The 26-year-old Los Angeles centerfielder had a remarkable year and came close to winning the triple crown for the first time since 1967 (and the first National Leaguer since 1937). He led the league in runs (115), homers (39), RBI (126), OPS+ (171) and total bases (353), and lost the batting title by just .013 points to Jose Reyes. This was truly his "breakout year." He's gone from a very good 2009 (5.2 WAR) to a disappointing '10 (2.5 WAR) to an MVP-caliber campaign this season. Matt Kemp has always been super-talented, but he's finally putting it all together.
You have to wonder if LA will be able to keep him long-term though. He'll be a free agent after 2012, and with all the ownership/money problems the Dodgers are having, there's a good chance he'll be donning a different uniform in 2013.
Milwaukee's Ryan Braun finished a close second, followed by Joey Votto, Justin Upton and Prince Fielder.