The Atlanta Braves are postseason bound and will need all of the offense they can muster against a tough National League field. The biggest question mark in the starting lineup may be Austin Riley.
When Austin Riley first joined the Atlanta Braves roster this season he looked to be cementing himself as a huge piece of the Braves future. Riley hit 14-homers in his first two months with the Braves.
Since then Riley has hit 3-homers and looked nothing like the player he was his first month with the Braves. Early in the season Riley hit the ball with authority driving it seemingly on every at-bat and giving Atlanta yet another power threat.
During the first half of the season Riley hit .257 with 16-homers, since then he has dropped his production hitting only .164 and striking out with regularity.
Pitchers have adjusted to Riley realizing he wants to swing early in the count and will swing for the fences. What has resulted is a lot of chased balls and a lot of weak contact for Riley.
While there are some questions as to whether or not he can adjust the Braves certainly need him to. With Ender Inciarte unlikely to be back for the first postseason series Atlanta will give Riley some time in the outfield.
Riley must find a way to adjust and stop being so aggressive. Forgetting homers and swinging at the best pitch not swinging to hit any pitch. If he can make this adjustment and be even close to the player he was in the first two months he was with Atlanta, the Braves will have one of the best postseason lineups in baseball.
Riley must stop swinging for the fences and focus on swinging at his pitch. If he can do that his power and natural hitting abilities will become evident once again.