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NL Central Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  Outfielder Nate McClouth of the Pittsburgh Pirates  poses for photos during spring training media day on February 24, 2008 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Ryan GaydosSenior Analyst IMarch 25, 2009

The Pirates organization has been on a downfall since they lost Barry Bonds. Over the past five years, their highest win total was 72, and that was in 2004. Least year they only managed to grab 67 wins. This organization is getting pathetic but there is hope to those who wait.

Players like Nate McLouth, Andrew McCutchen, and Andy LaRoche are coming into their own and soon enough, if they don't get traded them and pitchers Ian Snell, Zach Duke, and Tom Gorzelanny will blossom. This year is not the year though.

Keep an eye on: Steve Pearce, of

Relatively unknown to the untrained baseball eye, Steve Pearce could be big for the Pirates this year. He is expected to get better even though he had a .248 average in 37 games.

Projected Lineup
1. Nate McLouth, cf
2. Freddy Sanchez, 2b
3. Nyjer Morgan, lf
4. Andy LaRoche, 3b
5. Adam LaRoche, 1b
6. Steve Pearce, rf
7. Ryan Doumit, c
8. Jack Wilson, ss

Projected Pitching Staff
1. Paul Maholm, lhp
2. Ian Snell, rhp
3. Tom Gorzelanny, lhp
4. Zach Duke, lhp
5. Jeff Karstens, rhp

Projected Bullpen
Matt Capps
Tyler Yates
John Grabow
Evan Meek
Phil Dumatrait
Romulo Sanchez

Top Prospects
1. Andrew McCutchen, of
2. Pedro Alvarez, 3b
3. Jose Tabata, cf
4. Brad Lincoln, rhp
5. Neil Walker, 3b

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