One of the biggest talking points of the baseball offseason, what will the 2022 season have in store for new Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson?
Acquired from the Oakland Athletics back in mid-March, the Atlanta native now returns home to takeover as the Braves first baseman of the future, now signed with Atlanta through the 2029 season with a team-option for 2030.
Looking ahead to year No. 1 of that deal however, expectations will certainly be high for the 28-year-old in 2022 as Olson replaces one of the most-beloved players in Atlanta Braves franchise history. With that being said, what should Braves fans expect to see from Olson in 2022?
Atlanta Braves 2022 Season Preview: 1B Matt Olson
Looking back at Olson’s 2021 season with Oakland, the 28-year-old is coming off a career-year that saw him hit 39 home runs across 156 games, while also driving in a total of 111 runs, both of which were career-high’s. Making his first-career All-Star appearance as well, Olson also posted a few other notable numbers such as a .271/.371/.540 slash line, a 5.8 WAR, and by far career-low 16.8 K% with a 13.1 BB%.
A career .252/.348/.511 hitter, Olson has already hit a total of 142 home runs during his career so far, a span that includes at-least 25+ in years where he has played over 100 games.
- 2018 – 29 HR in 162 games
- 2019 – 36 HR in 127 games
- 2021 – 39 HR in 156 games
As you’d likely expect, Olson will certainly familiarize himself with the Chop House in right field at Truist Park very-early this season, and will likely be among the team leaders in home runs, if not the leader.
Likely batting in anywhere from spots two-to-four in the lineup, Olson will also prove to be another elite piece of the Braves infield defensively at first base where he is a two-time Gold Glove winner and holds a career .995 FLD% at the position.
When predicting Olson’s 2022 season with the Atlanta Braves, it will likely become clear early-on that the organization will not skip a beat at first base, if that thought is not clear already. The 28-year-old will likely be an MVP candidate this season after finishing eighth in AL MVP voting last season, as well as one of the favorites in the NL to win a Gold Glove at first base.
As mentioned previously, expectations surrounding the on-field play of Olson will certainly be high this season as he replaces a Braves legend. Expect the Atlanta native to deliver on those expectations as well in a big way in 2022.
Matt Olson 2022 Season Stat-Line Prediction:
- 155 games: .270 AVG, .365 OBP, .545 SLG, .910 OPS, 45 HR, 120 RBI, 2 SB