MLB Network finally got something right regarding Braves players

Austin Riley has earned his spot as the best third baseman in all of baseball. Even MLB Network knows this.

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

After Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies got left off the Top 10 Right Now list and Matt Olson finished behind Bryce Harper at first base, we couldn’t help but question MLB Network's credibility. Their top 10 third basemen list was released and this time, we agree. 

Maybe Tyler Matzek was on to something when he said if the lists were legitimate a Braves player would be near the top of every position ranking. It could be that MLB Network has been trying to avoid what looks like bias opinions. When it came to this list, they had no choice.

Atlanta Braves all-star Austin Riley was ranked as the best third basemen in Major League Baseball and rightfully so. Last season, Riley hit .281 with 37 home runs and 97 runs batted in. He posted a 5.9 bWAR, which is almost MVP caliber. In fact, he did finish 7th in National League MVP voting in 2023. However, his success in the big leagues dated back to his rookie season.

Austin Riley has consistently been one of the most underrated and under appreciated players in the league since 2019. In just five seasons, he already has two All-Star game appearances, two Silver Slugger awards, three top-7 MVP finishes and last season was on the cusp of a Gold Glove award. These are accolades of a Hall of Famer in the making.

Riley was already a feared hitter in this league, but when he put together the defensive improvements everyone was hoping for, that launched him into a tier of his own at third base. There was some worry that once Riley signed his massive contract (10 years/$212 million) that his performance may decline or he may miss more games. It turned out to be quite the opposite.

Riley has been super reliable playing 159 out of 162 games each of the last two seasons. Between his impressive production and stability, there’s no question that Austin Riley is truly the best third basemen in baseball right now.