How Did Braves Defensive Star Austin Riley Get So Good?

Austin Riley has the lowest defensive metrics as a 3B from 2019-2022. Riley had defenders, but analytical fans thought his defense was poor.

Eye-test and analytic fans agree in 2023. Riley has improved defensively after a terrible April. 

 How awful was Riley's defense, and what's improved this season?Riley had mixed defensive metrics in 2023. 

UZR/150 and Outs Above Average (OAA) thought he was one of the worst defensive 3Bs in baseball, but DRS thought he was above-average, with 10 DRS in his career at 3B.

Riley and Max Muncy had the lowest UZR/150 and second-to-last OAA from 2019-2022, behind Hunter Dozier.

While some Braves fans and media have long supported Riley's defense, most who study analytics say he hasn't been excellent.

Not that he hasn't made tremendous plays. He's made many with Atlanta. A "bad" defensive player doesn't mean a terrible outfield.

After four seasons, Riley's defensive numbers were consistently below-average.

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