Mike Trout

Matt Olson joins Mike Trout, Josh Bell with homer in A's loss to Mariners

Matt Olson joins Mike Trout, Josh Bell with homer in A's loss to Mariners

A's first baseman Matt Olson has been on a tear recently.

Just check out this little nugget: 

During the A's 6-3 loss Saturday night against the Mariners, Olson put himself in that impressive group of guys with a two-run shot in the top of the third. And when you're in the company of Mike Trout and the 2019 first-half version of Josh Bell, you're doing something right.

That's 18 big ones since May 12. And we should have seen this coming.

Here's another nugget ... I love nuggets:

Is that good? I think that's good.

If anything, the man is consistent and he's maintained all of that power after a broken hamate bone, a situation he was worried would impact his swing.

[RELATED: Olson's recent tear reminiscent of rookie season]

“I heard from everybody that power was going to be an issue coming back,” Olson told NBC Sports California on Thursday. “Recovering from an injury like that was something you can’t force. You just have to let it happen. And, honestly, when I started swinging, I never really felt weak."

The 2018 Gold Glove award winner wants to concentrate on whatever is working for him. As they say, they don't fix what's not broken.

Mark Canha quietly has put together elite statistical season for A's


Mark Canha quietly has put together elite statistical season for A's

Mark Canha hasn't just been good this season. He's been elite.

The A's utility man doesn't get the opportunity to start every day, but when he's in the lineup, he's as productive as just about anyone in the American League.

Canha, 30, has hit 10 home runs in just 109 at-bats this season. That rate of a home run every 10.9 at-bats is tied for fourth-best in the AL among players with at least 100 plate appearances. He ranks ahead of top sluggers like Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, and Edwin Encarnacion, just to name a few.

While Canha's batting average is only .239, his .366 on-base percentage leads the A's, as does his .550 slugging percentage. Canha's .916 OPS ranks 12th in the American League (min. 125 plate appearances), and he's only 18 points out of eighth.

This type of production isn't completely new for Canha, at least against left-handed pitching. Last season, Canha tore up southpaws to the tune of a .282/.337/.604 slash line with 13 home runs in 149 at-bats. However, those numbers came way down against right-handers, against whom he recorded just a .665 OPS.

This year, Canha is hammering lefties and righties alike. His OPS against left-handers is actually down a bit to a still solid .866, but his OPS against right-handers is up to .946, nearly 300 points higher than last season.

In fact, seven of Canha's 10 home runs have come against right-handed pitching, compared to just four of 17 last year. He is proving that he can now handle any pitcher.

Canha has shown terrific plate discipline as well, reaching base via walk or hit by pitch 23 times in 134 plate appearances. His 14.2 percent walk rate is 11th-best in the American League among players with at least 100 plate appearances.

[RELATED: Why A's travel plans from Texas to Florida were derailed]

Canha also ranks in the top 15 in the AL in weighted on-base average and weighted runs created plus. His 1.1 WAR is tied for third among A's hitters, despite starting in only 30 of the team's 66 games.

From just about any statistical standpoint, Canha has proven to be one of the most productive hitters in the league this season.

How Angels stopped A's from picking Mike Trout back in 2009 MLB Draft

How Angels stopped A's from picking Mike Trout back in 2009 MLB Draft

Hindsight is everything, but looking back at the 2009 MLB draft, a multitude of fan bases have asked the same question: How did we not pick Mike Trout?

The greatest player of the past decade has been compared to the likes of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, but he fell all the way to the No. 25 overall pick in the draft 10 years ago. Everyone else's miss was the Angels’ jackpot, and perhaps no other team has been hurt more by Trout than the AL West rival A's.

In fact, the A's, who held the 13th pick in the draft, were fond of Trout. A's president Billy Beane and data analyst Farhan Zaidi -- now the Giants' president of baseball operations -- even went to see him play a high school game in Millville, N.J.

"Farhan and I -- further proving the Peter Principle -- flew out together to go watch him, normally not a trip I would make, to see a high school outfielder from a small town across the country," Beane told ESPN's Keith Law. "Trout went like 0-for-5, popped out, so we didn't even get to see him run."

The A's had seen Trout show off his skills, however, and the Angels heard of word of their interest from none other than ... Trout's father.

"Jeff [Trout] called me, said [A's assistant GM] Dave Forst saw him hit three home runs in a weekend, and Jeff said, 'Well, he wants [Mike] to come to Oakland for a workout,' " Greg Morhardt, the Angels’ Northeast area scout, told Law. "I'm thinking if you spend the whole day with Mikey you're gonna take him and Billy's a smart guy. I'm thinking I've got to stop this."

Morhardt and Jeff Trout have a longstanding relationship. The two played with each other in the minor leagues in the 1980s, and they even were roommates during spring training.

So, Morhardt made up a story that the Angels had a workout the same day as the A's, and did everything in his power to get an actual workout in place that day.

"If Billy had gotten him there, it would have been over," Morhardt said to Law. "You get Mike in your ballpark, and I don't know where he would have been hitting balls."

Trout has been to Billy's ballpark, and the A's have paid for it ever since. In 72 trips to Oakland, Trout has hit 16 home runs -- his second-most at any opposing ballpark -- and he has a .905 OPS at the Coliseum. Overall, Trout is batting .305 with 31 homers against the A's.

"Since then, Trout went on his own personal iron fleet in the Greyjoy,” Beane told Law. “He's the fourth Greyjoy, just destroying us, with a vengeance worse than Euron's to remind the A's they should have taken him.”

[RELATED: Wrapping our heads around that wild A's loss to Angels]

The A's wound up drafting USC shortstop Grant Green at No. 13. Green spent five seasons in the big leagues between four different teams -- A's, Angels, Giants, and Nationals -- and hit .248 with four home runs. He’s currently out of baseball.

Some history books are better left unopened.