The 2021 season was truly Matt Olson‘s breakout campaign. Not only did he cement his place in the middle of the Oakland A’s lineup, but he also made his first All Star Game and participated in the Home Run Derby. Olson may have been a star in the Bay Area, but he truly broke out for the rest of the country to take notice.
Olson’s breakout season is continuing in October. While the A’s may not be part of the postseason, his stellar 2021 campaign was acknowledged when he was named as a finalist for the Al Silver Slugger award at first.
Matt Olson named finalist for Silver Slugger
Olson will be facing some stiff competition for the award. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Yuri Gurriel were also named as finalists, with Guerrero likely the frontrunner for the award. It may be a bit of an upset for Olson to walk away with the hardware.
That should not take away from what he did this season. Olson had the best season of his major league career, producing an excellent .271/.371/.540 batting line in his 673 plate appearances, hitting 39 homers and 35 doubles while driving in 111 runs. He was the only thing that slowed himself down this season, as he missed time when he struck himself in the face with a line drive that bounced off the pitcher screen in batting practice.
This may not be the only award that Olson is nominated for this year. A solid defensive first baseman, it would not be a surprise if he emerges as a finalist for the Gold Glove award at first as well. He is a two time winner of the award, taking home those honors in 2018 and 2019, and may end up adding another this season.
Matt Olson’s breakout campaign is getting more recognition. While he may not win, he has been named as a finalist for the Silver Slugger award.