There are a few players that were expected to appear with the Kansas City Royals when rosters expanded yesterday. Alex Gordon is back from his injury, and players like Cheslor Cuthbert and Christian Colon have returned to fill in as the Royals will likely rest their starters with the postseason approaching. Yet, among the players that were called up, there are a couple of names that were notably absent.
One of these players is Bubba Starling. The turnaround for Starling this year has been nothing short of remarkable, as he has gone from the verge of being a failed prospect to re-establishing himself as a potential piece of the Royals future. In fact, it may not be that surprising if Starling, with a strong showing in Spring Training, is a part of the Royals outfield next season.
With that in mind, it seemed as though this could be the perfect moment to give Starling a look at the major league level. His production would indicate that a promotion would not be out of the question, as Starling has produced a .277/.344/.446 batting line with 22 doubles and ten home runs across two levels this season. Even though his strikeout rate is still a touch bit high, with 100 strikeouts in 354 at bats, it is a marked improvement from the 31.1% strikeout rate Starling posted last year.
There are a few reasons as to why the Kansas City Royals may not be willing to promote Bubba Starling at this point. The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are heading to the Texas League postseason, and need players. Likewise, Starling is just 22 years old, and has reached the AA level for the first time this season. Starling, for all of the promise that he has, is still putting everything together and may finally be scratching the surface of his potential.
Starling’s time with the Royals may still come this season. When the Naturals season ends, he could well find himself on the way to Kansas City, with a bit of postseason experience under his belt. Then, he could potentially look to stake a claim for the Royals outfield next year, while getting a taste of what life in the majors leagues is like.
Bubba Starling may not be with the Kansas City Royals right now, but it looks as though his time may be coming soon. His production this season put him back on the map, and he may well get a chance to prove that he is a part of the Royals future.