Undrafted Otto Kemp Develops Well-Rounded Game For Phillies


Third baseman Otto Kemp didn’t receive much attention in the draft, but he is beginning to get noticed now.

The Phillies signed Kemp as an undrafted free agent in 2022 out of Division II Point Lama Nazarene. This season, he earned a quick promotion to Double-A Reading after hitting .333/.440/.533 in 41 games at High-A Jersey Shore.

Phillies assistant GM of player development Preston Mattingly said that Kemp is the “total package.” He brings power, plate discipline, speed and strong defense.

The Phillies believe that Kemp’s best position is third base, but he is a versatile defender.

“We think he has a chance to be above-average (at third base),” said Mattingly. “He has good hands, he has a good arm, he can make plays on the run.

“He’s also played some second base, some first, and he even played one game in right field. So he can play a lot of different spots. He’s one of those guys who really helps your club, defensively.”

The 24-year-old Kemp isn’t the fastest player in the Phillies’ system, but he does have some of the best baserunning instincts. He’s good at reading pitchers and situations. He had 21 stolen bases last season and had added 12 more this year.

He’s shown some power and a mature approach at the plate. He had a 12% walk rate this season against a 19% strikeout rate. 

The righthanded-hitting Kemp had a 1.002 OPS with 10 home runs through 67 games. If there is an area for him to improve, it is bat-to-ball skills, but Mattingly is happy with Kemp’s production, nonetheless. He lauded the infielder’s bat speed, power and baseball IQ.

“He doesn’t chase anything, he hits the ball really hard, and he’s having an unbelievable year right now,” Mattingly said.

“He’s having an unbelievable year.” 

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