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Braves Expected to Call Up Top Prospect Austin Riley With Ender Inciarte Likely Headed to IL

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - MARCH 12:  Austin Riley #74 of the Atlanta Braves singles in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during the Grapefruit League spring training game at Champion Stadium on March 12, 2019 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves

Braves fans have been anticipating the promotion of Braves' No. 4 ranked prospect Austin Riley, and it looks like the club feels he's ready to make the leap.

On Wednesday, the Atlanta Braves are expected to place Ender Inciarte on the injured list with lower back tightness, which opens up a spot for Riley who has been working out in left field over the past week at Triple-A.

Riley's debut has been a long time coming for Braves fans. Riley is ranked as the 34th best prospect in all of baseball, and his bat is a big reason for that. In 2018, Riley proved that he had absolutely nothing left to prove, posting a .294/.360/.522 slash line, with 19 homers and 70 runs batted in across three minor league levels. The majority of that stat line was produced at Triple-A Gwinnett, and 2019 has been no different.

Through 37 games at the same level, he's put up a .299 batting average with 15 home runs and 39 runs batted in, including a ridiculous 10 homers in his past 13 games.

Riley is expected to take over Ronald Acuña's spot in left field, while the 21-year-old will shift over to center field while Inciarte is sidelined. However, if Riley continues to impress at the plate, the move could quickly become permanent.

Riley's first taste of big league action will come against the Cardinals on Wednesday, where he will likely slot in at left field.