One month into his Atlanta Braves tenure, Matt Olson is everything his new team could have imagined when the Atlanta brass let Freddie Freeman walk in free agency.
Matt Olson grew up in Braves Country, but his first month playing first base for the team he grew up rooting for has gone about as well as the Atlanta Braves could have ever hoped for.
The Lilburn native and former Parkview star was drafted out of high school by the Oakland Athletics in 2012. Instead of rooming with Marietta native Dansby Swanson at Vanderbilt, they reunited 10 years later on the same Atlanta infield. Though he has the immense pressure of replacing Freddie Freeman at first base, Olson has been loving every minute playing at home.
He is exactly what the Braves were hoping for when they took a gamble and let Freeman walk.
Matt Olson is absolutely thriving in his first month with the Atlanta Braves
In David O’Brien’s feature for The Athletic, Olson talks about being able to play at Truist Park, which allows his wife and parents to see him play at The Battery as often as they would like. Through his first 30 games in a Braves uniform, Olson is slashing .264/.379/.455 with three home runs, 13 runs batted in and a league-leading 12 doubles. The team is finally starting to play some good ball.
Up until last week, the Braves got off to a slow start out of the gate. Somehow, someway, they actually lost two games to the Cincinnati Reds. While a lot of their struggles had to do with the starting rotation failing to find its footing, as well as the arduous process of re-inserting Ronald Acuña Jr. into the everyday lineup, Olson has been as steady as a rock over at first base.
What has gotten lost in all this is that the Braves are not looking at him like he has go to out there and be Freeman every day; they are just letting him be himself. The best part is it seems that Olson has fit in seamlessly with this club and is having the time of his life. Blessed with an eight-year contract, Olson has the potential to inspire a new generation of fans throughout Braves Country.
The Braves may not repeat as World Series champions, but they are really starting to figure things out.