Alex Gallardo/AP

Atlanta Braves' midseason grade.

July 14, 2017

(42–45, 9.5 games back in division, 8 games back in Wild Card): The Braves are not contenders, but Atlanta fans have to be jazzed by the first half. The Braves sit just a half game behind the Cubs, and are second in the NL East. They've gotten good years from Ender Inciarte, Matt Kemp, Nick Markakis and Brandon Phillips, and stayed afloat when Freddie Freeman got hurt. Even with a disappointing start from Dansby Swanson, the Braves are showing they're on their way to contending in the next few years. Their pitching needs work—but nine of their top 15 prospects are hurlers. —Jeremy Fuchs

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