Thoughts on Austin Riley, 3B, Rome

Austin Riley, courtesy of milb.com

Hey guys, I got my 2nd look at Austin Riley and the Rome Braves the other night in Hickory, as they were in town taking on the Crawdads.

Austin Riley is age 19, he’s listed 6’3″ 220 lbs, he bats and throws right.  Riley was drafted 41st overall by the Braves in the 2015 draft out of high school in Southaven, Ms (Memphis Tn area).

Riley’s a big, barrel chested dude, I guessed on the field the other night he was 6’2″ 235 lbs.  He lit up two levels of rookie ball last season, sporting a .240 ISO  and I was really looking forward to seeing him.

At the dish he’s got an upright closed stance and a long swing with lift.  I planned to do a 1st impression write up after my 1st look but he was late on every fastball.  I had to see that again before I wrote anything and it happened again.  The bat speed is not there right now and he’s consistently being beaten by by 93-95 MPH heat.

I didn’t see him after the draft but I suspect he wasn’t getting beat by good heat then. I wonder if he got too jacked up this Winter at the expense of flexibility.

Defensively I only got to see Riley at 3rd once (he DH’d the other night).  He’s got a strong arm, seemed to have good hands but with limited range.

I’ll be back a little later in the year with a more detailed report.  Riley is 19 and there’s a lot of story left to be written, lets hope he can find that missing bat speed.

Here we get several good looks at his swing, courtesy of David Lee (Baseball Prospectus, Augusta Chronicle) (On Twitter @David11Lee)

I’ll be back soon with a look at RHP) Jonathan Hernandez, Hickory.

 

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