New York Mets News

Ranking the 10 best players in the National League East

Aug 3, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) is
Aug 3, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) is / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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7) Best players in the NL East: Austin Riley

Austin Riley is a guy who burst onto the scene in 2019 hitting home runs and hitting for average to begin his career. He then struggled once pitchers adjusted to him, he struggled mightily. Riley was also forced to play some left field for Atlanta and didn't look great there either.

These struggles continued in 2020, but he blossomed into a superstar last season. Riley finally got to play third base every day and had an MVP caliber season.

He slashed .303/.367/.531 with 33 home runs and 107 RBI last season for the World Champion Braves. He won the Silver Slugger Award and finished seventh in the MVP balloting although I believe he should've finished higher.

Riley played in 160 games which led the National League and his remarkable second half (.976 second-half OPS) was a key reason Atlanta was able to come back and win the division.

This season, Riley has continued his star level play. Riley's 145 WRC+ ranks sixth in the National League.

Riley is second in the National League in home runs and total bases. He leads the league in extra-base hits with 74.

An argument can be made that Riley is the player teams fear the most in one of the best lineups in baseball. He will finish in the top-10 in the MVP balloting once again.

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