MLB Atlanta Braves

5 Players Who Could Carry Atlanta Braves to a World Series Championship

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5 Players Who Could Carry The Atlanta Braves To A WS

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Every postseason, the team that wins the World Series has a player that stands out above the rest as its catalyst to a championship. There are times when this player is the same one who stepped up time and time again throughout the regular season, while at other times it is a guy who seemingly comes out of the blue and gets hot at just the right time.

The MVPs of the last two World Series have been David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals and Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants, with the third basemen leading their teams to titles in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

When it comes to the 2013 Atlanta Braves, there are several players who are capable of carrying them to a World Series championship.

Rookie Evan Gattis, for example, has contributed in several different roles, appearing as a catcher, first baseman, left fielder, designated hitter and pinch hitter. It is altogether possible that he could start swinging a hot stick again and lead the Braves to win after win in October.

Starting pitcher Kris Medlen is another guy who could lead Atlanta to the ultimate prize by continuing the hot streak that he has been on over the past few months. If the 27-year-old right-hander tosses some more gems in the playoffs, he could be to the Braves what Tom Glavine was when he led them to their last title in 1995.

In the end, neither of those guys made my list, with several of their teammates joining them on the outside looking in, but here's a look at five players who could carry the Braves to a World Series championship in the 2013 MLB Playoffs.

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5. Freddie Freeman

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Who better to lead the Braves through October than the guy who has been their MVP all year? If there's a big hit to be had and an opposing pitcher chooses to pitch to first baseman Freddie Freeman, he'll find a way to make something happen.

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4. Justin Upton

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Throughout the month of April, outfielder Justin Upton was not only the hottest hitter in the Braves lineup, but the hottest hitter in all of baseball. He has been coming on strong late in the year, which could spell great things for him in the postseason.

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3. Chris Johnson

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Third baseman Chris Johnson is currently battling for the top batting average in the National League, having pounded out 50-plus hits to each part of the field during the best season of his career. His presence could be felt in a major way come October.

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2. Andrelton Simmons

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Shortstop Andrelton Simmons may not have the highest average on the team as he's hitting below .250 for the season, but he has belted 17 home runs to go with 58 RBIs, including a few game-winning hits. On top of that, he is arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball. There is no moment too big for the 24-year-old, who is one of the most clutch cats around.

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1. Brian McCann

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In what could be his final month as a member of the Braves, impending free agent catcher Brian McCann will certainly be looking to leave a lasting impression on his hometown team, as well as every other team who may be looking to add him in the offseason. That alone could drive him to put up gaudy numbers in the playoffs.