Kemp with the Corpus Christi Hooks
|Houston Astros - No. 18|
|Second baseman / Outfielder|
|Born: October 31, 1991|
|May 17, 2016, for the Houston Astros|
|MLB statistics |
(through August 15, 2018)
|Runs batted in||35|
Kemp graduated from Centennial High School in Franklin, Tennessee. He attended Vanderbilt University, where he played college baseball for the Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team. In 2011, Kemp was named SEC Freshman of the Year and First Team All-SEC. He was a key contributor on the first Vanderbilt baseball team to make it to the College World Series. He was named an All-American and the Southeastern Conference Baseball Player of the Year in 2013. The Astros selected Kemp in the fifth round of the 2013 MLB draft.
In 2015, Kemp began the season with the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Class AA Texas League. He received a midseason promotion to the Fresno Grizzlies of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League, and appeared in the 2015 All-Star Futures Game.
Kemp began the 2016 season with Fresno, and was promoted to the major leagues on May 16. He was optioned to Fresno on June 25, 2016, when A. J. Reed was called up for his debut. On August 7, 2016, Kemp was recalled to the Astros. After former Astros center fielder Carlos Gómez was designated for assignment, it was said that Kemp and Jake Marisnick would be splitting duties in centerfield.
On March 19, 2017, he was optioned back to Fresno. On April 27, 2017 the Astros promoted Kemp to the major leagues to replace injured Teoscar Hernández. On May 1, 2017, the Astros optioned him back down as Marisnick was activated off of the disabled list.
On September 2, 2017, he was called up to the Astros and played in their doubleheader against the Mets, their first home game after Hurricane Harvey. In 17 games with the Astros, Kemp had a .216 average and 4 RBI. The Astros finished the season with a 101-61 record and eventually won the 2017 World Series, their first ever championship title. Kemp did not participate in any playoff action, but was still on the 40-man roster at the time, and won his first championship title.
In March 2018, the Astros optioned Kemp back to Fresno. He was called up on May 16 to replace Jake Marisnick. As of September 27, Kemp has played in 94 games for the 2018 Astros, batting .267/.352/.401 with 6 HR and 30 RBI, playing primarily in left field. He was mocked by the Fenway Park crowd and organist during the second game of the 2018 ALCS when he took an extended period of time to return to the batter's box after a foul ball. Following the third game of the 2018 ALCS, Kemp received wide sports media coverage for making a leaping play that was called a catch against the left field wall on a ball hit by Steve Pearce; replay could not determine whether the ball actually struck the wall before landing in his glove. In game four, Kemp hit a fourth inning solo home run off Rick Porcello after only hitting six homers during the regular season.