The Pirates will call up outfield prospect Starling Marte before their series against the Houston Astros begins tonight.
They optioned reliever Evan Meek to Class AAA Indianapolis on Wednesday.
Marte, 23, was hitting .286 with a .348 on-base percentage for Indianapolis this season.
He had 12 home runs and 20 doubles in 98 games for the Indians.
The Pirates signed Marte out of the Dominican Republic for $85,000 in 2007. He hit .332 for Class AA Altoona in '11, leading the Eastern League in batting average and doubles.
Baseball America ranked Marte as the fourth-best prospect in the Pirates minor league system.
Baseball America ranked Marte the best athlete in the Pirates system before this season, as well as the best hitter for average and outfield arm. He has stolen at least 20 bases in each of the past five seasons in the minor leagues.
The Pirates could use Marte's help and right-handed bat in the outfield.
They have gotten a combined .242 on-base percentage and .560 on-base-plus-slugging percentage from their left fielders.
The Pirates also have to clear a spot on the roster today for starter Wandy Rodriguez after trading for him Tuesday night.breaking - pirates
Bill Brink: email@example.com and on Twitter @BrinkPG. First Published July 25, 2012 11:45 PM