Austin Riley Stats
- Height / Weight
- 6' 3" / 240 lbs.
- Date of Birth (Age)
- 4/2/1997 (24)
Austin Riley Season Stats
Last 10 Games
Austin Riley News
Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley has cleared the league's COVID-19 protocols and will return to the lineup on Wednesday, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Riley last played on Thursday and was penciled into Monday's lineup before being removed just prior to the game's start. Riley hasn't shown power this spring, but he's been getting on base at a good clip with a .357 average and .400 on-base percentage. He appears to be on track to start the season on time, where he will be a potential 15- to 20-homer threat at third base.
Atlanta Braves third baseman/outfielder Austin Riley had an OPS+ of exactly 86 in each of his first two seasons in the majors, but he chased less and made more contact during the shortened 2020 season. Riley's walk rate also improved, and his strikeout rate as a rookie (36.4 percent) dropped 12.6 percentage points -- the third-largest decrease of any hitter with at least 100 plate appearances in both seasons. The 23-year-old has an excellent barrel rate of 12.0 percent in his career and has homered on 8.4 percent of his career battled balls, on par with Bryce Harper, Juan Soto and Marcell Ozuna since 2019. After a slow start in 2020, Riley slashed .281/.348/.461 in his final 33 games. Riley is a cheap source of power with an ADP of 213, and he'll be given every chance to stick as the team's everyday third baseman.
The Atlanta Braves expect Austin Riley to begin the 2021 season at third base, which is why the club is more focused on adding a left fielder than a third baseman, according to a source. Riley started 45 games at third base in 2020 but also saw some time in left field. The 23-year-old power bat slashed .239/.301/.415 with eight home runs and 27 RBI in 51 games (188 at-bats) during the shortened season. He hit just .226 but slugged 18 home runs and drove in 49 runs in 80 games in his rookie season in 2019. George Springer, Jackie Bradley Jr., Michael Brantley, Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson, Jurickson Profar and Adam Duvall are all available, and it's unclear if the Braves are still considering re-signing Marcell Ozuna. If Ozuna doesn't return, they'll hope Riley and others can help replace the 18 home runs and 56 RBI that Ozuna produced while playing on a one-year deal.
Atlanta Braves third baseman/outfielder Austin Riley is being tabbed as a sleeper in 2021 with the potential for a power outbreak after hitting eight homers in 51 games last year while increasing his average exit velocity. While we wouldn't bet against growth, context is needed. In 2020, Riley increased his exit velocity on ground balls, but it actually declined on line drives and fly balls. His ground-ball rate also increased, while his line-drive and fly-ball rates dropped. That suggests a different approach is needed to translate his power potential into home runs. What was most impressive last year was Riley's strikeout rate, as it dropped from 36.4% to 23.8% while he improved his walk rate from 5.4% to 7.8%. If those gains hold, he should be able to turn that into a batting average around .250. The Braves lineup is one of the most potent in the league, and only the Dodgers scored more runs than them last year. Despite exclusively batting in the bottom half of the Braves lineup, Riley still ranked 15th in runs scored (24) and 12th in RBI (27) among third basemen last year. Riley only has 131 total MLB games under his belt and won't turn 24 until April, so he is still very much developing. His current ADP is around 217, so you won't use up much draft capital for 2021 to roster him. While we should temper expectations a bit this year, Riley can still provide solid power and counting stats for your teams in 2021.