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Matt Kemp acquired by Padres: The Good

A look on the bright side of the key player the Padres got from the Dodgers.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres have acquired a hitter. 2015 will be Matt Kemp's 10th season in the major leagues and he has slugged over .500 in 4 of them. To put that in perspective, in that same time frame the Padres have had 7 such seasons. Three were by Adrian Gonzalez (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006), one was by Carlos Quentin (2012) and the other by Mike Piazza (2006). The highest slugging percentage on the team last year was done by Seth Smith who tallied a .440 by hitting 12 HRs, 5 3Bs and 31 2Bs. Kemp topped that number in 8 of his 9 seasons in the majors (2013's injury plagued season was the exception).

Last season was one of those years where he slugged over .500. He hit .287, had a .346 OBP and had an oWAR of 3.8 while slugging 25 HRs and 38 2Bs. Only that On Base Percentage was bested by Padre in 2014 (Seth Smith had an OBP of .367). He did this while playing in 150 games, his most since 2011. He proved that he was healthy and an effective slugger in 2014.

A healthy and effective Matt Kemp easily becomes the first consistent source of high quality offense the Padres have had since Adrian Gonzalez. And as we know, the last time the Padres had Adrian Gonzalez in the lineup they were able to compete for a division title down to the last day of the season despite the rest of the team being mostly a patchwork group of non-stars and role players.

The good of this deal is that the Padres finally have something in the lineup to hang their hat on. Something they can build around. Someone that can drive in the other Padres hitters the few times they manage to get on base and can be a threat when no one is one base. It is something that was sorely missing from the club and (assuming Kemp stays healthy) is something that we can all be proud to root for day in and day out.