Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson is enduring the worst slump of his life. In fact, it’s not all that close.
Said slump could only come at a worse time if it were the postseason. Thankfully for the Braves, Olson has a little over a week to figure things out. Good luck!
As I discussed in this week’s column, Olson is striking out at a far higher clip than last season, and as a result he is making weaker contact even when he does put the ball in play:
“The root cause of Olson’s struggles in September are his strikeout percentage, which has increased by nearly seven percent from 2021’s mark on the year. His line drive rate is also way down on the month, and his fly ball rate is up, which speaks to Olson trying to do too much to make up for lost time.”
This isn’t lost on Olson, who is frustrated by the lack of results over the last month.
“I don’t think so, not in my life,” Olson said, when asked if he’s ever had a worse slump by The Athletic. “I’m sure there were a couple (of previous slumps) similar, but as far as the quality of at-bats — or, I should say, the low quality — this one’s up there.”
Matt Olson’s slump should concern Braves fans
What makes matters even tougher for Braves fans is that his predecessor, Freddie Freeman, is raking in Los Angeles. The Dodgers are among the best teams in baseball. Atlanta — with Olson hitting the way he can at his best — has that kind of potential. With their latest losses, however, they’ve fallen 2.5 games behind the Mets in the NL East.
“It’s obviously a little bit of a process for me right now,” Olson said, once again per The Athletic. “I’m still missing pitches. It’s hard to be successful when you’re missing good pitches over the heart of the plate. That starts happening, then I got out of the zone a little bit.”
Olson can only afford to ‘figure it out’ for the time being. Come early October, Atlanta will have real postseason games to win, and Olson will be at the forefront of their effort to repeat as World Series champions.
Figure it out soon, Matt.