For the second consecutive season, the Pittsburgh Pirates have had to endure a second-half collapse that saw their playoff hopes crushed and a 20th consecutive losing season realized.
Despite the disappointing finish, several Pirates players made huge strides in their game to help the team even have a shot at the postseason.
Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones all hit at least 25 home runs, A.J. Burnett looked like his old self and bullpen arms like Tony Watson, Jared Hughes and Jason Grilli provided some late-inning security.
With the 2012 season nearly in the books, the 2013 campaign holds a lot of promise for a young team with a lot of upside.
However, they are not going to make the playoffs next season by simply repeating the performance they had this season.
Here is a look at five players who need to step up in 2013 for the Pirates to finally break the streak and reach the playoffs.