Will the Braves star first baseman see his power numbers decline in 2024?

A season ago, Braves first baseman Matt Olson blasted more home runs than anyone in Major League Baseball but will he get anywhere near that number again?

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game One
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game One / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

Spring Training is quickly coming to a close and we prepare to play the last few games before the grind for a World Series begins. Atlanta's high-powered offense hopes to lead the way once again.

Recently, FanGraphs released a list of the projected home run leaders for the 2024 season. It was no surprise to see two Atlanta Braves players in the top 10. However, where they were on the list was a little shocking.

A season ago, Matt Olson blasted 54 home runs, which led all of Major League Baseball. According to FanGraphs, he will finish 4th behind the following players: Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso, and Kyle Schwarber.

Olson also lead all of baseball in home runs during 2023 Spring Training, so he put the league on notice early.

If Aaron Judge stays healthy, he very well has the capability to have league-leading power numbers playing half of his games at Yankee Stadium, but Olson has an advantage over Pete Alonso and Kyle Schwarber.

Pete Alonso will be in the middle of the Mets' order and be seen as one of the few threats in that lineup. As a result, there is a good chance that pitchers will work around Alonso and avoid giving him good pitches he can drive out of the yard.

Kyle Schwarber will likely be the Phillies' leadoff man again. As much power as he possesses, it is more than challenging to be at the top of the home run leaderboard from the leadoff spot. Even with as many leadoff tanks as Acuna has hit, he has yet to accomplish that feat.

Matt Olson will have several hitters behind him that will be able to protect where pitchers will have no choice but to put the ball in the zone. With Acuna, who is tied for seventh most homers on the list, and Albies in front of him, a high number of Olson's at-bats will come with runners on base.

Fangraphs ZiPS projection has Olson batting .260 with 37 home runs and 116 RBI in 2024. That home run total does seem a little low but it is fair to expect a bit of regression after a historic season. However, that average is a bit lower than I expect Olson will end with.

It is certainly possible that Olson could hit less homers than last season since that is such a tough thing to repeat. However, with the protection he has around him, there's little reason to doubt he will get pitches to hit.

Matt has power to all parts of the field and plays half of his games in a hitter-friendly ballpark. There is no reason that Olson can't repeat as the league leader in home runs. FanGraphs may have missed this one.

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