Every year around this time I start gathering information to prepare for the season previews at each minor league level. A big part of that involves trying to figure out where players will start, and which players might be promoted throughout the year. One of the things I hear constantly from the Pirates, whether it's front office members or coaches, is that it's not how a prospect starts, it's how he finishes.

For the purposes of season previews, you want to know where a guy starts. But if you get a situation where a guy might start a level lower than expected, then you can see how the focus on the finish would be the key thing. For example, the Pirates have had several players start in Double-A, only to finish that same year in the majors. Jeff Locke, Brandon Cumpton, Andrew Lambo, an...

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