Austin Riley has executed unimaginable issues lower than a month into his major-league profession.
The Braves left fielder/third baseman was the National League Rookie of the Month for May regardless of taking part in in simply 15 video games as he made his debut May 15. He hit .356/.397/.746 with seven dwelling runs and 20 RBIs.
Despite going 1 for 14 in a three-game weekend collection in opposition to the Marlins at Miami, the 22-year-old remains to be batting .290/.327/.613 with 9 homers and 26 RBIs by way of his first 23 video games. All whereas making the major-league minimal wage of $555,000
Riley is clearly impressing Braves supervisor Brian Snitker and his teammates. However, he’s additionally making believes of opponents at a speedy fee.
Take final Tuesday night time in Pittsburgh when Riley helped the Braves battle again from a 5-2 deficit to beat the Pirates 12-5 at PNC Park. His three-run dwelling run within the sixth inning put the Braves forward for good at 6-5.
It was a clutch hit however that was simply a part of what made Riley’s dwelling runs so particular.
He hit the homer off Kyle Crick, the Pirates’ prime set-up reliever who had been scored on solely as soon as in his 21 outings this season to that time. Crick put the slider proper the place he needed however the right-handed hitting Riley drove it the alternative method into the right-field stands.
“I don’t know how he hit that pitch the way he did,” Crick mentioned. “That’s a really good piece of hitting. A lot of times you give up home runs on mistakes. I didn’t on that pitch. To his credit, he went and got it.”
“You got to be strong to hit a home run the other way as hard as he did,” Pittsburgh supervisor Clint Hurdle mentioned. “That was special.”
There isn’t any denying Riley is a particular hitter. He is batting sixth within the Braves’ potent batting lineup a bit of greater than 4 years after they chose him within the first spherical of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft from Desoto High School in Southaven, Miss., with the 41st general decide.
Riley was hitting .299/.377/.681 with 15 dwelling runs and 39 RBIs in 37 video games with Triple-A Gwinnett when he was referred to as up.
“We all knew he was a special talent. We’d all heard about what he was doing in the minor leagues but to come up here and hit the way he has at this level is really special,” Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman. “What’s impressed me the most about him is how quickly he makes adjustments. If a pitcher fools him on a certain pitch, he’ll adjust in his next at-bat and it won’t happen a second time.”
Riley is old-fashioned, although, with regards to taking credit score for his sizzling begin. While he’s clearly very happy, he says he’s a lot happier that the Braves are profitable.
Atlanta is a season-best seven video games over .500 at 36-29 and in second place within the National League East, just one recreation behind the Philadelphia Phillies, because it makes an attempt to win back-to-back division titles.
The Braves have been 21-21 earlier than Riley joined them and have received 15 of 23 since then.
“I just like the drive of the team,” Riley mentioned. “We have a good group of guys who play really hard and never think we’re out of the game. That’s been the most fun for me, winning games. Personal accomplishments are nice but winning is what’s important.”
Riley definitely seems poised to assist the Braves win for a few years to come back.
“He is really good,” Snitker mentioned. “He doesn’t try to do too much. He’s just up there taking a good path to the ball. It’s been really fun to watch.”