Austin Riley

Position: 3B
Level: Double-A
Affiliate: Mississippi Braves
League: Southern League
Born: 04/02/1997 (Age: 23)
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 220
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: 1st Rd. (CBA, #41 overall), 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft (ATL)

Prospect Spotlight

I was able to get more looks at Riley after he was assigned from High A Florida to Mississippi on July 13. (Here is my original spotlight on Riley). Riley hasn’t missed a beat since his promotion, sporting a .294 average with six home runs for the Braves, and showing a projectable plus hit tool with plus power potential. He has good swing mechanics and shows feel for the barrel, and gets dangerous when he can get extended and take advantage of the loft and leverage in his swing. The ball is really jumping off his bat and he makes consistent loud contact. He’s adjusting to pitches middle-in and fighting off pitches he can’t handle with better frequency than my previous views, and the power numbers continue to trend upwards.

He’s shown improved ability at third base as well, with average hands seen in these views. His fielding actions remain stiff and rigid, and he won’t wow you with a highlight reel, but he is making the routine plays. And is a steady presence. He needs to keep working on the footwork and let some of his raw athleticism take over at the position to improve. His arm strength is plus, and he shows both carry and accuracy. His run tool is below average (4.39 seconds down the line), but the speed is not a part of his game.

Riley should be allowed to develop at third base until he plays himself off the position, where a move to first base would be probable. He has a ceiling of a Role 60 third baseman, and a floor of a Role 50 at either corner position, with the hit tool carrying the profile in either case.