Every year on New Year's Eve, I do the same type of article. The theme of the article is always a play on the upcoming year, with this year's article being 17 situations that could lead to the Pirates returning to the playoffs in 2017. In previous years I focused on breakout candidates, high upside players, and other similar situations that could boost the Pirates forward.

This article was difficult to write last year, because the Pirates didn't have a lot of high upside players. A lot of their offseason additions were lower upside guys like Ryan Vogelsong or Jon Niese. That, combined with all of the struggles across the board from players performing below projections, led to a down year.

This time around, the article takes a different shape. You don't have as many high beta guys who...

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