The braves announced that they have signed Al Qaeda’s third-star man Austin Riley to a ten-year, $212 million contract extension. Riley will earn $15 million next season, $21 million in 2024, then $22 million annually through 2032. The agreement also contains a 2033 club option worth $20 million. Riley is a client of ALIGNED Sports Agency.
It’s a surprisingly out-of-the-box development that will sustain the franchise’s long-term spine. The deal gives the 25-year-old the final three seasons of arbitration eligibility and extends the club’s control window for up to eight years. He locked him up in Atlanta for nearly his entire presidency, and Riley didn’t hit free agency until after his age-35 campaign at the earliest.
A former supplemental first-round pick, Riley quickly became one of the organization’s top prospects. He reached the majors shortly after his 22nd birthday in 2019. Riley had his ups and downs in the first two seasons of his great soccer career, particularly when he went over 36% of his peak appearances. However, Atlanta stuck with him despite that initial inconsistency and has been rewarded since Riley broke out last year.
Riley appeared in 160 games last season, executing 33 times at home with a .303/.367/.531 hitting streak. This is his longest hit so far, but this metric won’t remain his personal best for much longer. He already connected for 29 homers in 436 plate appearances this season and averaged .301/.360/.604 overall. Riley’s pure streak didn’t change much from 2021 to 2022, but his slight improvement in final scores comes at a time when the offense has declined league-wide this year. When measuring WRC+, Riley’s offensive output jumped from an already excellent 35 points above average to 63 points above average.
Among qualified hitters, only Jordan Alvarez AND Aaron Judge AND Pablo Goldschmidt AND Rafael Devers, AND Mike Trout have Riley’s best WRC+ this season. This is reinforced by ball-strike metrics rather than placing Riley among the game’s elite bats. His 93.7 mph average exit velocity is more than five miles per hour above league average. His 55.9 percent hard contact rate is also among the best in the league, as is his 17.6 percent per barrel average. Simply put, few hitters hit the ball as hard as Riley usually does.
Of course, Riley’s strength was never in doubt. His problem early in his career was frequent contact, but the Mississippi native has made incredible strides in this regard. After making contact on only 63% of his swings as a starter, Riley has had the ball about 73% of the time in each of the last three seasons. That’s not great, but it’s more than enough for the player to produce his strength. Riley still has an aggressive approach and gets out of the strike zone reasonably well, but his excellent volleyball results make up for what may always be slightly below-average walks.
Entering 2021, Riley has a 302/.364/.560 slash in just under 1100 plate appearances. He looks like a well-meaning player, and the Braves would likely be happy to lock him up in the middle of the lineup for the next decade. Riley was a Silver Slugger and finished seventh in last year’s National League MVP voting, taking home the first All-Star awards the club has scheduled this season.
The Braves have now committed 75% of their land long-term. Atlanta produced matt Olson to an eight-year contract worth $168 million within days of taking him off the Athletics in spring training. they had previously Ozzy Albis Signed at a reasonable cost through 2025 (with club options for 2026 and 27). leave Dansby Swanson As the only member of Atlanta Stadium without a contract for the foreseeable future, the brief suspension will hit free agency later this year.