You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Another 19-year-old, Austin Riley, impresses in Braves camp


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The only Braves player to have more than one hit Saturday in split-squad losses to the Marlins and Phillies was a 19-year-old from minor league camp playing in his first major league spring training game.

Add third baseman Austin Riley to the list of Braves prospects who’ve made a great first impression.

Riley, the best power-hitting prospect in the organization, went 2-for-2 as a late-innings replacement in the Braves’ 8-6 split-squad loss to the Marlins at Champion Stadium. Included was a lined double to center field in the ninth inning.

“That’s the first time I’ve really seen Riley” in a game, Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I’ve heard a lot about him, seen him in Instructional League. He’s a man. I mean, that’s real-deal right there. And (outfielder Ronald) Acuna — it’s fun watching those guys play.”

Like Acuna, Riley is a teenager who hasn’t played above low Single-A. They were teammates at low-A Rome last season before Acuna injured a thumb and missed more than half the season.

They are two of the Braves’ top five position-player prospects, and both were in minor league camp early for a minicamp the Braves had with some of their elite prospects. Minor league camp begins next week, and Acuna already has been brought over as an extra and played in five of the Braves’ nine Grapefruit League games, going 5-for-9 with two doubles including a three-hit game.

“They’re not intimidated,” said retired Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, a future Hall of Famer who’s in camp as a special instructor. “If I had gotten called up when I was in A-ball, to play in a big league game (rolls eyes) — no chance.” Jones repeated for emphasis, “No chance.”

Jones meant that he wouldn’t have been ready to handle playing in a major league spring training game with no experience above Single-A.

“Now, these guys aren’t intimidated by anything,” he said, with a tone of admiration. “It’s crazy.”

Snitker said, “It’s pretty neat what the future’s going to look like here. Probably a year from now those guys will be spelling the big leaguers, like a bunch of years ago when Prado and Escobar and all that group (was coming up), picking up the guys.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Another Phillips homer lifts Braves over Brewers
Another Phillips homer lifts Braves over Brewers

Brandon Phillips gave the Reds his OK to trade him to his hometown team this year. That decision is working so well for Phillips that he hopes the Braves will keep him around after this season. Phillips’ go-ahead, two-run home run in the third inning Saturday sent the Braves on their way to a 3-1 victory over the Brewers at SunTrust Park. It...
‘Tricky’ hamstring injury keeps Kemp out of Braves lineup
‘Tricky’ hamstring injury keeps Kemp out of Braves lineup

Braves left fielder Matt Kemp so far hasn’t been able to pull off the difficult balancing act of letting his nagging hamstring injury heal while continuing to play. Kemp was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game Saturday. He left Thursday’s game because of what the Braves said was tightness in his left hamstring. “It&rsquo...
Braves win with key plays by rookies Swanson, Camargo
Braves win with key plays by rookies Swanson, Camargo

It was like old times Friday for Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson and third baseman Johan Camargo. The pair played infield for Double-A Mississippi last season and are doing it with the Braves now that Camargo is getting regular playing time. Each made superlative defensive plays to hold off Brewers rallies during the 5-4 Braves victory at SunTrust...
Adams becomes a complication for Braves — in a good way
Adams becomes a complication for Braves — in a good way

If only Matt Adams hadn’t gone on his galoot-free diet and had reported to the Braves looking like he was smuggling grapefruit in his uniform. Were only he the typical left-handed masher that he appears to be at first glance, mindlessly pumping baseballs into the shift and either hitting home runs or taking a seat. Then we wouldn’t be going...
Phillips big early, rookie infielders huge late in Braves’ 5-4 win
Phillips big early, rookie infielders huge late in Braves’ 5-4 win

Hours after unveiling a new Braves T-shirt bearing his likeness and showcasing his Stone Mountain roots and proud ATLien status, veteran Brandon Phillips had a home run and two RBIs to help his squad and pitcher Mike Foltynewicz take a lead on the way to continuing their recent surge in a series-opening win against the Brewers. But it was a pair of...
More Stories