While the Atlanta Braves season came to a disappointing end over the weekend, there was a lot to like about the 2022 season for Braves fans. Kyle Wright seemed to finally turn the corner into a reliable rotation arm, rookies Michael Harris and Spencer Strider had breakout campaigns, Dansby Swanson turned in a marvelous year as he heads to free agent. One other bright spot was the continued offensive output from Austin Riley who has quickly become one of the better power hitters in the league.
It is certainly fair to call Riley’s 2022 season streaky, but he still put together an impressive .273/.349/.528 line with 38 homers and 93 RBI in 693 plate appearances. While his MVP candidacy faded down the stretch, he was still quite good and he was recognized for that with some award nomination love today.
#Braves' Austin Riley is among 8 finalists for the NL Hank Aaron Award for most outstanding offensive player. Others: LA's Mookie Betts & Freddie Freeman (2020 winner), Mets' Pete Alonso, Philly's Kyle Schwarber, Cards' Paul Goldschmidt & Nolan Arenado, Padres' Manny Machado.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) October 17, 2022
It is fair to say that Austin is far from a favorite to win the National League Hank Aaron Award this year with MVP candidates such as Goldschmidt, Arenado, and Machado plus the perennially excellent Freddie Freeman in the field of nominees. However, it is still nice to see Austin getting some recognition and being placed with the best offensive players in the game.
Stay tuned as the season winds down, because we are very likely to see some more Braves get consideration for some more hardware (especially Rookie of the Year where Michael Harris and Spencer Strider remain the two heavy favorites).