Tony Kemp put on a Broadway show this weekend in New York.
He doubled his home run total for the year and hit a go-ahead, game-winning, three-run home run Friday night as he continues to play some of the best baseball of his career.
Kemp, the Oakland A’s second baseman, came into June with just one home run. But within the last 20 days, he has hit three. His most recent two happened under the bright lights of New York, and there’s no better feeling than putting on a show there.
It was a 2-2 count in the 6th inning as the Athletics trailed, 3-2. With runners on the corners, Kemp was in the box facing a left-handed pitcher who before this season he had homered off of only once in his career, the last time being in 2019. Well, the next pitch made it the second time he had done it this season alone.
As the ball flew over the right field fence Kemp took a little extra time to admire his work.
That feeling of hitting a home run in front of the Yankees faithful felt so good Kemp had to go for seconds, and he did not even wait a full 24 hours. He was the second hitter of the game for the A’s and he launched a home run just feet from where his Friday night bomb landed.
That’s what makes baseball special. Kemp is listed at 5-foot-6, 160 pounds while the Yankees Black Knight Twin Towers Judge and Giancarlo Stanton stand 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-6, respectively. In all, this weekend, Kemp had two home runs and accounted for two runs and four RBI, while Judge and Stanton combined for no home runs and only two RBI. Judge would even be robbed of a base hit by Kemp on a line out during Saturday’s game.
Kemp has been a solid piece of the Oakland roster this season. There was no guarantee that he would have a starting spot, but he has been making it extremely tough for manager Bob Melvin to not insert his name in the lineup at second base. He is hitting .306 this month with three home runs, four doubles, 15 runs, 12 RBI and 10 walks.
Kemp has one of the best personalities in all of baseball. Just watch how much fun he has during his postgame interviews.
On the season, Kemp is hitting .276 with 25 runs scored, 17 RBI and four home runs. He’ll look to stay locked in when the A’s travel to Arlington, Texas, for a three-game series against the Rangers to start the week.
When it comes to making a good first impression, Chicago White Sox outfielder Brian Goodwin does that well.
The 30-year-old gave White Sox fans a treat in his debut on June 12. The White Sox bats came alive that day against the Detroit Tigers in a 15-2 win and Goodwin, a six-year veteran, made sure to join in on the fun.
He went 2-for-5 at the plate, hitting his first home run of the season and had five RBI. Goodwin became the 38th White Sox player to hit a home run in their debut.
“It felt good, first game, give the fans and teammates something to see,” Goodwin told the Chicago Sun-Times after his performance.
That is the production Goodwin needed to have the opportunity to make an impact for a team who has a chance to play for a World Series title this season. This surging White Sox team will benefit from having a player like Goodwin, who can be productive at the plate and in the field.
The start of the 2021 season has been a rollercoaster for Goodwin. He signed a minor league contract in February with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Our MLBbro received an invite to spring training in hopes of making the Opening Day roster. The talent-strapped Pirates decided to release Goodwin on May 3rd. At that time the veteran outfielder wondered when he would next play baseball.
But, that didn’t last too long. A day later, he signed a minor-league contract with the White Sox and now he’s back in the majors.
“I wasn’t too happy about it, but it helped me keep that chip on my shoulder,” Goodwin said. “Signed here in May, and I’m still [ticked] off. I’m going to take it out on everybody else with how I play.”
After spending time in Triple-A Charlotte, Goodwin got the call up after Nick Madrigal went on the 60-day Injured List.
Before joining the White Sox, Goodwin played with four other MLB teams. His last stint in the league was in 2020 with the LA Angels and Cincinnati Reds. During the COVID shortened season he appeared in 30 games with the Angels and batted .242 with 17 RBI. The Angels traded him to the Reds and he finished the season playing in 20 games and batted .163.
Goodwin started his career with the Washington Nationals, who drafted him in 2011 out of the University of North Carolina.
He made his debut with the Nationals in 2016, appearing in 22 games and finished with an impressive .286 batting average. The next season, Goodwin appeared in 74 games, finishing with a .251 average. This brother quickly made an impact in his first few years.
In 2018 he spent the first half of the season with the Nationals and was then traded to the Kansas City Royals. The Royals released Goodwin in March of 2019 and he was picked up by the Angels, where he had a career season.
So as you can see, Goodwin has bounced around during his time in the Majors. He has a career .250 batting average and he’ll continue to look to make an impact while he’s on the field.
Jala Norman discusses the inner-city rivalry between the Cubs and White Sox and how their new City Connect Jerseys reflect each team’s city, history, fans, and personality. The Chicago squads share the city, but each team has a culture of its own.
Arizona D-Backs (June 18th), San Francisco Giants (July 9th), LA Dodgers (Late August)