The KC Royals’ outfielder is entering the biggest season of his career, and he’s more than ready to get back on the grind.
While it’s currently unknown whether or not we’ll have a 2020 MLB season, the KC Royals and their players are still preparing as if there will be games played. Each member of the team has his own unique training routine and motivation ahead of the year. Outfielder Bubba Starling is fighting for a full-time job, and that’s all the fuel he needs.
In 2019, the former first-round pick posted a .215/.255/.317 line in 186 at-bats with the major league team. Starling’s batting average got all the way up to .279 in his 16th game of the season, but slowly got lower and lower throughout the year. Entering his age-27 season, time is running out for him to cash in on the potential that caused the Royals to take him No. 5 overall in 2011.
The KC Star’s Lynn Worthy talked with Starling about his 2019 campaign and what he thinks he needs to do in order to improve in 2020. The once-beloved five-tool player noted several things, such as eliminating strikeouts and doing the little things more consistently. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan also caught up with Starling, and he spoke about carrying the momentum from his impressive spring training into the regular season:
"“When we do start games, I can just keep rolling from what I was doing in spring training. It hasn’t stopped for me since then, I’ve been working out three or four times a week and still getting my hitting in. I’m still trying to stay focused even with all the stuff with virus going down.”"
Hearing that Starling is locked in and eager to begin the season is good news. He’s an excellent defender and was brimming with potential when the KC Royals drafted him. Injuries and poor seasons at the plate delayed his debut until last season — much later than originally anticipated. It would be nice to see the Kansas kid put everything together and complete the ultimate underdog story.
Starling’s spring was terrific. Let’s hope he can handle the transition to regular-season games once play begins.