Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Energizer Kent

The calendar may say that Jeff Kent is 39 years young, but he certainly is not playing like it... he just keeps on going and going! There is little doubt that Kent will be elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility - it may come as soon as five years from now if he retires at the end of this season. Just a little more than a month ago, some people were beginning to write Kent off and saying his career may be finished. In an injury plagued 2006 season, Kent only hit 14 homers - the first time in 10 seasons he had failed to hit at least 22. This year, after an 0-for-4 against the Angels at Dodger Stadium on June 17th his batting average stood at .254 with only nine homers and 33 RBI's. Only twice ever had Kent's average been that low at the end of a season - his rookie year of 1992 for the Mets (when he hit .239) and in 1997 with the San Francisco Giants where he only hit .250, but he clouted 29 homers and drove in 121 runs.

Ever since the cross-town Angels left town though, Kent has absolutely been on fire. Over his past 29 games, he is hitting .400 (42-for-105) with six homers, 22 RBI's and 20 runs scored. His batting average now stands at .295, and his 15 homers and 55 RBI's on the season have him on pace for his typical 25 homer, 90 RBI or so campaign. It appears that Mr. Kent still has something left in the tank after all! And with young stars Matt Kemp and James Loney coming along well, not to mention a suddenly resurgent Nomar Garciaparra, it appears Kent is going to continue to see his opportunities... Needless to say, if you have Kent on several fantasy teams as I still do, you're probably counting your blessings that you stuck with him through his slow start!


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