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Starling Marte Wins Eastern League Batting Title, Rookie Of The Year

Pirates prospect Starling Marte has won the Eastern League (Class AA) batting title, edging Yangervis Solarte of New Britain, .332 to .329. In addition, Marte has won the Eastern League Rookie Of The Year award. (Which means a lot in the minors, since most prospects are rookies in the levels they're playing.)

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In addition to the high batting average, Marte's power is coming along nicely - he had 12 homers this year, compared to just two in 2010. His plate discipline still lags behind, with only 22 walks against 100 strikeouts, but until he can find a level where he can't bat .320, it's hard to be too upset about that. He may need to make adjustments to his game at the higher levels.

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For now, though, Marte is one of the Pirates' top prospects. In addition to his hitting, he also plays excellent defense in center. The Pirates already have a center fielder of their own, of course, but they'll make space for Marte if this continues. He'll likely be at Class AAA Indianapolis next year.

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For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.