On Tuesday, Oakland A's first baseman Matt Olson became the sixth confirmed participant in this year's Home Run Derby.
Olson, 27, is again enjoying a productive power season for the A's. In 80 games this season, Olson has 20 home runs, and he's slugging .552. That's despite the generally pitcher-friendly nature of his home ballpark in Oakland. For his career, Olson has 123 home runs, including 36 in 2019. Across parts of six MLB seasons, Olson has averaged 40 home runs per 162 games played. In related matters, he boasts a swing that's very conducive for power.
Here's how he made his announcement:
He'll attempt to become the fourth Oakland Athletic to win the event. Previous winners in green and gold include Mark McGwire in 1992 and Yoenis Céspedes in 2013 and 2014. The New York Yankees lead all teams with four Derby wins.
Olson will join a 2021 Home Run Derby field that already included Shohei Ohtani of the Angels, Salvador Perez of the Royals, Trevor Story of the host Rockies, Trey Mancini of the Orioles, and Pete Alonso of the Mets, who won the Derby in 2019.
Like the other All-Star festivities, no Derby was held in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Olson's addition means two spots remain in this year's field. Among those who have said they will not be participating this year are Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez, and Nationals outfielder Kyle Schwarber.
This year's Derby is scheduled for Monday (July 12) at Coors Field in Denver.