Atlanta Braves: 6 Players the Braves Should Target Before the Trade Deadline

Ross DurrenceCorrespondent IIJuly 15, 2011

Atlanta Braves: 6 Players the Braves Should Target Before the Trade Deadline

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    The Atlanta Braves' offensive woes are no secret. 

    They have the 4th worst batting average in the majors (.236) and third worst on-base percentage (.305).

    They've been able to rely on the best pitching staff in baseball to stay within striking distance of the Philadelphia Phillies.

    There is, however, an answer to the Braves' troubles.

    With loads of promising young talent, the Braves have all the pieces to make a move for some instant offense.

    Let's take a look at the six players Frank Wren and the Atlanta Braves need to target.

Carlos Quentin

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    Though a streaky hitter, Carlos Quentin can provide the Braves with the instant offensive they so desperately need.

    Quentin has belted 17 home runs and knocked in 51, both of which would be current Braves' team highs.

    His .251 batting average might seem mediocre, but in Atlanta, he would be the perfect five-hole hitter.

    2011 stats: .251/.350/.502 17 HR 51 RBI

Michael Bourn

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    While Michael Bourn won't provide any extra pop for the Braves' bats, his speed is dangerous.

    He has led the National League in steals the last two seasons and currently has 35 at the All-Star break.

    The Braves could package a deal with Jordan Schafer and some young prospects to put this speedster in the outfield.

    2011 stats: .287/.351/.395 1 HR 27 RBI, 35 SB (leads league)

Josh Willingham

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    Josh Willingham brings all of the power of Carlos Quentin, and adds more consistency.

    Though his numbers are down this year, his addition would give the Braves a leg up in the NL East.

    2011 stats: .241/.311/.424 11 HR 44 RBI

Carlos Beltran

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    Trade rumors are swirling about Carlos Beltran, and I can only hope that the Braves are in the mix.

    Atlanta could send McLouth and some pitching prospects to New York, and in return would get an All-Star caliber center fielder.

    Beltran's above-average offense and stellar defense would be a huge lift for the Braves.

    2011 stats: .285/.377/.503 13 HR 58 RBI, 28 doubles (leads league)

Alex Gordon

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    Alex Gordon is having the best year of his career and he could be rewarded with a trade to a title contender.

    A nice combination of speed and power, Gordon could be the next rising star in Atlanta.

    2011 stats: .299/.368/.480 11 HR 50 RBI

Hunter Pence

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    The best player on this list, the addition of Hunter Pence would give the Braves the best chance to catch the Phillies

    He's got big power, a high average, and a non-stop motor.

    Atlanta has got to make this deal happen.

    2011 stats: .323/.364/.496 11 HR 60 RBI