MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Olson focused on making it to Major Leagues

Olson focused on making it to Major Leagues

CINCINNATI -- Matt Olson is focused on getting to the big leagues.

He isn't about to be distracted.

Yes, the 6-foot-5 first baseman is the No. 1 ranked prospect in the Oakland A's system, according to MLB.com, ranked the second-best first-base prospect in the Minor Leagues behind Josh Bell of the Pirates, and was chosen to be the A's lone Team USA representative in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

No, he's not impressed.

"Don't get me wrong," he said. "It's an honor to be recognized like that, and to be [in the Futures Game] with guys who have so much ability, but it's not what this is about."

What Olson's future is about is how Olson plays on the field.

Given a national stage on Sunday, he made his presence felt in the United States' 10-1 victory against the World, singling and scoring in the midst of a five-run sixth inning. He also struck out in the seventh.

A supplemental draft pick between the first and second rounds in the 2012 MLB Draft -- the 47th player taken overall -- Olson stamped himself as one of the top power prospects in the game last summer when he not only hit 37 home runs, but also drew 117 walks for the A's High A Stockton affiliate.

He also was selected to play in the Arizona Fall League All-Star Game, but a couple days before the game was played Olson suffered a Grade 3 tear in the AC joint of his right shoulder. He said he is recovered, and he has been a regular in the lineup for Double-A Midland this season, where scouts are convinced he is just starting to get back to full strength after a first-half in which he hit .227 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs.

"I wouldn't say I am on track with where I want to be," said Olson, who has drawn 69 walks in 84 games, but also has struck out 90 times.

"My stat line is not too exciting, but I feel I am progressing. I am learning my swing. I am putting good at-bats together every day."

And he is carrying the banner for a rather talented 2012 A's Draft class that was the source for a good chunk of the talent A's have given up in the last year, looking to win a world championship last summer and then to start a rebuilding process in the offseason.

Shortstop Addison Russell, the A's No. 1 pick and 11th selection overall, was part of the package sent last July to the Cubs for right-handed starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.

Infielder Daniel Robertson, a supplemental selection who went 34th overall, and outfielder Boog Powell, a 20th-round draft, were traded to Tampa Bay in the offseason for versatile Ben Zobrist and infielder Yunel Escobar, who was then sent to the Nationals for reliever Tyler Clippard.

And right-handed pitcher Austin House, a 14th-round draft, was dealt to the Rockies for Mark Canha, who Colorado had taken in the Rule 5 Draft from Miami during the Winter Meetings.

"Ultimately that's out of our hands," said Olson. "We understand the A's make moves. It's what baseball is. I'm still playing for the A's and I love it."winte

And he is making steady progress toward that big league opportunity.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.