After a disastrous 9-18 final month last season, the Atlanta Braves wasted no time this September clinching a playoff spot. The Braves will face either the St. Louis Cardinals or Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday in the first-ever National League Wild Card Game.
In his final professional season, Chipper Jones has done nothing but make sure baseball fans everywhere know that he could continue to play. The 40-year-old is still excellent in the field and hits for power and average, but most importantly, he has been a constant in the lineup this season.
The torch will be passed next season to right fielder Jason Heyward. With 27 home runs, 80-plus RBI and 20 stolen bases this season, the 23-year-old five-tool player is having his best offensive year in his three-year career.
However, neither Jones nor Heyward is part of the group that will determine whether the Braves will make a deep playoff run. These five players must put it together to give Atlanta its first World Series title since 1995.
Note: Stats courtesy of ESPN.com