Athletics

Athletics

To say that Matt Olson is locked in right now would be a serious understatement.

Friday night, the A's first baseman went 3-for-3 with two home runs, a single, a walk, and five RBI, as Oakland hammered the Angels, 7-2.

Olson has now homered three times in his last two games, and four times in his last four. The 25-year-old leads the American League with 16 round-trippers since May 12, a span of just 43 games. That would translate to 60 home runs over the course of a 162-game season.

"I'm just seeing it well right now, staying within the zone, staying within myself," Olson told NBC Sports California. "I'm not fouling off and missing the pitches that I'm getting over the plate. I just felt good today and hit a couple of mistakes."

Olson's incredible power surge is made even more impressive by the fact that he missed 34 games with a broken hamate bone in his right hand. Clearly, it hasn't affected his offensive production.

"He's seeing the ball pretty well," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters. "It's not just fastballs. He's hitting breaking balls. He sits on pitches, at times. The more experience he gets at the big league level, the more aware he is. It seems like he just gets better and better."  

 

This isn't the first time we've seen Olson catch fire for a prolonged stretch. When he came up from Triple-A as a rookie in August of 2017, the powerful left-hander made opposing pitchers look silly, blasting 20 home runs in a 36-game span.

Olson broke the A's rookie record by homering in five straight games from September 15-19 that year. He finished the season with 24 long balls in just 59 games, putting him on a 66-home run pace over the course of a full season.

"It's kind of the same feel as a couple of years ago when he hit (24) home runs in what felt like just over half a season," Melvin said. "He's been having really consistent at-bats, really for the last month and a half. You look at his numbers against left-handed pitching and the home runs he's hitting off lefties, and he's just on a little bit of a role right now."

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Despite missing those 35 games earlier this year, Olson ranks fifth among American League first baseman with his 16 home runs, just three behind the leaders. He's only eight behind Edwin Encarnación for the overall AL lead.

"The main goal is to go up there and put together a quality at-bat," Olson told reporters. "I have the confidence right now where I feel like I'm going up there and putting together pretty good at-bats every time. I want to keep that feeling going."