#MLBPlayers411 | Matt Olson
Matt Olson is making the most of his opportunity to regularly play first base for the A's.
Since Olson was inserted as the club's starting first baseman on Aug. 11 following the trade of All-Star Yonder Alonso, the 6-foot-5, 228-pound rookie has clubbed 18 home runs – tied for the most in the majors during the stretch – with 33 RBIs, while slashing .301/.388/.788.
Currently, the 23-year-old Georgia native has hit home runs in four straight games – the youngest player to accomplish a streak of at least four games this season – and is tied with Arizona's J.D. Martinez for the major-league lead with 11 home runs in September. He's homered in three straight games on four occasions already.
“It's been pretty spectacular,” manager Bob Melvin told the East Bay Times after last night's performance. “The expectations are a little unfair, but he's taken off and run with it. He's really turning into a guy that we're going to build around.”
Olson has 22 home runs, while batting .267 and a 1.023 on-base plus slugging percentage, with 31 runs scored and 42 RBIs, in just 54 games at first base and right field this season. Playing first base, Olson ranks 11th in total defensive runs saved, according to Fangraphs.
“He's a terrific defender at first base," Melvin said. "We're trying to find some building blocks for the future, and we feel like he's one of them."
Olson is among a group of nine rookies (Cody Bellinger, Josh Bell, Matt Davidson, Paul DeJong, Ian Happ, Aaron Judge, Trey Mancini, and Hunter Renfroe) who have hit 20-or-more home runs, the most of any rookie class in MLB history.
With Triple-A Nashville this season, Olson hit .272 with 23 home runs and 60 RBIs in 79 games.
A native of Atlanta, Olson attended Parkview High School. He became the fourth graduate of the school to reach the majors, including Jeff Francoeur, Jeff Keppinger and Clint Sammons.
Olson originally committed to Vanderbilt, but after being drafted in the first round by Oakland, he chose to play professionally.
"For us, one of the best high school bats in the country -- just a very skilled hitter with strength, and the power's going to come as he gets bigger and stronger," scouting director Eric Kubota told MLB.com after the draft. "We really feel good about his bat. We saw him hit home runs off two first-round pitchers this year."
Olson saw his first action at the major-league level last season, as a September call-up, getting two hits in 21 at-bats over 11 games.
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