Austin Riley
Austin Riley
23-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
Atlanta Braves
2021 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#213
ADP
$Signed a $1.6 million contract with the Braves in June of 2015.
Admits quad was issue down stretch
3BAtlanta Braves
February 26, 2021
Riley admitted that the quadriceps strain that cost him the final two games of the 2020 regular season had been bothering him much longer than that, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. "I hate making excuses any time, but I definitely was feeling it," said Riley.
ANALYSIS
The third baseman posted a .609 OPS over his final 18 games in the regular season and then a .489 OPS in the playoffs while playing at less than 100 percent. Atlanta is hoping Riley can take a big step forward in what will be his first full season in the majors after he managed a .232/.288/.448 line with 16 homers and a 31.2 percent strikeout rate through his first 131 big-league games, and knowing that last year's season-ending slump was at least partly due to injury offers some reassurance that the league simply hasn't figured him out at the plate.
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Batting Stats
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2020
2019
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2019 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
2
12
8
16
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
3
5
4
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+31%
OPS vs LHP
2020
 
 
+9%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+46%
OPS vs LHP
2018
No Stats
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .898 118 18 9 20 0 .255 .314 .585
Since 2018vs Right .686 379 47 17 56 0 .224 .277 .409
2020vs Left .761 44 5 2 5 0 .244 .273 .488
2020vs Right .700 156 19 6 22 0 .238 .301 .399
2019vs Left .984 74 13 7 15 0 .262 .338 .646
2019vs Right .676 223 28 11 34 0 .215 .260 .416
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+20%
OPS at Home
2020
 
 
+6%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+30%
OPS at Home
2018
No Stats
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .808 238 37 14 40 0 .247 .315 .493
Since 2018Away .673 265 28 12 36 0 .219 .264 .409
2020Home .738 91 12 3 15 0 .244 .341 .397
2020Away .697 115 12 5 12 0 .236 .270 .427
2019Home .847 147 25 11 25 0 .248 .299 .547
2019Away .654 150 16 7 24 0 .204 .260 .394
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More Splits View More Split Stats
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.
BB/K
0.33
 
BB Rate
7.8%
 
K Rate
23.8%
 
BABIP
.280
 
ISO
.176
 
AVG
.239
 
OBP
.301
 
SLG
.415
 
OPS
.716
 
wOBA
.313
 
Exit Velocity
83.0 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
32.9%
 
Barrels/PA
8.3%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Austin Riley
Collette Calls: 2021 NL East Bold Predictions
12 days ago
Jason Collette continues his Bold Predictions series with the National League East. Find out Austin Riley could make a big jump this season.
Farm Futures: Dynasty Rankings Update
13 days ago
James Anderson breaks down his dynasty rankings update, including his controversial rank of Mets slugger Pete Alonso, and provides updates on a couple big dynasty leagues he participates in.
Baseball Draft Kit: Player Values by Position
19 days ago
Jeff Erickson ranks the players at each position for the 2021 RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Guide.
The Z Files: Revisiting Component Average Exit Velocity
26 days ago
Todd Zola considers the perils of relying on average exit velocity for analysis rather than looking at the component batted-ball types that drive BABIP for a player like Atlanta's Austin Riley.
The Z Files: Hot Tracks at the Hot Corner
68 days ago
Todd Zola spins the hits at third base, where his tiers approach leaves Jose Ramirez in a class all by himself.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
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
Expected to remain at hot corner
3BAtlanta Braves
January 11, 2021
The Braves are planning for Riley to begin the upcoming season as their everyday third baseman, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports.
ANALYSIS
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Hits go-ahead homer
3BAtlanta Braves
October 13, 2020
Riley went 1-for-4 with a solo homer in Monday's NLCS Game 1 win against the Dodgers.
ANALYSIS
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Batting ninth in Game 1
3BAtlanta Braves
September 30, 2020
Riley (quadriceps) will start at third base and bat ninth Wednesday in Game 1 against the Reds.
ANALYSIS
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Not fully healthy but will play
3BAtlanta Braves
Quadriceps
September 29, 2020
Riley (quadriceps) isn't 100 percent but will be in the in lineup Wednesday against the Reds for Game 1 of the Wild Card Series, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Should be ready for Game 1
3BAtlanta Braves
Quadriceps
September 27, 2020
Riley (quadriceps) is expected to return for the first game of the playoffs Wednesday, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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