Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/29/13
When the MLB season kicks off on Sunday, each player will have the same stat line. Obviously, not every player comes with the same expectations, though. While some big leaguers will go about their business and do their best to be productive, others will be under a microscope as soon as the first pitch is delivered. The added pressure could be because of a recently signed contract, impending free agency or the overall state of the player’s team. Regardless of the reason, there are some players who need to elevate their game in 2013, or else they’ll be opening themselves up to a ton of scrutiny. The offseason’s most coveted free agents, Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke, each signed monster contracts, so surely they’re under immense pressure in 2013. One season won’t dictate the value of their deals, but it could go a long way toward setting the tempo for the years to come. They’re hardly the only players feeling the heat. Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury have each spent their entire career with the same team, but free agency looms large. Throw in the Yankees’ health status and the Red Sox’ 2012 debacle, and it’s easy to see that they’ll need to step up this season. But which other players are under the most pressure in 2013? Check out our gallery at the link below. Click here to see the top 10 MLB players under the most pressure in 2013 >> Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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Athletes in other sports (or famous professions) who played in the NCAA Tournament

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

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