A's Tony Kemp is poised for a second-half explosion

Tony Kemp
Tony Kemp / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Tony Kemp, being the humble and cool guy that he is, shared a post on Instagram on Monday, acknowledging the disappointing start to the season for himself and the Athletics.

However, the veteran expressed his excitement for the second half using an adorable picture of his daughter. 

While his Instagram post was great, Kemp's words will only be meaningful if he can produce on the field. 

So far this year, Kemp has been, in a word, bad. His batting average is below .200, and he has only 18 RBIs. This is particularly due to his poor start to the season when he batted .163 in March/April and .143 in May.

However, there is reason to believe Kemp is ready to turn things around in 2023.

In recent weeks, Kemp has demonstrated encouraging signs of improvement, indicating positive developments in his performance. As the season has progressed, Kemp's contributions have become increasingly notable, both in terms of his individual statistics and his impact on the team as a whole.

In June, he posted a .275 batting average and .844 OPS in 19 games. He also stole seven of his nine stolen bases during this stretch and scored 17 of his 26 runs.

While these numbers are not outstanding, they have helped the Athletics win more games. The team's win percentage in June was .385, which is a significant improvement from their win percentages in May (.207) and April (.179).

Also, Kemp consistently demonstrates improvement during the latter half of the season. Whether it stems from ongoing in-season adjustments or a beneficial rest during All-Star Week, he consistently discovers means to enhance his performance in the second half of the season.

For example, he maintained a batting average of .203 in the initial half of last season. However, following the All-Star Game, his performance significantly improved, resulting in a batting average of .278.

Similarly, in 2021, he started with a batting average of .240 in the first half but impressively escalated to .325 in the second half. As he consistently demonstrates enhancements during the warmer summer months, it is reasonable to expect a comparable outcome this year.

Quite frankly, the Athletics desperately need a big second half from Kemp. Despite being just 31, Kemp is seen as a veteran leader in the Athletics clubhouse. Having encountered the triumphs and tribulations of multiple MLB seasons, some of which as a member of other teams, he possesses the ability to set an exemplary precedent for the younger members of the Athletics team, many of whom may be grappling with negative mental effects due to the disappointing beginning of the season.

Kemp is a veteran who has demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity. He has had his fair share of ups and downs throughout his career, but he has always found a way to persevere. If he can continue to improve and lead by example, he will be a valuable asset to the Athletics and a role model for the younger players.

If he can continue to improve in the coming months, it will likely lead to more wins for the Athletics and show the young players that there is beauty in the struggle.

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