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Brian Snitker's Latest Comments Sound Like Braves Are Content With Austin Riley as Starting 3B

Austin Riley
Austin Riley may be getting a full-time role at third base in 2020. | Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves have been terrific with finding and developing young talent. That includes Austin Riley, who reached the majors in 2019.

He's primarily a third baseman, but logged time in the outfield last year due to Josh Donaldson's presence at the hot corner. But the veteran is on the market this offseason and a departure could mean Riley assumes a full-time role at third.

Riley appeared in 80 games for the Braves in 2019 before dealing with an injury. The team called him up because he was too good to stay in the minors, so he was utilized as Snitker saw fit. Over that span he at least got the chance to improve his defensive versatility.

Donaldson possibly leaving would open up the position and give the Braves an infield of Riley, Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, and Freddie Freeman.

Riley was a first-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft and has been a top prospect ever since. He hit 18 home runs in only 80 games last year and added 11 doubles, so if he can tweak some of his other shortcomings at the plate, the Braves will forget about Donaldson quickly assuming he leaves.