MLB: Can Matt Kemp Break Barry Bonds' Single-Season Home Run Record?

Michael NargiSenior Analyst IMay 1, 2012

DENVER, CO - APRIL 30:  Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers prepares to bat against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning at Coors Field on April 30, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. Kemp hit a home run on the first pitch delivered to him by starting pitcher Juan Nicasio #44 of the Colorado Rockies.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Matt Kemp have played 23 games this season and Kemp has 12 home runs. That puts Kemp on pace to hit 85 home runs and break Barry Bonds' record of 73 in a single season.

The season is still young, but this looks like more than just a hot start from a good player.

This looks like a new norm for an outstanding player.

If Kemp continues to hit for as much power as he has thus far, then Barry Bonds' asterisk might be a mere afterthought. In Bonds' record-setting season, he hit 11 home runs in his first 23 games.

Kemp is one home run ahead of that pace.

It's hard to understand how impressive Kemp's tear is until you look at what the rest of the league is doing through the early part of the season. 


How Do Kemp's Home Runs Compare to the Rest of the MLB?

Twelve home runs is a stunning amount this early in the season, but lets take a look at the rest of the league to see just how impressive this feat is.

He has three more home runs than the Chicago Cubs and one more than the San Diego Padres

Kemp has the same amount of home runs as all these All-Stars combined: 2011 MVP Ryan Braun (even with three home runs on Monday night), Jose Bautista (who has 97 home runs last two seasons combined) and Adrian Gonzalez.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 28:  Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his game winning homerun against the Washington Nationals for a 4-3 score during the 10th inning at Dodger Stadium on April 28, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Har
Harry How/Getty Images

Kemp has 12 more home runs than Andrew McCutchen, Mark Reynolds and Albert Pujols, who all have yet to hit one.

With all of the home runs he has hit, it has allowed him to also lead the league in runs scored with 24.

Yes, 24 runs in 23 games. 

Kemp is in the midst of a remarkable year and is showing no signs of stopping. The rest of the league looks like they are playing minor league ball compared to Kemp.