The 2011 MLB All-Star Game rosters will be announced Sunday morning on TBS, and it's a virtual lock that Dodgers' center fielder Matt Kemp will hear his name called. The only question is whether or not Kemp will start at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, July 12. Kemp is enjoying the finest season of his career.
Kemp is hitting .327/.410/.617 this season with 22 home runs and 22 steals, on pace for the fourth 40-40 season in baseball history. He is at or near the top of the National League in several categories, including batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs, and RBI. Kemp is one of a select few to ever have 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in his team's first 81 games.
All-Star voting ended Thursday night, but we will find out the teams Sunday morning, at 9 a.m. PDT on TBS. In the last update on vote totals, released earlier this week, Kemp was fourth among National League outfielders, behind Ryan Braun of the Brewers, and Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday of the Cardinals. Kemp, who had 2,743,927 votes as of Monday, trailed the third place Hilliday by just under 200,000 votes.
No matter the vote totals, Kemp is a lock to make his first All-Star team. Even if Kemp isn't voted as a starter, it is very likely one of the three NL outfielders will serve as designated hitter, with Kemp possibly sliding in as the center fielder, since none of the current top three play center field.
For more news and information about Matt Kemp and the Dodgers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.