Freddie Freeman is not on this list because his importance, leadership and production are assumed. That's why he is Freddie Freeman.
6. Dansby Swanson. If we are to believe he can be solid in the field, dependable at the plate and not prone to extended time on the DL then he needs to prove that over 150+ starts this season. He must become Mr. Reliable at short.
5. Brian McCann - Be nice if he hits a little, but his homecoming will be judged as a de-facto on field pitching coach. His value will be immense and largely unseen in how he handles the young rising hurlers ready to break big time.
4. Ronald Acuña Jr. - It’s more than avoiding a "sophomore slump" (which he won’t have anyway) it’s going next level to unquestioned All-Star and serious MVP candidate.
3. Kyle Wright - Of all the next wave starters Wright is the one most ready to become a 3rd or even 2nd starter within the rotation. It’s asking a lot and expecting it from him at the same time.
2. Josh Donaldson - He has one season to prove he is worthy of $23-million and if he does he is capable of matching or exceeding any offensive numbers Bryce Harper puts up in Philly. If he is at All-Star production level as he was in his MVP season the Braves offense will soar.
1. The Unknown Reliever. I don’t know who, I don’t care who. But whichever guy steps up to be "that guy" has to remain "that guy." Is that guy even here?