Matt Olson
Matt Olson
27-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Oakland Athletics
Day-To-Day
Injury Thumb
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Expectations were high for Olson after he launched 36 homers while adding 20 points to his batting average in 2019. He played in all 60 games during the shortened 2020 season but was unable to build on his success at the plate as his average sank to .195. Olson swung at fewer pitches outside of the strike zone (on a per-pitch basis), but his contact rate on pitches in the zone fell off. Thanks in large part to an increased walk rate (13.9%), he still managed to finish above league average by wRC+ (103) despite a bottom-six BA among qualified hitters. Olson may have been a bit too patient and could probably stand to regain some of his aggressiveness in the batter's box -- he struggled in a major way when behind in the count last season. Either way, positive regression should steer Olson to a solid landing in 2021. The power upside is still there for Olson to break out of the pack at first base. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#86
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Athletics in December of 2020.
Riding pine Tuesday
1BOakland Athletics
Thumb
April 13, 2021
Olson (thumb) is out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Diamondbacks.
ANALYSIS
Just as manager Bob Melvin suggested would be the case following Monday's win, Olson will head to the bench for the series finale due to a bruised left thumb. The Athletics are hopeful that with the benefit of a team off day Wednesday, Olson will be ready to play in Oakland's four-game home series with Detroit, which begins Thursday. With Mitch Moreland (hamstring) also sitting out Tuesday, the Athletics will turn to Seth Brown to cover first base.
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Batting Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
3
3
2
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+12%
OPS vs RHP
2021
 
 
+170%
OPS vs LHP
2020
 
 
+3%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+25%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019vs Left .774 239 29 15 41 0 .224 .297 .477
Since 2019vs Right .869 588 74 36 98 1 .254 .355 .514
2021vs Left 1.375 8 2 1 4 0 .333 .375 1.000
2021vs Right .510 29 0 0 2 0 .200 .310 .200
2020vs Left .722 58 5 3 10 0 .216 .310 .412
2020vs Right .747 185 23 11 32 1 .191 .314 .433
2019vs Left .767 173 22 11 27 0 .223 .289 .478
2019vs Right .956 374 51 25 64 0 .288 .380 .577
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
2021
 
 
+1%
OPS on Road
2020
 
 
+58%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+32%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019Home .811 419 46 22 68 1 .235 .339 .472
Since 2019Away .885 390 57 29 71 0 .256 .338 .547
2021Home .675 21 1 0 1 0 .235 .381 .294
2021Away .679 16 1 1 5 0 .214 .250 .429
2020Home .923 115 14 9 29 1 .232 .365 .558
2020Away .584 110 14 5 13 0 .155 .255 .330
2019Home .777 283 31 13 38 0 .236 .325 .452
2019Away 1.023 264 42 23 53 0 .300 .379 .644
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Stat Review
How does Matt Olson compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.33
 
BB Rate
8.1%
 
K Rate
24.3%
 
BABIP
.273
 
ISO
.129
 
AVG
.226
 
OBP
.324
 
SLG
.355
 
OPS
.679
 
wOBA
.306
 
Exit Velocity
85.7 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
34.8%
 
Barrels/PA
9.1%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Matt Olson
The Z Files: The Fallacy of Stabilization and an Early Look at Home Runs
4 days ago
Todd Zola offers some thoughts on early-season trends, including the home run surge led by Nick Castellanos and the Reds.
Tuesday Night Observations
7 days ago
Sandy Alcantara once again looked the part of an ace Tuesday night for the Marlins.
Rounding Third: My Rosters
12 days ago
Sandy Alcantara and Mike Yastrzemski landed on more of Jeff Erickson's squads than any other players in his 17 fantasy leagues this season.
Bernie on the Scene: AL West Analysis & Predictions
16 days ago
Bernie Pleskoff analyzes each team in the AL West with grades for each player and predictions for the division. Do the Astros have enough to hold off the competition?
RotoWire Roundtable: Final Update
18 days ago
Individual sets of Top 350s from Jeff Erickson, Todd Zola, Clay Link and Erik Halterman are compiled into a Top 300 composite ranking for the 2021 fantasy baseball season.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
Olson missed time early with a hamate injury, yet still came back to hit a career-best 36 homers in 127 games last year in a pitcher's ballpark. The dude simply crushes baseballs as all of his Statcast batted-ball data was in the 90th percentile or higher, except his expected batting average. He absolutely mashes righties (.288/.380/.577 last year), but has also been at least league average against lefties in his career. The flyball and pull-heavy approach works for him as the hard contact allows him to hit through and over the shifts put in his way. He is already a top-10 first baseman and could be a top-3 first baseman if he can avoid the injury bug in 2020. He has 40-homer potential even if the baseball reverts back to its 2018 characteristics; he'll hit 50 if the 2019 regular season baseball sticks around. Invest in full in this first baseman, and you will get your money's worth.
Olson burst onto the scene in 2017, blasting 24 homers in 59 games. Hitting just two doubles in that span was a warning Olson would be hard-pressed to maintain that pace. Sure enough, his extra-base hit ratio normalized as he swatted 29 long balls with 33 two-baggers last year, a more realistic baseline expectation. Olson made strides with his plate skills, walking a tick more while shaving his K% down a few points to 24.7%. His hard contact ranked sixth on the Statcast exit velocity leaderboard along with a respectable 42nd-place finish in barrel rate. Olson was seen as a below-average defender as a prospect, but has improved in that regard. Entering just his age-25 campaign, he is young enough to improve his contact and his ability to hit southpaws (45 of his 53 career blasts have come off right-handed pitching). By playing all 162 games last season, Olson displayed durability, adding to his growing resume.
A lot was made of the power displays exhibited by Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, but if you prorate Olson's numbers over a full season, we're looking at something north of 60 homers. Of course, he only played 59 games, so Olson would have been hard pressed to keep hitting a homer every nine plate appearances in a full campaign (Stanton was one per 11.7 PA while Judge was one per 13 PA). Further, Olson's HR/FB was a ridiculous 41.4 percent. There have been only four players in history with a seasonal mark over 35 percent, two of which were Stanton and Judge in 2017. Olson's power earned him the full-time first base spot, enabling the Athletics to deal Ryon Healy. When the dust settles, the lefty-swinging slugger will be another high-power, high-strikeout hitter with a risky batting average. There's a chance he gets exposed versus southpaws over a full season.
Regardless of their flaws, young left-handed bats with an enticing power tool can establish their own market. Olson (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) has proven as much in his early professional career, with 37 home runs at High-A Stockton and 17 at each of his two stops since. Throughout his farm work, he's kept an equally attractive 15.2 percent walk rate, but Olson's prospect appeal has slipped as he's advanced closer to the big leagues. The A's have avenues at first base, outfield and designated hitter to test the potential middle-of-the-order stick. Olson turns 23 in March, though, and like many hackers, he has holes in his swing. His strikeout rate has hovered in the 23-24 percent range in his time at Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville, and logic doesn't say to expect immediate improvement in the big leagues as he adjusts to top-level pitching.
Olson moved up to Double-A in 2015 and took a step back from his big 2014, when he had 37 home runs and 111 RBI with a .281 ISO. Olson hit .249 with 17 home runs in his first full season in Double-A and saw his ISO drop to .189. The good news is that his impressive walk rate stayed stable at 17.9 percent even though his strikeout rate did bump up a touch to 23.8 percent (21.6 percent in 2014). Olson is 22, and while he is still a top-five prospect in the organization, his bit of a downturn upon seeing Double-A pitching likely ended any chance of his starting 2016 with the A's. He has a chance to make it up to the majors in the second half of 2016 and could be the A's starting first baseman (or right fielder if Josh Reddick is moved) to begin 2017.
Olson had a monster 2014 in the power department at High-A Stockton, leading all A's minor leaguers with 37 homers and 97 RBI over 512 at-bats. The 20-year-old also had a nice boost in his batting average, hitting .262 (along with a huge .947 OPS) after hitting merely .225 in 2013. In addition, he added a lot of walks to his resume, walking 45 more times than he did in 2013. The A's sent Olson to the Arizona Fall League after the season to give him a look against other top prospects, but his stint there was cut short by a shoulder injury, suffered in a collision at first base. He's expected to be ready for the start of spring training, and Olson will likely begin the season as the starting first baseman in Double-A, with a legitimate chance to join the A's in 2016.
Olson spent the 2013 season at Low-A Beloit and while the power numbers were impressive (23 homers and 93 RBI), Olson struggled to make contact, hitting only .225 and striking out 148 times. The 19-year-old possesses the power upside from the left side of the plate that teams drool over, but he will look to improve upon his contact in High-A in 2014. If he's able to cut back on the whiffs, Olson could make a significant push up the prospect charts as he ascends the Oakland system.
More Fantasy News
Unlikely to play Tuesday
1BOakland Athletics
Thumb
April 13, 2021
Athletics manager Bob Melvin said after Monday's 9-5 win over the Diamondbacks that Olson (thumb) probably won't play in Tuesday's series finale in Arizona, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Day-to-day with contusion
1BOakland Athletics
Hand
April 12, 2021
Olson is considered day-to-day with a left thumb contusion, Shayna Rubin of The San Jose Mercury News reports.
ANALYSIS
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Leaves game after HBP
1BOakland Athletics
Hand
April 12, 2021
Olson left Monday's game after he was hit on his left hand by a pitch in the seventh inning, Shayna Rubin of The San Jose Mercury News reports.
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Drives in three
1BOakland Athletics
April 9, 2021
Olson went 2-for-4 with a three-run home run in a victory over the Astros on Friday.
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Back in lineup
1BOakland Athletics
April 8, 2021
Olson (knee) is starting Thursday's game against the Astros, Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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