31 Jul

life of riley

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, runner at first base in a scoreless game in Atlanta, Austin Riley took a cutter down and in from Arizona’s Mark Melancon and drove it into the gap in right-center, scoring Matt Olson with the game-winning run. What else did you expect? Fans at Truist Park were chanting “MVP, MVP” as Riley, the former DeSoto Central High star, came to the plate, and he certainly has made a case. Here are the juicy numbers:
26: Extra base hits in July, most in a month by a Braves player, topping Hank Aaron’s 25 in 1961.
11: Home runs in July.
25: RBIs in July.
.423: Batting average in July.
.301: Batting average for the season.
29: Homers for the season.
31: Doubles for the season.
68: RBIs for the season.
61: Runs for the season.
.360: On-base percentage for the season.
.604: Slugging percentage for the season.
Only one Mississippi native, high school or college product has ever won an MVP: Grenada native Dave Parker with Pittsburgh in the National League in 1978. Riley, a Memphis native who grew up in Southaven, still has work to do, obviously, but he is building a jaw-dropping resume.

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