KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Once the fifth overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, Royals prospect Bubba Starling will complete his eight-year climb to the big leagues on Friday night, July 12. The club announced on Thursday morning that he’s getting the call to Kansas City.
Starling has enjoyed a strong season with the Omaha Storm Chasers. He was a AAA all-star, hitting .310 with seven home runs, 38 runs batted in, and 34 runs scored. He’s also stolen nine bases in 12 attempts.
The Gardner Edgerton phenom famously passed up on playing football and baseball at Nebraska. After he was drafted and signed, he was immediately pegged as the Royals top prospect in 2012. His development didn’t materialize as fast as many fans had hoped, and he fell out of the top prospects rankings by 2016.
After hitting .185 at AA Northwest Arkansas by the end of the 2016 season, the outfielder turned things around at the plate, hitting .303 at Omaha in 2017, and then breaking out in 2018, where he posted a 1.026 on base + plus slugging percentage for three different Royals minor league affiliates.
The Royals say they’ll make a corresponding move to make room for him on the roster ahead of Friday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers. First pitch at Kauffman Stadium is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.