Starling Marte ranks seventh on MLB.com’s list of the top 10 outfielder prospects. Bryce Harper of the Nats is No. 1. After winning the Double-A Eastern League batting title last summer at Altoona, Marte will begin this season at Triple-A Indy. Assistant GM Kyle Stark said there’s one major hurdle left for Marte: “The big question for him, in terms of what the ultimate upside is, will be how does he control the strike zone?” Stark said. “We continue to challenge him and saw some strides being made, especially in the last month of the season. I think he has the ability to do it; it’s just a matter of commitment on every pitch, every night.”
»»» Steve Morse, the Pirates’ account manager for premium seating, will square off against Reds scoreboard operator Rich Linville at 9 p.m. Jan. 31 in a first-round clash on “Baseball IQ” on MLB Network. The show is a bracket-style tournament of baseball trivia knowledge with the winnings going to charity.