Oakland Athletics

A’s Matt Olson says he got ‘bogged down’ by analytics last season

Oakland Athletics slugger Matt Olson looks incredibly dialed in at the plate this season, in a dramatic turnaround from his lackluster, disappointing campaign in 2020. He recently revealed part of the reason: a decreased dependency on technology and analytics.

Here’s part of what Olson told San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler about the situation.

“I just wanted to get back to hitting,” Matt Olson said in a Zoom interview Tuesday. “With all the numbers and video and analytics we have nowadays, I just felt like last year I got really bogged down in that kind of stuff. It’s easy to do, especially when things aren’t going well. You’re constantly looking for an answer, and you feel like you should be able to find one, when sometimes you just dig yourself a deeper hole.”

San Francisco Chronicle

Olson went on to say that he’s having more fun this season, and not just because his personal stats have improved. He said that now, he’s simply “showing up” to the ballpark — a sharp contrast from being immersed in analytics every moment away from the batters box.

Olson’s turnaround has been remarkable, and it’s been covered on the BASH since spring training, when Olson worked on his swing with his pitching coaches in an attempt to hit the baseball to all directions. But this is the first I’ve heard of Olson’s back-to-basics strategy.

And I’ve gotta say, it’s mighty refreshing for me personally. Ostler’s piece is worth checking out — I highly suggest you read it. You’ll find much more insight from Olson, and Ostler as well. Best of all, Olson’s new mindset has resulted in a fantastic season for the A’s Gold Glove first baseman, one that could send him to his first All-Star game at 27 years of age.

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