Drew Silva highlights just how good of a July Braves 3B Austin Riley had and makes the case for him to be a potential NL MVP candidate should he be able to continue his stellar 2022 season.
DREW SILVA: Braves third baseman Austin Riley just did something truly special in July, compiling a total of 26 extra base hits, 11 home runs, and 15 doubles in a span of 26 games. That surge snapped a longstanding franchise record for extra base hits in a single month held by none other than Hank Aaron. Riley posted a .423 batting average and 1.344 OPS along the way. His season OPS was .830 on the final day of June and has jumped all the way to .964 here at the beginning of August.
His season batting average was at .250 on June 29 and has since risen all the way to .301. Simply put, Riley is among the hottest hitters in the sport and he's showing that his breakout 2021 campaign was no fluke. He finished seventh in the NL MVP balloting last year and could very well crack the top three in the voting this year if his final two months look anything like the previous one. At age 25, he's just getting better and better. The Braves, meanwhile, are in great position now to stage a defense of their World Series crown.