The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced they have added the following six players to the 40-man roster:
Matt Hague (INF) – Pittsburgh’s 9th-round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft...Hit .309 with 37 doubles, 12 home runs and 75 RBI in 141 games with Triple-A Indianapolis in 2011 and was named to the International League’s midand post-season All-Star teams as a first baseman...Led the league in hits (165), games and at bats (534); was the first Indy player to lead the league in hits since Junior Noboa in 1989...Was a 2010 Eastern League mid-season All-Star and batted .295 with 30 doubles, 15 homers and 86 RBI in 135 games with Altoona...Led Carolina League first basemen in fielding percentage (.995) and total chances (1151) while playing with Lynchburg in 2009.
Starling Marte (OF) – Is currently ranked by Baseball America as the 4th-best prospect and as the “Best Athlete” in the system...Hit .332 with 38 doubles, 12 home runs, 50 RBI and 24 stolen bases in 129 games with Double-A Altoona in 2011. ...Led the Eastern League in batting, doubles and hits (178)...Established a single-season club record in hits...Was a midand post-season All-Star selection and played for the World Team in the MLB Futures Game...Was also named the league’s Rookie-of-the-Year and was recently named to the Topps Double-A All-Star team...Has produced a .309 average, 80 doubles, 21 triples, 27 home runs, 178 RBI and 73 stolen bases in his first five seasons (364 games)...Was signed by the Pirates as a non-drafted free agent on 1/4/07 from the Dominican Republic.
Jordy Mercer (INF) – Pittsburgh’s 3rd-round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft...Split 2011 season between Altoona and Indianapolis and hit .255 (125-for-491) with 30 doubles, 19 home runs and 69 RBI in 132 total games...Led Carolina League in doubles (36) and shortstops in double plays turned (86) while playing with Lynchburg in 2009...Is rated by Baseball America as currently having the “Best Infield Arm” in the Pirates system.
Rudy Owens (LHP) – Pittsburgh’s minor league Pitcher-of-the-Year in 2009 and 2010...Went 9-7 in 21 starts during his first season at the Triple-A level in 2011...Was an Eastern League mid- and post-season All-Star while going 12-6 with a league-leading 2.46 ERA in 26 starts with Altoona in 2010...Posted an 11-2 record and a 2.10 ERA in 25 combined starts between Class-A West Virginia and Lynchburg in 2009 and was named to the South Atlantic League’s mid- and post-season All-Star squads...Was also named the SAL’s Most Outstanding Pitcher in 2009...Was Pittsburgh’s 28th-round selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and made professional debut with the GCL Pirates in 2007.
Duke Welker (RHP) – Went 4-5 with six saves and a 2.76 ERA (62.0ip/19er) in 44 total games with Bradenton and Altoona in 2011...Has spent the last two seasons as a relief pitcher and has produced a 3.15 ERA in 84 appearances...Was Pittsburgh’s 2nd-round selection in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft and spent his first two professional seasons as a starting pitcher...Was converted to a reliever while pitching with Class-A West Virginia in 2009.
Justin Wilson (LHP) – Pittsburgh’s 5th-round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft…Spent entire 2011 campaign with Indianapolis and led team in wins (10) while making 30 appearances (21 starts)...Was named the Eastern League post-season MVP as Altoona captured the league championship in 2010...Went 11-8 with a 3.09 ERA with Altoona in 2010, ranking second in the league in strikeouts (134) and fourth in ERA.
The Pirates have also designated outfielder Xavier Paul and catcher Eric Fryer for assignment.
Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster now contains 40 players (23 pitchers, 4 catchers, 8 infielders and 5 outfielders).