On Wednesday, the Atlanta Braves called up elite prospect Austin Riley, a slugging third baseman. The move comes as the team placed outfielder Ender Inciarte on the 10-day injured list with a back injury. Riley is the Braves’ fourth-best prospect according to MLB.com but also the 34th-best in all of baseball.
Riley also experienced playing first base and in left field this season, the latter being the most likely spot for him to find his way into the lineup. Atlanta selected the 6-foot-3 slugger with the 41st overall selection in the 2015 MLB Draft. Since then, his hype as a prospect has only grown more and more.
This season with Triple-A Gwinnett, Riley has already swatted 15 homers and 39 RBI in 144 at-bats. With that, he’s slashing a terrific .299/. 377/.681, good for a 1.057 OPS. This power didn’t just randomly appear; Riley received a 60 power grade on the MLB scouting 20-80 grading scale, meaning that he has the potential to be a legitimate MLB slugger
It’s unclear when Riley will make his MLB debut, but he’ll likely draw a start in left field sometime in the next few days during the team’s current homestand. Prior to Inciarte’s injury, he was slashing just .218/.300/.323, so it’s possible that Riley gets hot and carves out a regular role in this Atlanta offense.