The Atlanta Braves' chances of a division title are not high this season.
However, their chances in a few years at a division title, and even a World Series title, are very high.
This is owed to the great young players on the Braves' team and the potentially great prospects in their minor leagues.
A prospect, once in the major leagues, could be a letdown or become an all-time great.
It is impossible to know exactly what to expect from a prospect; however, the promising skills displayed by certain young Braves can not be denied.
It is these players, along with many others, that give the Braves high hopes for a first place team in the near future.
This slideshow will talk about the 10 main reasons the Atlanta Braves will be the best team in the league in the next few years.
The Braves' farm system contains four well-known pitching prospects, all who have tons of potential.
Nicknamed the "Big Four," it consists of Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, Mike Minor and Randall Delgado.
The most talked about of the group, Julio Teheran, puts up ace-quality stats for his AAA team, Gwinnett.
He has a 12-1 record, a 1.90 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP in 113.2 innings pitched. If he comes anywhere close to these numbers in the major leagues, he will be undoubtedly the ace of his team.
Arodys Vizcaino, after pitching as a starter for the first half of the season, was recently moved into the bullpen of Gwinnett. Combining the stats from three different teams this season, his ERA is 3.16.
Mike Minor already has experience in the major leagues; he has started a total of 14 games this season and last season. After a year and a half in Gwinnett, Minor is 8-6 with an ERA of 2.82.
Randall Delgado, who has not yet played in AAA, currently has an ERA of 3.84 in AA.
The obvious potential of these pitchers can not be doubted. These pitchers are all very young; the oldest is 23 years old.
They will likely improve as they gain experience.
Along with their top pitching prospects, the Braves amazing farm system also contains a few top hitting prospects.
Jose Constanza, who has recently been brought up to the majors in result of Nate McLouth's injury, has tons of potential.
In Gwinnett this year, he is hitting .312, and in his 23 major league at bats, he is hitting .391.
Possibly the very best hitting prospect of the Braves minor leagues is Tyler Pastornicky. So far this season, he is hitting .314, with six home runs and 40 RBI.
Another hitting prospect performing very impressively is Edward Salcedo. He is hitting .267 with 11 home runs and 52 RBI.
These young hitting prospects can, in a few years, fill in empty outfield and infield spots, where Nate McLouth and Alex Gonzalez currently play.
Another extremely talented group of pitchers is the Braves' "Big Three" in their bullpen.
Jonny Venters, Craig Kimbrel and Eric O'Flaherty are perhaps the most ideal group of relievers to have in a bullpen.
All of them have pitched extremely well, especially Craig Kimbrel, who is making a very good case for Rookie of the Year this season.
Kimbrel is arguably the best closer in the league, which is very impressive for a rookie.
His ERA is 2.04, his WHIP is 1.02 and he has so far compiled 32 saves.
Venters is another of the Braves' great young relievers, and is arguably the best setup man in the league.
He has 22 holds, the third best in the NL, along with three saves and an ERA of 1.28.
Eric O'Flaherty has 20 holds and an absolutely stellar ERA of 0.91.
This young trio of relievers should easily hold together the bullpen for the next many years.
Along with Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman is a top candidate for Rookie of the Year.
Freeman is on track for a rookie year even more impressive than that of Jason Heyward, which is no small feat.
After a slow start to the season, he has boosted his batting average up to .298, with 15 home runs and 54 RBI.
He is projected to hit 22 home runs and 78 RBI by the end of the season, which is more than Heyward managed in his rookie season.
If Freeman can keep this up, in a few years, he can become one of the top first basemen in the league, and carry the Braves offense.
Though he is very far from meeting expectations for this season, Jason Heyward has already proven his ability to carry a team.
This year, he is hitting .224 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI.
However, he has been recently showing signs of improvement.
If he manages to perform similar to his 2010 season, Heyward will be an great asset to the Braves for offense and defense, as he was last year.
If he performs up to his potential, he could make priceless contributions to the team.
Brian McCann is, perhaps, currently the best all-around catcher in baseball.
He is hitting .306 with 18 home runs and 55 RBI.
Martin Prado, another of the Braves' top producers of offense, is hitting .272, with 10 home runs and 39 RBI.
Prado and McCann have been carrying the offense of the Braves for most of this season.
Both are young players about to enter their prime, and should continue to display great numbers for the next many seasons with the Braves.
The most recent addition to the Braves team is Michael Bourn, the star centerfielder for the Houston Astros.
He is an ideal leadoff man, and only 28 years old.
If the Braves manage to hold on to him for a few more years, their offense will be in very good shape.
He is currently hitting .304 with a league-best 39 stolen bases.
He is the best option the Braves could have for their leadoff hitter, and the only issue is whether they will be able to re-sign him at the end of his contract.
Tommy Hanson is likely to be, in a few years, not only the Braves' best pitcher, but one of baseball's best pitchers.
Currently, with only two years of experience, he has a record of 11-6 and an ERA of 3.20.
He is currently in the top 10 for strikeouts with 137, and is ranked second for his K/9 average of 9.73.
As he continues to pitch, he is sure to improve.
Brandon Beachy is another young pitcher with the potential to eventually become an ace.
So far this season, he is 5-2 with a 3.49 ERA.
He has not yet pitched enough innings to qualify, but if he had, he would be ranked fourth for his 9.46 K/9 ratio.
He should also continue to improve as he gains more experience.
Jair Jurrjens, the 25-year-old ace of the Braves, currently has a question mark above his head.
His pitching performance this season has been amazing, and much better than expected.
Though he has had a few shaky outings recently, it seems that he will continue to pitch as well as he has been.
His record is currently 12-4, his ERA is 2.63 and his WHIP is 1.14.
If he does continue to pitch this well, he should be the number one or two starter of the Braves pitching rotation a few years from now.
With so many great young players, the Braves team a few years from now should be the best in baseball.
Along with their starting pitching rotation of Hanson, Jurrjens, Teheran, Beachy and Minor, they should have a dominant bullpen with Kimbrel, Venters, O'Flaherty, Vizcaino and Delgado and Kris Medlen, who has been recovering from Tommy John surgery for about a year.
Their hitting lineup also appears very formidable:
1. Michael Bourn
2. Martin Prado
3. Jason Heyward
4. Brian McCann
5. Freddie Freeman
6. Jose Constanza
7. Tyler Pastornicky
8. Edward Salcedo
If the Braves' prospects turn out as well as they are expected to, which they usually do, the Braves' future team will be a force to be reckoned with.