At this point in his career, Matt Olson has fine-tuned his 'spring training process'

Justin Toscano, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Baseball

FORT MYERS, Fla. — So, does the baseball look like a beach ball this spring?

Matt Olson smiled.

“I mean, it’s always good to come out and see some success early,” Olson said. “But, really, whether it’s going good or bad, it’s just the process of spring. Trying to see different pitches, get some at-bats under your belt and try to get some rhythm at the plate. It’s good when success is happening. But there’s a lot of factors. Some wind-blowing-out days. You’re seeing some different guys, too. They’re out there working on stuff, too, might not be the sharpest as well. Good to have the success, but (it’s) really just about the spring training process.”

This is, as Olson said, spring training. The wind can be generous on fly balls. Big-league hitters also face tons of minor-league pitchers who are not as talented as the arms they’ll see during the season. Plus, the big-league pitchers they do see now might simply be honing new pitches or adjusting to mechanical changes.

In some cases, spring training numbers cannot be taken at face value because context is needed.

Then again, Olson leads the Braves with five home runs in 28 at-bats this spring. He has a ridiculous 1.520 OPS in this miniature sample size. He’s hitting .429 and slugging 1.036. He has two doubles and 11 RBIs.


These numbers might be somewhat meaningful in that Olson, unlike last year, was able to settle into this spring. No trade speculation. No trade. No quick move after the trade. Less attention. For Olson, this spring has strictly been about baseball.

It’s nice that his numbers look great, but more than anything, he’s focused on his spring training process.

Olson, who turns 29 on March 29, is entering his sixth season as a full-time major leaguer. But he debuted in 2016. He’s been a part of many spring camps to this point and has adjusted his process accordingly.

Olson said there are two ways his process is much different now than when he was younger:


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