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Braves News: Austin Riley Named NL Hank Aaron Award Finalist, more

A disappointing end to the season should not overshadow another great year for Austin Riley.

MLB: NLDS-Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

One of the main reasons why the Braves were not able to advance past the NLDS in 2022 was because their offense simply could not get going as a whole against the Phillies. Dansby Swanson, Austin Riley, and Michael Harris II all struggled at the plate. For Riley in particular, it was a continuation of a subpar second half of the season. Riley posted a .735 OPS in August and a .712 OPS in September. It certainly was not the “second-half Riley” many have been used to seeing throughout his career.

However, these stretches happen even to the best offensive players in baseball. Riley’s struggles at times down the home stretch of the season should not overshadow how awesome he was overall this year. In fact, Riley was named as one of the eight finalists for the 2022 National League Hank Aaron Award. This is further validation Riley truly is one of the best offensive players in the game. And while Riley will likely focus on ensuring he does what it takes to finish strong in 2023, he will likely continue to be one of the best hitters in the game for years to come.

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