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Matt Olson 2018 Outlook

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I haven't seen the word used here, but could Olson turn into a platoon? he was bad last year vs LHP, and was also bad in the minors vs LHP.

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The projections on this guy are pretty crazy. Both ZIPS and Steamer project him to be nearly as valuable as Khris Davis with just 5 fewer HR's and maybe 10 fewer RBI. He walks a ton and plays great defense. I think the defense will prevent him from going into a full platoon.

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What to make of his BABIP last year? It was an awful .238. If he can get that to .260-.270 or better, what does it do to his BA? In AA and AAA, his BABIP ranged between .289 and .311. 

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On 1/3/2018 at 12:18 AM, SpartyOn4 said:

I made a Cody Bellinger-Matt Olson comparison in the 2017 thread and Fangraphs does the same here (#3 on the list).

 

Statistically they're very similar. Big difference is the sample size, as the Fangraphs article points out repeatedly. Of course I'd rather have Bellinger but Olson looks like a better ADP value.

 

Another difference is that Bellinger will give you SB. He had 12 last season.

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On 2/3/2018 at 7:40 PM, Flyman75 said:

What to make of his BABIP last year? It was an awful .238. If he can get that to .260-.270 or better, what does it do to his BA? In AA and AAA, his BABIP ranged between .289 and .311. 

I suppose it makes the landing softer if the.HRs drop to 30ish.

 

the guy barely hit any doubles so I put little stock in his babip.

 

 

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Don't expect sophomore slump for Olson

 

Quote

August and September should have been a rather dull time in Oakland as the A's played out their third consecutive last-place finish in the American League West. But that happened to be when Matt Olsoncame out of nowhere to become baseball's hottest hitter, and now one of the more intriguing questions by the Bay is: Can he keep it up?

Olson's 13 home runs last September would have set a rookie record, had Aaron Judge not also hit 15 in the same span. Olson's 24 total homers also tied Wally Berger, Mark McGwire and Gary Sanchez for the third most hit by any player in history in his first 65 games. The most exciting numbers, however, may lie in Olson's Statcast™ metrics. In an admittedly small sample, they showed a player who not only made solid contact, but also knew exactly what to do with it.

A batter's first aim is to hit the ball hard, and Olson did that about as well as anyone. Statcast™ places its floor for "hard-hit" contact at an exit velocity of 95 mph, and out of 387 big leaguers who put at least 100 balls in play last year, only seven reached that hard-contact baseline more often than Oakland's rookie first baseman.

But the more we learn about contact metrics, the more we recognize that not all hard-hit balls are created equal. Major Leaguers slugged 1.717 on hard-hit line drives and fly balls last season, as opposed to just .505 on hard-hit grounders. Hitting the ball hard is good, but the real damage comes when a batter can lift his scorcher into the air. That's where Olson appears to have real skill. Out of 313 hitters who put at least 50 hard-hit balls into play, look who led the MLB leaderboard in weighted on-base average (wOBA, a similar statistic to OBP that gives added credit for how a player reaches base, increasingly so for extra-base hits):

Highest wOBA produced on hard-hit contact, 2017 (min. 50) 
1. Olson: 1.046
2. J.D. Martinez: .982
3. Giancarlo Stanton: .976
4. Eric Thames: .966
5. Michael Conforto: .961

Stanton captured his first MVP award after an incredible 59-homer season, while Martinez packed more dingers into 119 games than any player in history. But it's Olson who did more damage on hard contact than either of them. Indeed, Olson homered on 23 of the 61 hard-hit balls he put in play, for a 37.7 percent rate that also topped MLB by a good margin.

Olson averaged a 19-degree launch angle on his hard-hit contact -- firmly within the Statcast™ line-drive zone (10-25 degrees) that yields a ton of damage -- and lifted 40 of his 61 hard-hit balls for either a liner or a fly ball. That comes out to a 65.6 percent "air-ball" rate that was slightly higher than air-ball aficionado Justin Turner and the mighty Judge. More than one-third of Olson's hard contact flew within what Statcast™ considers the fly-ball zone (launch angles between 25-49 degrees), which put the young slugger inside the top 10 percent of hitters. Those fly balls explain all the home runs, and Olson's average distance of 262 feet on hard contact ranked among baseball's 20 highest marks.

So, Olson hit the ball hard consistently, and he hit those scorchers in the air. The last piece of the puzzle was that he directed most of that optimal contact to his pull side. Check out just how heavily Olson's hard contact skewed to the right:

 

 

Tattooed, lifted and pulled: Matt Olson's hard-hit contact (95+ mph exit velocity) was pretty glorious last summer. #Athletics #Statcast

 
 

Put that exit velocity, launch angle and direction together and the results could be grandiose. Just take a second to admire Oakland's longest home run last year, a 483-foot jack Olson hit in Philadelphia during his September binge.

 

 
Olson's two-run homer
 
Olson's two-run homer00:29Sep. 15th, 2017

Lingering questions do remain. Olson certainly wasn't on a lot of radars after slashing .235/.335/.422 in a full year of Triple-A in 2016, which included a .167 average and .250 slugging mark against lefty pitchers. One also wonders if Olson's high strikeout rate (28.7 percent) could be exploited as big league pitchers adjust. But the lefty actually struck out less against southpaws than he did against righties last summer for Oakland, and a player who swings as hard as Olson is bound to sacrifice some contact. The good news is that Olson's overall 70.5 percent contact rate (defined here as fouls and balls put in play per swing) beginning Aug. 11 -- the day he took over Oakland's first base job for good -- was on par with what mashers like Martinez (68.8 percent) and Stanton (68.2 percent) put up over the entire season.

The A's jettisoned two other slugging first basemen who broke out in 2017 (Yonder Alonso and Ryon Healy) after what they saw from Olson. If the sophomore can repeat even most of what he did last summer, Oakland could have a budding star on its hands.

 

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ADP jump in CBS has be off the train now. I just cannot take him around 85 with the likes of Hosmer and Myers a round earlier. Sucks, I hate when CBS does this, some bonehead in my league always goes by the rankings and drafts accordingly

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YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE BOARDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

 

 

Home run #1 out of what will surely be 80-90 this year, easy.

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This guy cannot hit lefties and is struggling to make any contact, I have a feeling he is going to be a streaky hitter this year and if he goes on a big hot streak in the first couple months it may make sense to sell high. 

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Quite depressing when it seems everyone and his Brother on the A's are getting hits and Home Runs and this guy can't get a hit.

 

It's not like superior pitching all year has been the excuse.

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9 minutes ago, KingJoffrey said:

Quite depressing when it seems everyone and his Brother on the A's are getting hits and Home Runs and this guy can't get a hit.

 

It's not like superior pitching all year has been the excuse.

He's a young hitter, the league has adjusted to him, now he'll have to adjust, and adapt, if he can do that, he'll regain his superman status. I'm still all in.

Edited by Topgun

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This guy is very frustrating to own right now even though his batted ball profile shows only 6.3% soft hit percentage and a 1/1 gb/fb.

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yea his swing looks pretty long right now.  He swung and missed on 3 hittable fastball in his last at bat..also had a line out today.  Hopefully he follows his teammate Krush soon and starts hitting some bombs.  A few doubles would be nice too.. lol

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Haven’t really dug into his stats until now but his contact rate on pitches in the zone is way down so far. 

 

Encouraging signs:

LD rate is 31.9%

His pull/center/oppo spray chart %s are 34/38/28 so he’s really spreading it around

Medium hit contact is 44.7%

Hard hit contact is 46.8%

 

Needs to cut down the Ks a lot but when he does make contact he is absolutely clobbering the ball. I smell more mashed taters in his future. 

 

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18 minutes ago, KrunK said:

Haven’t really dug into his stats until now but his contact rate on pitches in the zone is way down so far. 

 

Encouraging signs:

LD rate is 31.9%

His pull/center/oppo spray chart %s are 34/38/28 so he’s really spreading it around

Medium hit contact is 44.7%

Hard hit contact is 46.8%

 

Needs to cut down the Ks a lot but when he does make contact he is absolutely clobbering the ball. I smell more mashed taters in his future. 

 

Good cause I been contemplating letting him go. This will make me hang onto for a while longer.

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6 minutes ago, mannymachado said:

Good cause I been contemplating letting him go. This will make me hang onto for a while longer.

Way too early to cut bait unless you’re in a super shallow league. Let him ride the bench until he heats up some if all else fails. 

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8 hours ago, mannymachado said:

Good cause I been contemplating letting him go. This will make me hang onto for a while longer.

 

Yeah I can't even contemplate letting him go. We start CI and 5 OF...and I remember that tear last year. As soon as I drop him, he'll hit 10 HR in 20 games lol. I'll just let him ride my bench for now and wait/hope for the power surge to eventually come. 

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