Matt Olson
Matt Olson
26-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Oakland Athletics
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
RANKS
#87
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Athletics in December of 2020.
Opens eyes with first spring homer
1BOakland Athletics
March 2, 2021
Olson's two-run home run in his Cactus League debut against the Reds on Monday boasted an exit velocity of approximately 116 mph, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
All the required disclaimers about spring training aside, Olson's moon shot was nevertheless encouraging after he spent the offseason tweaking his swing following a paltry .195 average and 31.4 percent strikeout rate in 2020. Monday's blast went beyond the two bullpens situated behind right field before landing in the players' parking lot -- perhaps an early harbinger of Olson returning to the caliber of production that netted a 36-homer, 91-RBI season just two years ago.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 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
13
26
5
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
13
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+18%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+3%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+25%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+18%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .730 442 45 18 59 2 .235 .312 .418
Since 2018vs Right .862 1008 141 61 158 1 .251 .348 .514
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
2018vs Left .701 211 18 4 22 2 .251 .332 .369
2018vs Right .830 449 67 25 62 0 .244 .336 .494
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+10%
OPS on Road
2020
 
 
+58%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+32%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+11%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .785 724 84 36 103 2 .231 .323 .462
Since 2018Away .864 708 102 43 114 1 .262 .352 .512
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
2018Home .747 326 39 14 36 1 .227 .307 .440
2018Away .829 334 46 15 48 1 .266 .362 .467
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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
0.44
 
BB Rate
13.9%
 
K Rate
31.4%
 
BABIP
.227
 
ISO
.229
 
AVG
.195
 
OBP
.310
 
SLG
.424
 
OPS
.734
 
wOBA
.331
 
Exit Velocity
84.6 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
42.9%
 
Barrels/PA
7.3%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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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
Baseball Draft Kit: Player Values by Position
23 days ago
Jeff Erickson ranks the players at each position for the 2021 RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Guide.
The Z Files: Who's on First?
86 days ago
Todd Zola offers up his first base tiers, where Freddie Freeman finally seems to be getting his due.
Super Early Top 400 for 2021
144 days ago
James Anderson releases his super early top 400 redraft rankings, which features a trio of Atlanta hitters in the top 20.
DraftKings MLB: Wednesday Breakdown
150 days ago
Christopher Olson provides his best picks for building a winning playoff lineup for Wednesday’s four-game Divisional Series slate.
DraftKings MLB: Monday Breakdown
152 days ago
Christopher Olson delivers his picks for Monday’s ALDS slate, including an A’s stack against the Astros.
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
Motivated by 2020 struggles
1BOakland Athletics
February 24, 2021
Olson is intent on making up for a poor 2020 season and believes he identified several mechanical issues with his swing over the offseason, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. "To put it bluntly, I stunk last year, in my opinion," Olson said. "There were definitely things wrong with the swing that I was going out there with every day. I don't think that represents in any way the caliber of player that I think that I am."
ANALYSIS
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Gets $5 million from A's
1BOakland Athletics
December 2, 2020
Olson agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract with the Athletics on Wednesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
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Hits homer
1BOakland Athletics
October 7, 2020
Olson went 1-for-4 with a solo homer and walk in Wednesday's win over the Astros in Game 3 of the ALDS.
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Receives rare day off
1BOakland Athletics
September 23, 2020
Olson is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Dodgers.
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Provides three-run homer
1BOakland Athletics
September 19, 2020
Olson went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer in Friday's 6-0 win over the Giants.
ANALYSIS
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