After the injury to Ender Inciarte the Atlanta Braves called up young prospect Austin Riley. Riley was impressive in his debut homering and showing Braves fans just how much power he has already.
Austin Riley left the Atlanta Braves little choice but to promote him after his torrid start in Triple-A. The injury to center fielder Ender Inciarte provided the perfect opportunity for the Braves to give Riley a chance at starting in left field.
Though he is a third baseman the Braves needed a way to get his bat into the lineup. He certainly couldn’t be any worse than former Brave Evan Gattis who the Braves similarly put in the outfield to get his bat in the lineup.
Riley was impressive in his debut hitting a towering shot in his second at-bat. Riley will give the Braves much needed power and a more complete lineup with Ender hitting the injured list for the next two weeks.
Josh Donaldson is firmly entrenched at third base for this season but playing left field and giving Donaldson a day off should give Riley plenty of playing time. Enough for the Braves to determine if the young prospect is ready to play everyday at a high level.
Riley’s biggest question mark will be his defense. His ability at the plate will translate to the Major League level without problem, though as always there will be bumps along the road for the rookie.
Riley’s defense is iffy at best, even at third base putting him in the outfield leaves the chance the Braves are unable to continue to play him. Going for Acuna in left to Riley is a downgrade, but if Riley can play at least replacement level defense his bat will outweigh his defensive shortcomings.
Atlanta is continuing to struggle and has to be hoping that Riley will provide the team a spark that Ronald Acuna did last season. More to come as the Braves season continues.