Matt Kemp had a phenomenal season in 2011 to say the least. As a 26-year-old, he finished a very close second in MVP voting after being one of very few players to flirt with 40-40.
To be more specific, Kemp hit .324 with 39 home runs, 126 RBI and 40 stolen bases. That is a pretty impressive stat line. His on-base percentage was also .399, so he actually started drawing more walks than he ever had (even though he still strikes out too much).
Anyway, after seeing this type of success at the relatively young age of 26, I wanted to know what will happen next? Will Kemp continue to rise, or was last season his peak?
I am not in the business of making predictions, but what I can do is find five other players who have had similarly excellent years as a 26-year-old and see what the immediate future held for them.
Is it possible that Kemp could mirror one of these five hitters next season? Absolutely. He already mirrored their success for one season.
Is it possible that he falls short? Absolutely. Baseball is unpredictable, and success is never guaranteed.
Again, I am not in the business of making predictions. Rather, I want you to appreciate what Matt Kemp did last season, and I also wanted to see what comparable hitters have done in the past to follow up such a strong campaign. (Spoiler Alert: This is a very impressive list of peers!)
All stats are from Baseball Reference.