PLAYER: Matt Kemp
Being able to perform in a variety of areas in the game of baseball lends itself to value. That would be an accurate way to describe Matt Kemp of Randleman High School. His abilities in a number of skills on the diamond has not only made him a valuable team member for his Tigers, but he also shines with the Dirtbags. And he plans to continue that in the future for the Wolfpack of NC State.
Dirtbags general manager, Trey Daly says this about the 2020 shortstop who also does very well on the mound, “Matt is a very athletic kid who can do multiple things on the diamond.”
With 2019 as his 4th year with Dirtbags the organization’s brass has seen him develop and become a dominant player in a number of ways. Daly continued, “One of Kemp’s special weapons is his breaking ball on the mound. It’s got good depth with a 12/6 break and sits in the upper 70’s to go along with his mid 80’s fastball.”
When asked what parts of being a Dirtbag have brought the most improvement to his game, Kemp responded that it has been by how the teams are set. Wanting to play with the top team in whatever age as he has been the program has been great motivation.
Additionally, Matt said that much of his growth with the Dirtbags came from the feedback he was able to get due the the coach relationships with the colleges taking note of his skills. Able to get on college radars provided that indirect feedback on what parts of his game he needed to work. He has definitely taken those observations and suggestions to heart.
Whether holding down the infield at shortstop or carving up hitters from the bump, it’s easy to see why the junior was given an opportunity to commit to NCSU in April of 2018. Kemp says he grew up a fan of the program. He both recognizes and appreciates the way the coaching staff approaches the game and their players.
He also added, “Once I made a visit, I fell in love with the place.”
Getting noticed by powerhouse programs like NC State came from playing with talented teams in big time venues in front of the coaches who come to see those games.
With his 6’’1” frame at 180 pounds the athlete has a chance to translate his physicality to the field in a variety of capacities. Trey Daly expounds this point with saying, “Kemp is a gamer and continues to make strides. He will be fun to watch in the upcoming years!”
Thus, recognizing he still has work to do, Matt says he worked a ton on his hitting leading into the spring of the 2019 season. While he says he started slower than he had hope, his team can really swing it and they are all seemingly starting to hit their stride at the right time. The Randleman High School Tigers currently sit at a 17-2 record.
The NC State commit hopes to leverage this solid high school season into some lofty expectations with the Dirtbags during the summer and the following fall. When asked what his outlook would be, he responded, “”Win the WWBA – Win in Jupiter.”
But in listening to Matt Kemp that’s what one’s expectations should be when they play with, hang out with, and perform with top talent. Just win.
And keep winning.
No arguments from here, Mr. Kemp.