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Atlanta Braves AFL Recap: Austin Riley and Ronald Acuna go wild, because of course they did

The offensive prospects for the Braves in the Arizona Fall League are doing WORK

Austin Riley Garrett Spain

Garrett is on his way back from his travels, which means you guys are stuck with me again today. If I miss something you want talked about, it is totally his fault and you should tweet your displeasure at him.

The biggest news since our last update came from the bats of Austin Riley and Ronald Acuna. Despite not having what I personally would consider to be “triples speed”, Austin Riley would not be denied and hit for a cycle on 10/26, the first cycle hit in the Arizona Fall League since Logan Morrison pulled off the feat. Riley has been excellent in the AFL as he has showed off improved defensive ability while now leading the league in OPS with 1.217. He connected for another homer in his next game as well as he makes a strong case for being the player that has most raised his prospect stock since the start of the Arizona Fall League (among national writers....the love for him amongst the TC and Braves community is well documented).

Ronald Acuna, not one to get overshadowed for very long, hit a pair of home runs on 10/27 and has now hit safely in five straight games where he has recorded 10 hits including six extra-base knocks while driving in six runs and walking three times against four strikeouts. With Alex Jackson still swinging a hot bat as well, three of the top four in OPS in the Arizona Fall League are Braves prospects with Riley (1.217) first, Jackson (1.139) third, and Acuna (1.121) in fourth.

In the meantime, Max Fried just keeps putting up zeros. After a six inning shutout gem that saw him strike out five batters while giving up just three hits and a walk, Fried lowered his ERA down in the AFL down to 0.47 in four starts which is good for among starters in the league. He also leads the league in strikeouts with 23 in 19 innings pitched. With the AFL All-Star Game scheduled to happen this Saturday, Fried is a pretty easy front-runner to start that game.

Touki Toussaint has lowered his ERA to under 10 as he continues to put in quality work (outside of one appearance that was ugly). Corbin Clouse had a tough relief appearance this past Friday, but overall has been largely successful and should get at least some consideration for the Braves’ bullpen in 2018. Jared James has seen limited action on the highly talented Peoria squad, but has put up a respectable if unexciting .756 OPS in 7 games.

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