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Starling one of Bucs' many Dominican gems

Starling Marte, LF, Pirates
: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

One of the Latin American gems that scout Rene Gayo has put into the Pirates organization, Marte began his professional career at age 18 in the Dominican Summer League in 2007.

Marte, who still resides in Santo Domingo, spent the 2008 season with Pittsburgh's affiliate in the Dominican Summer League, and he hit .377 in his final 20 games of that season.

Marte started playing in the United States in 2009 with the Gulf Coast League Pirates and has climbed up the organizational ladder since. Marte is one of six players on the Bucs' 40-man roster who was born in the Dominican Republic, joining Francisco Liriano, Edinson Volquez, Gregory Polanco, Pedro Alvarez and Stolmy Pimentel.

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for
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