Former top prospect Bubba Starling is off to a hot start in AAA. It is time that he gets a look with the Kansas City Royals.
Remember Bubba Starling? The former fifth overall draft pick by the Kansas City Royals in 2011 was once a consensus top 100 prospect, expected to have a bright future at the major league level. Instead, he struggled with injuries and inconsistency, to the point where one could say that Bubba Starling could not be spelled without the word BuSt.
Starling saw himself dropped from the Royals 40 man roster, but was brought back on a minor league deal. Nothing was promised to him, as he was essentially fighting for his professional life. To everyone’s surprise, Starling performed well in Spring Training, producing a .344/.432/.625 batting line, hitting two homers and three doubles. Despite that production, Starling was sent to AAA to begin the 2019 campaign.
He has continued that excellent Spring Training in Omaha. Heading into Tuesday’s action, he produced a .358/.424/.509 batting line, hitting two homers and stealing five bases. In his 59 plate appearances, he has drawn six walks and struck out only 12 times.
More from Call to the Pen
- Philadelphia Phillies, ready for a stretch run, bomb St. Louis Cardinals
- Philadelphia Phillies: The 4 players on the franchise’s Mount Rushmore
- Boston Red Sox fans should be upset over Mookie Betts’ comment
- Analyzing the Boston Red Sox trade for Dave Henderson and Spike Owen
- 2023 MLB postseason likely to have a strange look without Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals
This positive start should grab the attention of the Royals. They have been waiting for Starling to show that he was worth that draft pick, to force their hand in terms of bringing him to the majors. That time may be happening now.
There is certainly room for Starling on the roster. Lucas Duda simply has not provided any value since being brought back to Kansas City, and is not a part of the future. Jorge Soler has been mediocre defensively, and may well be a future DH already at this stage in his career. Starling, if nothing else, would be a better option defensively, and could even replace Soler if he is unable to get his strikeout issues in check.
As the 2019 season continues to slowly slip away, and the Royals fade further and further from contention, there will not be any reasons to keep fading veterans on the roster. Players like Starling, who are performing well in AAA, will be given the chance to prove that they can be a part of the future. With the way that Starling has performed so far this season, he deserves to have that chance.
It is time for the Kansas City Royals to see what they have in Bubba Starling. With his hot start, and the Royals struggles this year, he deserves that chance.