Tony Kemp was a solid fit for the Oakland A’s due to his defensive versatility. His ability to play anywhere in the outfield, as well as being able to slot in at second, made him exactly the type of player that the A’s covet. Add in his solid contact skills and excellent speed, and it is understandable why the A’s value him so highly.
Nonetheless, the 2021 season was an important year for Kemp. He had been part of a platoon at second in 2020, but failed to perform at the level the A’s expected. His performance in 2021 would go a long way to determining his future.
Tony Kemp proved himself in 2021
Due to injuries and inconsistent play amongst the regulars, Kemp found himself with far more playing time than anyone could have imagined. He produced an impressive .278/.383/.410 batting line in his 393 plate appearances, hitting seven homers and 16 doubles while stealing eight bases.
Kemp has also positioned himself as a leader in the community. He has spearheaded the A’s conversations on racial relationships and has been named as their nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. His presence has been felt on and off the diamond.
Given his strong showing in the most playing time of his career, it is entirely possible that Kemp could have an even larger role in the A’s fortunes next season. As it currently stands, the outfield will be wide open, excluding center field when Ramon Laureano returns. Second base will also have a vacancy, giving Kemp a chance to be a regular part of the lineup.
Based on his performance this year, Kemp deserves that chance. He shook off that disappointing 2020 campaign to prove that he can be a key part of the A’s, not just this year, but going forward. It would not be a surprise to see him get even more of an opportunity next year.
Tony Kemp is proving that he can be a key part of the Oakland A’s moving forward. He could end up with a key role on the 2022 roster.