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Atlanta Braves MLB 2011 Predictions: 10 Things That Could Vault Them to Pennant

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Atlanta Braves MLB 2011 Predictions: 10 Things That Could Vault Them to Pennant
Marc Serota/Getty Images

Jason Heyward has graduated, but the Atlanta Braves' minor-league system remains loaded with talent. Another superb player, first baseman Freddie Freeman, will make the jump to the parent club as its starting first baseman in 2011. Homegrown excellence was the trademark of the Bobby Cox-era Braves, but nothing much has changed in that regard, even as Fredi Gonzalez has taken the reins this spring.

Dan Uggla was the team's lone big addition this winter, but they did not need much: Atlanta won 91 games and claimed the Wild Card last season. With a singularly deep and talented pitching staff in place and an improved offense, they have every reason to believe they can take the next step this season. Here are 10 things that have to happen first.

This is the second in a series of pieces listing 10 things that would have to go right for each MLB team to win a pennant this season. To find out when your favorite team's article comes out, follow me on the twitter  @MattTrueblood, or sign up for your team's Bleacher Report newsletter.

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