Austin Riley, the first Mississippian picked in this year’s draft, is starting to show the power that enticed the Atlanta Braves to take him 41st overall. The former DeSoto Central High star belted his third home run in four games on Monday in the Gulf Coast League. After a slow start to his pro career – hitless in his first five games – Riley has seven knocks in his last 14 at-bats, boosting his average to .250. He has eight RBIs. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Riley, playing third base for the GCL Braves, smacked 11 home runs and 14 doubles as a senior at DeSoto, leading the Jaguars to the MHSAA Class 6A championship.
Austin Riley, the first Mississippian picked in this year’s MLB draft, made his pro debut today for the Gulf Coast League Braves. The former DeSoto Central High star, a supplemental first-round pick by Atlanta, was the DH and batted fourth for the rookie-level club, which rallied to beat the GCL Yankees 8-7 in 10 innings in Florida. Riley struck out in his first two at-bats, was hit by a pitch (and later scored) in his third and grounded out in his fourth. The play-by-play on milb.com indicates that Riley pinch hit for himself (?) in the eighth inning and walked, then struck out again in the 10th. So, he was either 0-for-3 or 0-for-4. … Also debuting today in the GCL: Mississippi Valley State alum Kalik May, who went 2-for-2 with a walk, a run and a steal for the GCL Blue Jays, whose game was suspended by rain in the seventh inning.