Ranking the Pittsburgh Pirates' Most Important Players Heading into 2014

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Ranking the Pittsburgh Pirates' Most Important Players Heading into 2014
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Pirates are coming off of their first playoff win in 21 years and players such as Andrew McCutchen, Russell Martin and Gerrit Cole are here to prove it wasn’t a fluke.

Pittsburgh, once known as “The City of Champions,” is placing a lot of pride and pressure on the backs of these players. It is going to be crucial that the right pieces fall back into place for another long road to October.

As soon as the defending National League-champion St. Louis Cardinals knocked out the Bucs, the process of getting the franchise back to the playoffs was on everybody’s mind.

In terms of talent, not much has changed for the Pirates heading into the 2014 season. However, the expectations have. To make it to baseball’s biggest stage, the Pirates are going to have to build off of last year’s success with players who can handle the recent attention the franchise has been receiving.

Along with that, players are going have to produce big numbers in all areas. In a division like the NL Central, All-Star players will need to produce All-Star stats. These are the players who can do just that.

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