It’s early days but Matt Olson definitely makes the Atlanta Braves look good.
With four games in the books, the first new starting player, Matt Olson, is already setting big numbers for his new club.
In the fifth inning of Sunday’s game, Olson hit a 417-foot blast at an exit speed of 110.8 mph. On Sunday, it was 3 for 4 with two rounds and an RBI, bringing his hitting average to 0.571.
On Saturday, Olson was 2 for 3 with a picnic and one run for the Braves. On Friday, it was 3 for 5 and hit once. On Thursday, it was 0 for 2 but tied twice.
According to David O’Brien of The Athletic:
Olson is doing well with the Braves who are now 2-2 after spitting their opening series with the Cincinnati Reds. They will face the Washington Nationals in three games starting on Monday.
As for Freddy Freeman, he appears to be struggling as hard as the Los Angeles Dodgers after his opening streak in Denver against the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers are 1-2 away and they’re headed to Minneapolis-St. Paul for a set of two games against the Minnesota Twins.
Freeman hits .167/ .286/ .167 with two strokes and a run. On Friday, he hit 1 for 3 with one hit and ran and walked. On Saturday, it was 0 for 4. And on Sunday, Freeman was 1 for 5.
Brave fans on Twitter are getting a bit used to these stats.
The difference in Olson and Freeman’s performances is astounding, to say the least. For Freeman, it could be playing in Denver combined with the tension of the new team. After playing for 13 years in the major leagues, you would think it wouldn’t be much of a problem for Freeman. If his current trend continues, Dodgers fans may be reluctant to stand by their new star. Once the Dodgers get through April and May, things should get hotter with Freeman. It would be shocking if he didn’t improve as the season went on. It’s Freddy Freeman. It will warm up in time.
However, Olson makes the Braves seem smart to go elsewhere. It’s clear Olson is running high after being involved in such a huge trade, going from Oakland A’s to the World Championship Defenders at the Atlanta Braves. In the midst of their opening weekend, as they celebrated the world championship, Olson felt the urgency to step up and do his part to continue the great run of the Braves.
Olson wants to impress Reeves’ fan base after they lost one of Freeman’s fan favorites. He wants to win his team’s trust and reassure them that they made the right decision by going with him to bring Freeman back.
It will take a lot to reassure a team and fan base after such a heavy loss. Freeman grew up in the organization and worked hard for the team and the community. Olson knows this sense of loyalty after spending his six-season career with Oakland.
But, as Yankees Anthony Rizzo said recently, there is no loyalty in baseball.
Olson already makes a good impression on the Braves. Fans will keep Freeman dear to their hearts, but Olson will need to continue his trend to minimize the loss of a major blow to the organization. As long as he continues this impressive run, Olson will earn his own place in Braves history.