PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates didn't win the World Series, or even the National League Central, but their season-long success led to the Bucs being named Baseball America's Organization of the Year.
The award is a testament to how far the Pirates have come over the past few years, reaching the postseason three seasons in a row after 20 straight losing seasons, as well as their standing within the baseball industry. Pittsburgh has blended traditional scouting and advanced analytics like few other organizations, and the Bucs boast a strong farm system in addition to a Major League club coming off a 98-win campaign.
According to Baseball America, the Pirates won the award for their ability to find value in trades and free agency; their player development successes; their blending of analytics with old-school scouting; and their ability to work together as an entire organization.
This year displayed the Bucs' front office at its best, as the Pirates were made up of a few homegrown stars (Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole in particular), some surprise success stories (Francisco Cervelli and Jung Ho Kang, for example) and a couple of players who turned their careers around in black and gold (Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett, to name a few). They also advanced two of baseball's best prospects, Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell, to Triple-A.
The Pirates finished two games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central, giving them the second-best record in the Majors, but the Bucs couldn't get past Jake Arrieta and the Cubs in the NL Wild Card Game, falling in the win-or-go-home showdown for the second straight year.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.