Braves first baseman Matt Olson set a new single-season franchise record on Saturday night, launching his 52nd home run of the season as part of Atlanta's game against the Miami Marlins (GameTracker). Olson's blast came in the sixth inning against lefty reliever Steven Okert.
Statcast measured the home run as having a 107.7 mph exit velocity and traveling some 433 feet. Take a gander:
Olson, 29, is nearing the completion of his second season with the Braves after being acquired from the Oakland Athletics in March 2022 as part of a five-player trade. The Athletics received outfielder Cristian Pache, righties Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes, and catcher Shea Langeliers. The Braves subsequently signed Olson to an eight-year contract worth $168 million.
Olson entered Saturday hitting .279/.385/.612 (162 OPS+) with 51 home runs and 128 RBI. His contributions this season have been worth an estimated 6.5 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball-Reference's calculations.
The Braves franchise record had previously belonged to Andruw Jones, who homered 51 times as part of his 2005 season. Here's a look at the top five single-season home-run outputs in franchise history:
- Matt Olson: 52 (2023)
- Andruw Jones: 51 (2005)
- Henry Aaron: 47 (1971)
- Eddie Mathews: 47 (1953)
- Eddie Mathews: 46 (1959)
Olson came into play on Saturday leading all of Major League Baseball in home runs and runs batted in. His .279 average is well short of the big-league lead (.349), meaning there's no chance of him making a run at the Triple Crown. Still, there's no denying that Olson is having a phenomenal and historic year.
The Braves, by the way, entered Saturday with a 96-51 record, putting them 6.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the National League. The Braves are also five games better than the Baltimore Orioles, suggesting they will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.