We've seen a lot of talent come through Pearl thanks to the Mississippi Braves: Dansby Swanson, Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies Sean Newcomb, Johan Camargo, Mike Soroka. All former M-Braves that can be found starting in Atlanta.
So now let's take a look at Austin Riley, starting 3rd baseman for the M-Braves and the projected future starter in the big leagues.
"He's a great looking player," said manager Chris Maloney. "Love the guy. Plays hard. Plays smart. Does all the little things, plus he has a lot of talent. Swings the bat well and plays great defense, so he's all you want in a ball player."
The DeSoto Central alum is batting .318 this season with 5 home runs and 18 RBI. On defense, he's started 23 of 24 games, earning a fielding percentage of .969. "Just been focusing on my off season stuff, my workouts," Riley said. "I've been known to start slow and that's what I took pride in this year. Going out to the fall league was a big help. Just really trying to get a step ahead of the game of what I've been used to and that seemed to help a lot."
If you do your homework on Riley, you'll quickly notice he's ranked 6th on MLB Pipeline's latest list of baseball's top third base prospects.
"This is the first time I saw him in spring training and the thing I noticed right off the bat is he has a lot of power," Maloney said. "He has a good swing. He has a good idea at home plate. He knows what he's doing."
"I'm just going out there everyday, trying to be the best I can every day," Riley added. "Spring Training, was up with the big guys and tried to pick their brains. Just taking it day by day and if I get that opportunity, great."
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