ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.
- Altoona Curve centerfielder Starling Marte
was one of 10 players in the country selected to the Topps Double-A All-Star Team, which was announced earlier this afternoon. Marte, 23, was named as one of three outfielders on the squad along with Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim farmhand Mike Trout and Los Angeles Dodgers minor leaguer Alex Castellanos.
The Santo Domingo, D.R. native led the Eastern League with his .332 batting average, which was third-best among all players in Double-A (including the Texas League and the Southern League). His 91 runs and 38 doubles were both amongst the top seven in the classification as well. His breakout season earned him mid-season and post-season Eastern League All-Star honors en route to being named the Eastern League Rookie of the Year, a first for a member of the Curve.
In addition to playing in this season's Eastern League All-Star Game in Manchester, N.H., Marte was selected to participate in the XM Futures Game as part of Major League Baseball's All-Star festivities in Phoenix, Ariz. The 23-year-old went 1-for-3 in the contest while playing five innings and batting leadoff for the World squad.
August proved to be a huge month for Marte in Double-A and his performance in the final full month of the season garnered him Eastern League Player of the Month honors. He led all Eastern League players in average, runs scored, hits, extra-base hits, total bases, slugging percentage, and OPS during August. Even more astonishing, Marte reached base in all but two games he played in during the month while recording 13 multi-hit games. The speedster also scored a run or drove in a run in 21 of his 28 games during the month.
He also racked up an Eastern League Player of the Week award in August from August 8-14th, batting .556 (15-for-27) with four doubles, one triple, one home run and 10 runs scored.
Marte finished the season with 178 hits, a new Curve single-season franchise record, and 38 doubles, which was two-shy of the single-season record. He became the first active Curve player to win a batting title with his .332 average and wrapped up the season with the third-best average for a single-season in team history behind Steve Pearce (.334, 2007) and Jeff Keppinger (.338, 2004). Keppinger did win the 2004 E.L. batting title but did so as a member of the Binghamton Mets after a mid-season trade.
The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Marte as a non-drafted free agent on January 4, 2007.
The Curve Holiday Store in Logan Valley Mall opens this Friday, November 18th and is once again located on the lower level just past Santa's Village across from Orange Julius. The store will be stocked with the latest Curve merchandise from Nike, Antigua, New Era, '47 Brand, Ravine Ink & Thread and others when the store opens on Friday. From t-shirts and the one-of-a-kind Curve on-field rally cap to sweatshirts and children's apparel, the Curve Holiday Store will be your destination for that perfect holiday gift.
For more information, please visit www.AltoonaCurve.com or call 877.99.CURVE.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.