KC Royals: A Look At Internal Options For Right Field
By John Viril
Bubba Starling was a multi-sport star from Gardner, Kansas when the KC Royals made him the fifth overall pick of the 2011 draft. Starling was considered the most complete athlete in the draft, and a possible five-tool talent.
Kansas City Royals scouts knew that Starling would be a project, however, due to the low level of competition he faced in high school and the fact that he did not focus on the sport (he also earned a football scholarship to play quarterback at Nebraska). The right-handed batting Starling would go as far as his hit tool would take him.
As it turned out, Bubba Starling struggled with both his vision and a hitch in his swing. But, he finally broke through at the plate at age 22. Starling slashed .386/.471/.614 at High A Wilmington, .254/.318/.426 at AA NW Arkansas, and .274/.330/.440 in the Arizona Fall League.
Now, Starling will get a real shot to earn a major-league job this spring. His defense is already plus major-league quality at all three positions. He’s a plus base-runner without being a big base-stealing threat. Though he has come a long way in the past season, the KC Royals personnel department indicates that he most likely won’t be ready for a full-time job in Kansas City until 2017.
Next: Miguel Almonte Deserves Look In Rotation
These five are the favorites to win the right field job with the KC Royals this spring, though dark horse candidates include Jorge Bonifacio and Reymond Fuentes.