Athletics

Athletics

OAKLAND -- Matt Olson has rapidly become one of the best all-around first basemen in baseball.

Olson's defense has always been tremendous, as has his power-hitting ability, but now his entire offensive game has taken off. The 25-year-old went 4-for-4 with a home run and three RBI on Saturday night, extending his hitting streak to 10 games, as the A's blasted the Detroit Tigers, 10-2.

"I just feel like I'm becoming more aware of my swing," Olson said. "When something feels off, I feel like I'm addressing it sooner than I have in the past and kind of getting back on track. I feel like that's been big for me this year."

Since the All-Star break, Olson is batting .304 with 10 home runs, 12 doubles, and 35 RBI. He's hitting .390 during his current 10-game hitting streak and shows no signs of slowing down.

"He'll hit the ball the other way and he has some power the other way," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "He's got a great eye. He makes you throw the ball over the plate. I think, a couple of years ago, when he had the half that he did in the second half of the season, hitting all of those homers, he just kind of came into his own at that point and has just excelled since then."

Olson matched a career-high with his 29th home run of the season Saturday despite missing 34 games to injury earlier this year, and his .275 batting average is tied for second on the A's.

 

"It's pretty amazing what he's accomplished in the (limited) time and at-bats that he has," Melvin marveled. "He does it off left-handed pitching, he does it off right-handed pitching, he's durable, he's in there every day. He played 162 games last year, but to put up the numbers he has to this point with missing a significant amount of time is pretty amazing."

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Olson is on pace to set career-highs in nearly every major offensive category this season. He believes his improvement is due to a better approach at the plate and overall knowledge of strategy.

"I have a better understanding of what (pitchers) are trying to do," Olson explained. "I've known that I've always had this kind of consistency in the tank but it's been something that I've never fully tapped into. I feel like I'm just starting to do it and hopefully can continue it as long as possible."