history, so it's always tainted the minds of analysts like myself. Of course a case could be made for Bonds as well, in 2004 he batted 472/.696/1.132, with 10 homers, 15 extra-base hits, 21 runs, 22 RBIs. Sure that's impressive, except Bonds did all of this while being walked a ridiculous 39 times. Wow. Of course as with anything that pertains to stats and Barry Bonds, one will always wonder if an asterisk should belong next to it. I personally despise this guy, but it's hard to argue what he did offensively as a baseball player. Perhaps the greatest ever, but you just have to always wonder.

I think it's pretty fair to say that Kemp's performance in April of 2012 was one of the greatest, in not only Dodgers history, but baseball history. Greatest ever? Well that is in the eye of the beholder or in the argument of the arguer (yeah I think I just made up a word there) the bottom line is it doesn’t matter because the Bison says so! When Kemp was asked if he was aware that he wrote a new chapter in baseball history, Kemp said, “I’m just aware that we lost the game. I’m not really worried about historical, statistical — any of that. I’m just trying to help my team win as many games as I can and whatever happens, happens.”

Winning games. Couldn't have said it any better Matty.
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