4. Austin Riley, 3B, Gwinnett (Braves)
Age: 21. B-T: R-R. Ht. 6-3. WT: 220. Drafted: HS—Southaven, Miss., 2015 (1s).
Riley drew raves from just about every angle after arriving in the IL in early May from Double-A. A month off with a right knee injury didn’t derail his prospects.
Riley’s plus power blossomed with eight August home runs, and what drew attention was his power to all fields. He goes particularly well to right-center field, and he hit for average as well as power with consistent hard contact.
“He’s what they look like,” Norfolk manager Ron Johnson said. “The way the ball jumps off the bat.”
Riley is well built and gives scouts reason to believe that he might be ready for the major leagues sooner than they might have expected coming out of high school.
In addition to his offensive skills, Riley displayed improved defense at third base. His 10 errors on the season were a career low, and Gwinnett manager Damon Berryhill labeled Riley’s defense “outstanding.”
10. Touki Toussaint, RHP, Gwinnett (Braves)
Age: 22. B-T: R-R. HT: 6-3. WT: 185. Drafted: HS—Coral Springs, Fla., 2014 (1/D-backs).
Toussaint long had big stuff with a mid-90s fastball and hellacious curveball, but he didn’t have the control of them to be effective until this year.
Toussaint shot from Double-A to Triple-A and to the majors once he locked in his control and was particularly dominant in the IL. He ranked second in the league in ERA (1.43) and opponent average (.193) during his time there, and spent September with the Braves as they chased a the NL East division title.
Toussaint’s key was reducing walks, but even with his progress he still has room to grow in that arena. Another big key was the development of a new split-changeup, which his manager Damon Berryhill labeled a plus pitch.