Austin Riley

Austin Riley

25-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
Atlanta Braves
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Riley now has 3.16 years of major league service (trust us, don't look it up,) and has quickly established himself as one of the premier power hitters in baseball with elite metrics in Barrel%, Average Exit Velocity, HardHit%, and awesome walk up music. The expected stats from 2021 told us the .300 average was an outllier, so the 30-point drop in batting average did not come as much of a surprise. That said, he does profile as someone who should see some type of bump in batting average with the shift rules changing this season. Sure, he doesn't walk that often and his strikeouts are a bit on the high side, but this is a modern day Mike Schmidt at the plate who may eventually need a new defensive position given his limitations at the hot corner. He is a solid four-category performer who continues to improve his draft status and finished this season as the 21st most valuable player in standard formats. There is a strong chance he does not make it to the 3rd round this season so plan accordingly. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a 10-year, $212 million contract extension with the Braves in August of 2022. Contract includes $20 million team option for 2033.
Gets breather Wednesday
3BAtlanta Braves
October 5, 2022
Riley isn't starting Wednesday against Miami.
ANALYSIS
Riley has gone 0-for-10 with a run, two walks and five strikeouts over the last three games, and he'll get a rare day off for Wednesday's regular-season finale. Ehire Adrianza is starting at the hot corner and batting ninth.
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Batting Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
67
36
1
2
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
36
15
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+6%
OPS vs LHP
2022
 
 
+34%
OPS vs LHP
2021
 
 
+25%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+9%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020vs Left .907 365 43 16 48 1 .295 .359 .548
Since 2020vs Right .852 1190 162 63 179 1 .277 .347 .505
2022vs Left 1.084 172 21 11 25 1 .329 .413 .671
2022vs Right .811 521 69 27 68 1 .255 .328 .483
2021vs Left .752 149 17 3 18 0 .274 .322 .430
2021vs Right .941 513 74 30 89 0 .312 .380 .560
2020vs Left .761 44 5 2 5 0 .244 .273 .488
2020vs Right .700 156 19 6 22 0 .238 .301 .399
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+3%
OPS at Home
2022
 
 
+22%
OPS at Home
2021
 
 
+18%
OPS on Road
2020
 
 
+6%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020Home .877 750 99 40 117 1 .287 .352 .525
Since 2020Away .852 811 106 39 110 1 .277 .349 .503
2022Home .964 339 48 24 49 1 .297 .363 .601
2022Away .792 354 42 14 44 1 .249 .336 .456
2021Home .823 320 39 13 53 0 .287 .344 .479
2021Away .968 342 52 20 54 0 .319 .389 .579
2020Home .738 91 12 3 15 0 .244 .341 .397
2020Away .697 115 12 5 12 0 .236 .270 .427
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Stat Review
How does Austin Riley compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.34
 
BB Rate
8.2%
 
K Rate
24.2%
 
BABIP
.315
 
ISO
.255
 
AVG
.273
 
OBP
.349
 
SLG
.528
 
OPS
.878
 
wOBA
.380
 
Exit Velocity
92.5 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
39.2%
 
Barrels/PA
10.2%
 
Expected BA
.271
 
Expected SLG
.531
 
Sprint Speed
23.3 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
37.9%
 
Line Drive %
23.5%
 
Fly Ball %
38.6%
 
Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
When Riley debuted in 2019, he exhibited plus power with a high K%. In 2020, he significantly improved his plate skills at the expense of power. Last season, he maintained the better approach while reverting to 2019's power. Add in a lucky BABIP and Riley was one of the Senior Circuit's biggest surprises, finishing seventh in the MVP voting. Riley's BABIP was .368, 88 points higher than 2020, despite similar underlying metrics. His .303 average was above his .279 xBA. Riley's defense improved dramatically from a -10 defensive runs liability to a +13 asset. Riley's power is real as 2020 appears to be the outlier. His first half BABIP was .341, then it spiked to .397 after the break. The first half level is sustainable, landing Riley in range of his xBA. There's some risk, but the evidence points to Riley taking it to a new level and becoming one of the better options at a position lacking the usual depth.
It may not look like it at a glance, but Riley exhibited encouraging improvements in last season's abbreviated campaign. Better selectivity led to a spike in contact rate along with a bump in walks. Riley hit fewer flyballs, reducing power, but he did increase his average exit velocity. Unfortunately, hitting the ball with greater authority was not reflected in Riley's BABIP, though his Statcast xBA was considerably higher than his actual mark. In the field, Riley moved back to his natural spot at the hot corner where he finished last among qualified third baseman with -8 defensive runs saved. He was a below-average left fielder in 2019, so he needs to hit to assure playing time. Riley is due a positive batting-average correction, the extent of which will depend on how much of his contact gain he retains. The chance Riley hits more flyballs offers some power upside. However, poor defense could reduce playing time.
Baseball is a game of adjustments. After getting the call to the majors in mid-May, Riley went off for nine homers in his first 18 career games, and he still had an OPS north of .900 at the end of June. Then the league caught up to him. Riley hit .169/.221/.324 with a 41.6 K% from the beginning of July until his placement on the IL with a knee ligament issue in early August. He made it back in September but never made the necessary adjustments, slashing an even-worse .132/.190/.263 over the final month of the regular season. Riley was then left off the NLDS roster. Given Riley's pedigree, we should expect skills growth and for him to eventually adapt to the different ways pitchers are approaching him. However, until we see it on the field, there should be some trepidation toward investing heavily in a player with Riley's level of swing and miss. It's not even a lock that he breaks camp with the big club.
Remarkably little has changed regarding Riley's outlook since he made his full-season debut in 2016. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound third baseman still projects as a No. 5 hitter who should provide 30-plus homer power while hitting .250 or .260. He was promoted to Triple-A in early May and missed a month in the middle of the season with a knee injury. After the calendar turned to August, Riley really heated up, hitting .289/.333/.570 with eight home runs in 129 PA. However, strikeouts (31.8 K%) were still an issue during that run and he was not exhibiting much patience (4.8 BB%), so this was not a case of a player being unfairly held down for service time reasons. Riley still has significant approach issues to work on against Triple-A pitching and won't turn 22 until April 2. With the Braves signing Josh Donaldson to a one-year deal and Johan Camargo coming off a 3.3-win (fWAR) season, there won't be any rush to get Riley to Atlanta.
It is pretty obvious at this point in the Braves' rebuild that Riley is the third baseman of the future. He held his own (109 wRC+) as one of the second youngest position players in the Florida State League, prompting an aggressive July promotion to Double-A. That's when he really made his mark. Were it not for teammate and baseball prodigy Ronald Acuna, Riley would have easily been the youngest player to get 200 plate appearances in the Southern League, yet he still proceeded to be 62 percent better than league average while posting his best BB/K (0.40) since rookie ball. He has prototypical size (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) for the hot corner and enough power to challenge for 30-homer campaigns in his peak years, especially in that park. He does not project to hit .300 in the big leagues, but he could be a .270 hitter who walks a decent amount and hits in an advantageous spot in the lineup. If he handles Triple-A the way he handled Double-A, we could see him in Atlanta this summer.
Riley celebrated his 19th birthday on April 2 and five days later got his first taste of life in the middle of a Low-A lineup. He struggled for the first couple months, as most teenagers do when they first face pitchers who can occasionally locate mid-90s cheese and spin breaking balls. However, he made the necessary adjustments and hit .289/.348/.581 with 17 home runs and a 61:22 K:BB over his final 279 plate appearances with Rome. Also notable is the fact that Riley cut his strikeout rate from 32.6 percent in the first half to 21.8 percent in the second half. In a system flush with high-upside arms yet light on impact bat-first position players, Riley boasts the most raw power on the farm. That 65-grade power makes him a top-five third base prospect in the game and will allow him to challenge for the home run crown with High-A Florida while being one of the youngest hitters in the Florida State League.
Standing 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, Riley generates impressive bat speed and power from the right side of the plate, more than enough to put him on the radar in long-term dynasty and keeper leagues. A supplemental first-round pick in 2015, Riley didn't exactly hit the ground running as a professional, batting .163 with no home runs in his first 14 games with the Gulf Coast League Braves. Riley would go on to hit 12 home runs in his final 46 games between the GCL and Danville of the Appalachian League. He also showed good patience for an 18-year-old, and has the arm to stick at third base. Look for Riley to receive his first full-season assignment in 2016.
More Fantasy News
Hits solo homer
3BAtlanta Braves
October 1, 2022
Riley went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Friday's 5-2 win over the Mets.
ANALYSIS
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Slugs 37th homer
3BAtlanta Braves
September 20, 2022
Riley went 1-for-3 with a walk, a solo home run and a second run scored in Monday's 5-2 win over the Nationals.
ANALYSIS
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Homers in third straight game
3BAtlanta Braves
September 3, 2022
Riley went 1-for-3 with a walk and a solo home run in Friday's 8-1 win over the Marlins.
ANALYSIS
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Slugs 33rd homer
3BAtlanta Braves
September 2, 2022
Riley went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in a 3-0 win over Colorado on Thursday.
ANALYSIS
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Turns in three-hit performance
3BAtlanta Braves
August 28, 2022
Riley went 3-for-4 with an RBI double and a run in Saturday's 6-5 loss to the Cardinals.
ANALYSIS
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