Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Breaking down Altoona's All-Stars


Five former Bradenton Marauders are headed to the Eastern League All-Star Game as members of the Double-A Altoona Curve.

The selections were announced today and the game will be played Wednesday, July 13 at Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, N.H.

Here is a closer look at each of the players:

JEREMY FARRELL, 3B: Farrell, whose dad, John, manages the Toronto Blue Jays, is second on the team in RBIs (33) and third in hits (72), and is batting .285 with the Curve. The 24-year-old Farrell, who was an eighth-round pick by the Pirates in 2008, hit .298 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs with Bradenton last year despite appearing in just 75 games because of injuries.

BROCK HOLT, 2B: Holt is another guy whose Marauders career was cut short by an injury last year after he tore a ligament in his knee. Holt has responded well this season, however, hitting .289 with 22 RBIs and 12 steals. His 85 hits are second on the team and fifth in the league. Holt hit .351 in 47 games last season with Bradenton.

STARLING MARTE, OF: Baseball America lists Marte as the Pirates' fourth-best prospect, and he has lived up to the billing this season with the Curve, batting .337 with a league-high 97 hits and a team-high 16 steals. The 22-year-old Marte will play for the World Team during next month's Futures Game, and he is a career .305 hitter in 305 games in the Pirates' organization. He hit .315 with 33 RBIs in Bradenton last season despite appearing in just 60 games after undergoing hand surgery.

JEFF LOCKE, P: Locke was promoted to Altoona late last season and helped the Curve win the league title. He is 5-6 this year with a 4.29 ERA in 15 starts, and leads the team in strikeouts (75) and innings (77 2/3). Locke was 12-5 with a 3.56 ERA in 27 starts with Bradenton and Altoona in 2010.

AARON PRIBANIC, P: Pribanic has thrown Altoona's lone shutout and complete game this season and is 5-5 with a 3.52 ERA in 15 games and 14 starts. Hitters have had to earn their way on against Pribanic, who has walked just nine in 76 2/3 innings, which amounts to 1.1 walks in every nine innings, tops among Eastern League pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings. Pribanic went 7-6 and pitched to a 3.33 ERA in 27 starts last year with the Marauders, and beat the Charlotte Stone Crabs during Game 1 of last year's Florida State League South Division Championship Series. It was the first postseason game in Bradenton's brief history.

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