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Austin Riley 2021 Outlook


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Fangraphs   Statcast

Positives:

K% rate is down from 36% to 23%

Z Contact up from 73% to 83%

Exit Velo up from 89.4 to 91

Will turn 24 around opening day. Has massive raw power.

Solid LU

Negatives:

FB% and LA went down. Leading to less HRs.

 

He made a "subtle swing change to beat premium velocity" back in February. Only about 200 PAs into this new swing and already seeing massive gains in contact. Solid gamble that he take the next step and starts translating his raw power with his contact gains/swing. We know this dude can go on a heater.

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  • 3 months later...

Everyday 3B for a potent Atlanta Braves offense....
 

Riley chased less and made contact more. His walk rate ticked up. And his strikeout rate (36.4% as a rookie) dropped 12.6 percentage points — the third-largest decrease of anyone with at least 100 PA in both seasons.

That’s a huge development, because when Riley puts the bat on the ball, great things can happen. His 12.0% career barrel rate is excellent. Riley has homered on 8.4% of his career batted balls, on par with Bryce Harper, Juan Soto and teammate Marcell Ozuna since 2019. He can crush the ball 470-plus feet. The caveat here is that Riley’s quality-of-contact numbers all dropped last year, perhaps as a sacrifice to his increased contact. But Riley is just 23, with limited experience, and after a slow start in 2020, he slashed .281/.348/.461 in his final 33 games. This could be the year it all comes together.

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Love this kid for a breakout.  What I like is he REDUCED his launch angle from a Rookie year 20 degrees.  If he can maintain it around 15 degrees I like him to hit for a decent average and not lose power.  As stated, his quality of contact dropped a bit last year but his Exit velocity actually increased and his Hard hit % only dropped a tad.  If he can maintain a strike out rate around 26% and factor in the elite lineup I really like his ADP of 214.

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Not fully into my baseball research like i usually am at this point, but I don't hear a lot about this guy.  Seems like he's in a good post hype prospect position. All the projections have him hitting a lot of home runs. Decent late power grab.

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Definitely a good post hype prospect. He should be set to play every day for the Braves at 3B. He may not bat higher than 6 or 7 most of the year but he will be batting behind a very strong lineup. As @brockpapersizer alluded to above all the projection systems seem to have him around .250 / 25-30 HR / 85 - 90 RBI. At an ADP of 200+, that is easy profit.

There is also some upside based on the pedigree that he can get to mid 30's HR as well so its not like there his price is suppressed by lack of potential.

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Agree with sidearmer...Perfect post-hype breakout candidate who can hit for power and will probably play everyday in a very good lineup. I tried to make a play for him in my keeper league, but unfortunately he is the best player on the other owners team (sad but true.) 

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On 2/18/2021 at 12:12 PM, damana said:

Love this kid for a breakout.  What I like is he REDUCED his launch angle from a Rookie year 20 degrees.  If he can maintain it around 15 degrees I like him to hit for a decent average and not lose power.  As stated, his quality of contact dropped a bit last year but his Exit velocity actually increased and his Hard hit % only dropped a tad.  If he can maintain a strike out rate around 26% and factor in the elite lineup I really like his ADP of 214.

I'd like to amend this statement.  I think the drastic reduction in Riley's launch angle is probably a bad thing.  He hit a ton of ground balls in '20 and this can hurt his HR output.  I still think his launch angle from '19 was a bit high, but he took some positive steps in '20, like cutting his IFFB% in half and posting an xBA of .262.   I do like him to improve and find a middle ground and I still love him at his ADP

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