Last season, the Atlanta Braves led the National League in walks and on-base percentage and had the sixth fewest strikeouts in the league. They received contributions from unknown players, such as Brooks Conrad, and thought-to-be-washed-up players like Troy Glaus. These unlikely contributions led to 25 walk-off wins for the Braves and a postseason birth as the National League's Wild Card.
This season has been a different story, however.
As of the end of May, the 2011 Braves are 13th among the 16 NL teams in on-base percentage and have the fifth-most strikeouts in the league. They have yet to hit the ball as successfully as many analysts expected them to and are currently third in the NL East behind the Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins.
In order to return to the playoffs, these next five players need to step up—and quickly.