Braves’ Austin Riley wins NL Player of the Month

Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley swings for the game winning hit off Washington Nationals' Jordan...
Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley swings for the game winning hit off Washington Nationals' Jordan Weems in the twelfth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 10, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)(Ben Margot | AP)
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 4:26 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Braves third baseman Austin Riley celebrated his monstrous July by signing the most lucrative contract in team history, and now he’s been rewarded again: Riley was named the July NL Player of the Month.

The award is well-deserved. Riley led the majors in OPS last month with an absurd 1.344 mark and broke the franchise record for extra-base hits in a calendar month. His 26 extra-base hits bested Hank Aaron’s 25 in July 1961. Those 26 hits included 11 homers, two behind New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge for the most in the majors in July.

His OPS mark is the second-best monthly tally in franchise history, only behind Chipper Jones in July 1999. Jones won the MVP that season. Riley has certainly vaulted himself into the conversation for this year’s award. He’s currently third in the National League in WAR, 2nd in OPS and home runs, seventh in batting average and first in total bases.

Eight Braves have won the National League MVP award. Freddie Freeman was the most recent in the shortened 2020 season.