Austin Riley’s summer of dominance almost looks made-up

What Austin Riley has done at the plate for the Atlanta Braves since early July is just ridiculous.

Austin Riley has put up nothing short of video game numbers at the plate for the Atlanta Braves since the start of July.

The first-time NL All-Star and the reigning Silver Slugger recipient at the hot corner in the Senior Circuit has been absolutely raking for the Braves for well over a month now. Secret Base has him with 30 extra-base hits since July began. The next closest players were a trio of Los Angeles Dodgers (Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner), all had little more than half of that amount.

The Braves may still trail the New York Mets in the NL East standings, but Riley has been an MVP.

Atlanta Braves: Austin Riley has had video game numbers at the plate since July

Riley has gone on a tear of epic proportions at the plate since initially getting snubbed for the Midsummer Classic. While it was hard to beat out the likes of Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado for one of two third basemen spots in the NL, once the former bowed out of the glorified exhibition contest, it was a clear and easy choice for Riley’s Braves skipper Brian Snitker to make.

With Freeman walking and Dansby Swanson entering a contract year, there was uncertainty surrounding who would be the vocal leader and face of the franchise for the Braves. Though Swanson may return on a new contract, Riley looks to be in Atlanta well into his 30s after inking a 10-year extension at the trade deadline earlier in this month. Riley has made a wise choice here.

Entering the weekend’s series vs. the rival Miami Marlins, Riley is slashing .297/.358/.590 on the year with 30 home runs and 74 runs batted in. Most impressively, he leads all of baseball with 256. He is home runs short of tying a career-high (33), 33 from matching his career-best RBI total from a year ago (107) and only 57 total bases from matching what he put forth last season (313).

It is hard to believe at one point the Braves were seriously considering trading this cornerstone…

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