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11/12/09 1:15 PM EST
Marte, Brown earn Triple-A honors
Indians duo named to Topps' All-Star team
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Andy Marte and Jordan Brown gave the Indians a lot to think about with their performance at Triple-A Columbus this year, and Topps has recognized their efforts. Both Marte and Brown were named to the Topps Triple-A All-Star team on Thursday. Marte was named the team's third baseman, while Brown is listed among the outfielders. Marte entered the year out of Minor League options, and the Indians opted to expose him to the waiver wire during Spring Training. Nobody claimed Marte, so he began the year with the Clippers, looking to save his career. The 26-year-old Marte might have done so, as he hit .327 with 18 homers, 66 RBIs and a .963 OPS in 82 games for Columbus. He was the International League player of the month for July, when he hit .385 with nine homers and 24 RBIs. That performance earned Marte a promotion to the big league club in late July. He remained with the Indians for the rest of the season, batting .232 with six homers, 25 RBIs and a .693 OPS in 47 games. Marte, who can play both corner infield spots, will likely enter Spring Training camp as a member of the Tribe's 40-man roster, looking to secure a role on the active roster. He may benefit from the hip surgery Matt LaPorta recently had performed. LaPorta projects as the Tribe's starting first baseman, but if the hip injury sets him back, Marte could emerge. The 25-year-old Brown, who spent time at both first base and left field, won the International League batting crown this season with a .336 average. He ranked third in the league with a .532 slugging percentage and finished tied for fifth with 35 doubles. A fourth-round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Brown was the subject of some mild controversy when he wasn't promoted to the Tribe for September callups. This month, the Indians must either protect Brown on their 40-man roster or risk losing him in next month's Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings. The deadline for the Indians to make that decision is Nov. 20.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.