Portrait of Bubba Starling

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2019 Projections (Rest of Season Projections - seasonal age 26)
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Birth Date8-3-1992
Height6' 4"
Weight215 lbs
Age27 years, 3 months, 18 days
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

2019 KCA 26 56 197 40 7 0 4 9 56 1 2 0 .215 .255 .317 63 -8.7 3.8 4.8 0.5

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
2012 BNC Rk APP 53 234 .262 .335 .394 .372 102 8.9 7.2 0.7 114 0 10.3 1.8 3.3 2.2
2013 LEX A SAL 125 498 .245 .320 .365 .309 85 17.6 13.9 0.8 106 0 -0.5 1.0 -8.2 0.7
2014 WIL A+ CAR 132 549 .260 .326 .388 .293 86 0.2 16.1 1.3 80 0 1.1 4.9 -23.5 0.0
2015 WIL A+ CAR 12 51 .262 .330 .372 .600 93 6.6 1.4 0 199 0 -0.1 -0.1 3.9 0.6
2015 NWA AA TEX 91 367 .255 .320 .392 .319 106 2.6 9.8 -0.1 103 0 -3.9 0.9 -5.1 0.2
2015 SUR Wnt AFL 22 91 .000 .000 .000 .345 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2016 NWA AA TEX 62 255 .250 .316 .379 .257 96 -10.3 6.9 0 48 0 3.7 1.3 -17.9 -0.6
2016 OMA AAA PCL 47 176 .263 .326 .402 .277 91 -14.8 4.9 0.2 22 0 6.2 -1.2 -16.7 -0.7
2017 OMA AAA PCL 80 303 .264 .325 .413 .301 98 -4 9.0 -1.5 81 0 10.9 -2.2 -6.0 1.0
2018 OMA AAA PCL 11 41 .281 .347 .423 .310 101 -0.2 1.2 0.1 88 0 -0.8 -0.2 -0.5 0.0
2018 IDA Rk PIO 5 13 .289 .362 .454 .600 105 4.3 0.4 0 282 0 0.0 0.8 2.0 0.3
2018 ROY Rk AZL 4 12 .247 .322 .372 .000 108 2.3 0.4 0 55 0 -0.7 0.0 -0.4 -0.1
2018 GIG Wnt DWL 1 3 .282 .326 .345 .000 89 -0.9 0.1 0 96 1 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.0
2019 KCA MLB AL 56 197 .252 .320 .433 .286 101 -12.9 6.0 -0.4 63 12 4.8 3.8 -8.7 0.5
2019 OMA AAA PCL 72 285 .266 .342 .452 .374 95 4.8 9.8 -0.4 101 0 5.3 0.0 1.5 1.4

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
2012 BNC Rk APP 234 200 35 55 8 2 10 97 33 28 70 10 1 .275 .371 .485 .210 1 0
2013 LEX A SAL 498 435 51 105 21 4 13 173 63 53 128 22 3 .241 .329 .398 .156 4 0
2014 WIL A+ CAR 549 482 67 105 23 4 9 163 54 49 150 17 2 .218 .304 .338 .120 5
2015 SUR Wnt AFL 91 84 10 23 2 0 4 37 10 6 25 5 0 .274 .330 .440 .167 0 0
2015 NWA AA TEX 367 331 51 84 19 4 10 141 32 30 91 4 5 .254 .318 .426 .172 2 1
2015 WIL A+ CAR 51 44 6 17 4 0 2 27 12 7 17 2 1 .386 .471 .614 .227 0 0
2016 NWA AA TEX 255 233 28 43 15 1 5 75 23 15 81 10 1 .185 .251 .322 .137 1 0
2016 OMA AAA PCL 176 166 14 30 8 0 2 44 17 7 64 1 0 .181 .213 .265 .084 1 2
2017 OMA AAA PCL 303 278 35 69 14 1 7 106 21 19 65 5 4 .248 .303 .381 .133 0 3
2018 GIG Wnt DWL 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0
2018 IDA Rk PIO 13 8 5 4 3 0 1 10 4 5 2 0 0 .500 .692 1.250 .750 0 0
2018 ROY Rk AZL 12 11 3 3 0 0 3 12 5 0 4 0 0 .273 .333 1.091 .818 0 0
2018 OMA AAA PCL 41 35 5 9 2 0 0 11 2 5 6 1 0 .257 .350 .314 .057 0 1
2019 OMA AAA PCL 285 261 34 81 11 2 7 117 38 21 59 9 3 .310 .358 .448 .138 3 0
2019 KCA MLB AL 197 186 26 40 7 0 4 59 12 9 56 2 0 .215 .255 .317 .102 0 1

Plate Discipline

YEAR Pits Zone% Swing% Contact% Z-Swing% O-Swing% Z-Contact% O-Contact% SwStr% CSAA
2019 684 0.4839 0.4898 0.6985 0.6888 0.3031 0.8860 0.2991 0.3015 0.0000

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2013-05-13 2013-05-20 Minors 7 0 Bilateral Surgery LASIK - -


Year Team Salary
2019 KCA $
2018 KCA $546,200
2017 KCA $
2016 KCA $
1 yrPrevious$546,200
1 yrTotal$546,200


Service TimeAgentContract Status
0 y 67 dBoras Corp.1 year (2019)

  • 1 year (2019). Re-signed by Kansas City 12/17/18 (minor-league contract). Contract selected by Kansas City 7/11/19.
  • 1 year/$0.5462M (2018). Re-signed by Kansas City 3/18. Non-tendered by Kansas City 11/30/18.
  • 1 year (2017). Re-signed by Kansas City 2/17.
  • 1 year/$0.5075M (2016). Contract selected by Kansas City 11/20/15. Re-signed by Kansas City 2/25/16.
  • Drafted by Kansas City 2011 (1-5) (Gardner-Edgerton High School, Gardner, Kan.). $7.5M signing bonus.

2019 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET

90o 51 10 2 0 1 2 15 1 0 .208 .255 .312 64 0.1 CF 0 0.0
80o 34 7 2 0 1 1 10 0 0 .219 .242 .375 57 -0.3 CF 0 0.0
70o 22 5 1 0 1 1 7 0 0 .238 .273 .429 52 -0.4 CF 0 0.0
60o 12 1 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 .091 .091 .091 48 -0.3 CF 0 0.0
50o 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000 44 -0.1 CF 0 0.0
Weighted Mean300000100.000.000.00044-0.1CF 00.0

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BP Annual Player Comments

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BP Articles

Click here to see articles tagged with Bubba Starling

BP Chats

2019-05-17 16:00:00 (link to chat)It makes me happy to see Bubba Starling do so well in 3A. Why not a Ryan Ludwick type career?
(Vic from Baltimore)
He needs a team to give him the opportunity. He'd have to get really lucky for two months to stick somewhere. I'm pulling for him too. (Mike Gianella)
2018-12-12 17:00:00 (link to chat)Let's say Rutschman goes #1 to Baltimore. KC will likely take Witt, but shouldn't they consider taking Andrew Vaughn instead? After the Bubba Starling debacle, I would say it's safer to bet on Vaughn's bat, and not worry about defensive position.
(6'11" Bottom from Getting butt surgery)
They should consider it, yes. (Mike Gianella)
2018-01-23 23:00:00 (link to chat)Please tell me how Jo Adell won't wind up being Bubba Starling with a lesser arm. I want reassurance.
(Steve from LA)
Man, I dunno, I wouldn't have seen reason to doubt Bubba at Adell's age either, yunno? Adell's got a lot of great tools to work with, it's him, Hiura, and Ramos above everyone else in last year's class for fantasy purposes, far as I'm concerned. (Wilson Karaman)
2017-04-28 13:30:00 (link to chat)Is Bubba Starling anything more than a late game defensive replacement at this point?
(Colin from WI)
He looks good in a uniform, if that helps? (Craig Goldstein)
2017-04-28 13:30:00 (link to chat)better chance of seeing 100 MLB PA: Bubba Starling or Courtney Hawkins
(Hot Dog Man from Hot Dog Stand)
Bubba Starling. better chance of getting there on a defensive basis. (Craig Goldstein)
2016-05-18 19:00:00 (link to chat)Any new reports on any progress made by Bubba Starling?
(Tommy from Texas)
Not a whole lot, no. He's on the 40-man roster and at Double-A. His biggest problem is going to be that the Royals have a plethora of toolsy fourth outfielder types already, so I don't see how he breaks in anytime soon. (George Bissell)
2016-04-14 20:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling will have a comparable MLB career to ______________
(Ted from Florida)
Billy Beane. (Scooter Hotz)
2016-04-12 18:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling have any potential left in your eyes or should he go back to Nebraska for that starting QB job
(Kaylee from Ohio)
A year ago, I would have said it's time to go give that other game a try. Not now. We gave up too soon. (Christopher Crawford)
2016-03-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)Will Bubba Starling ever figure it out or will he be tantalizing and frustrating to watch?
(Kevin from KC)
Eh...honestly, I'm going to lean towards the ladder, with a best-case ceiling of Alex Rios.

I think he's an example of what happens in this neo-prospect age. Amateurs are oftentimes given billings that aren't fair for them to try and live up to. Starling was great, yes, but Starling also was a home-state kid who had the football/baseball intrigue. He also goes by Bubba, so, that's probably a big thing in Kansas.

Inn actuality, though, a scout would tell you that despite the hype, Bubbsy Starling was really just a 'type' of player. The same 'type' of player that say, Monte Harrison is, another guy that I'm asked about frequently. These 'types' of players are freak athletes that have all the raw power and supplementary tools in the world, but ultimately it falls down to how much they're able to bring out of the hit tool. Even if they figure it out (more or less), they often remain very slump-prone and streaky (again, Alex Rios). One factor is Starling's size. He's 6'5--a big dude. How many batting champs have that type of size? And if they do, how many hit for power? It can be hard to consistently generate hard game contact and control longer levers to bring about consistent batting average.

I'm not going to say he's a Bret Eibner in KC's system. But I don't think he's going to be the super-athlete face of the franchise, either. I'll hold to my Alex Rios best case.

That said, it's risky to fully bet against this type of athlete and raw toolset. These guys can really prove you wrong, and make unforeseen adjustments right when you're starting to pat yourself on the back as a scout. Whoops. (Adam McInturff)
2016-01-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Help me dream on Bubba Starling. Is this the year to add him in a 4 yr 4 round penalty 15 team 5 x 5 league?
(Chris from Baltimore)
I do have to admit that I had to ask my buddy Craig Goldstein what a 4 yr 4 round penalty was. Now that I know, man that sounds like a ROUGH league. I'd say no, we need to see Starling have another year of competence at the plate. I realize if he does that you risk having to take him much higher, but it's just too much risk for me. (Christopher Crawford)
2015-08-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)Alright, let's talk Bubba Starling. Kinda doing some thing in AA this year. Outlook changed on him? Top 10 Royals guy now?
(Luke G from KCMO)
HE's for sure a top ten Royals guy now, and he might even be a top five guy. That sort of speaks to both how much attrition has happened along with Starling's improvement, but yes. Starling is definitely a top 10 guy, and it's awesome to see, because I no longer feel like a crazy person. (Christopher Crawford)
2015-07-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling seems to kinda be putting some things together. Any word on what he's doing and do you think he's regained some stock (though it's only been 200 PA of good results this year vs 1200 meh ones)
(Michael D from Kansas)
There have been some ups and downs, but the scouts I've spoken with say Starling looks much improved from 2014, when many were ready to write him off. I think it's a case of him being a bit of a late-bloomer -- let's keep in mind that this was a very highly recruited QB who spent much of his time playing that "other" game -- and he's picking up on some things like spin and that it's okay to take pitches. I think he's still a fourth outfielder at best, but that's a vast improvement over what he was last year. Another jump and who knows? (Christopher Crawford)
2015-04-29 20:00:00 (link to chat)Most confusing promotion: Bubba Starling was promoted to AA, despite a 32% K-rate as A+....Just trade him to an NFL team somehow or admit he is a worse Drew Stubbs.
(What? from Brooklyn)
I mean, at some point you need to get him to the major league level, given his pedigree and athleticism, and see if anything sticks. Giving up on him before that stage is just wasteful. (Bret Sayre)
2015-02-04 19:00:00 (link to chat)Is the Tigers system so bad Bubba Starling would be a top ten guy for them?
(Ryan Parker from Land of the Leg Kicks)
I... I don't want to think about this. But, probably not, I'm not sure he reaches the major leagues. (Jordan Gorosh)
2014-12-18 15:00:00 (link to chat)Can I feel comfortable dropping Bubba Starling and DJ Davis in a 20 team dynasty?
(Charles from NYC)
Godspeed, my fren' (Craig Goldstein)
2014-12-11 18:00:00 (link to chat)Is there any hope left for Bubba Starling? Any chance of a breakout season?
(Isaac from Akron)
Any hope? Maybe if you're a Nebraska fan. I kid, of course, but I don't really see it working on the diamond for him. The Royals would be foolish not to give him plenty of chances to put his incredible tools together, but I just don't see the feel for the game that could allow that to happen. (Mark Anderson)
2014-10-17 12:00:00 (link to chat)Is there any hope left for Bubba Starling? What are the whispers from inside the organization?
(Bob Hamelin from Hot Dog Factory)
The organization remains publicly optimistic about Starling's future, and insists he just needs time to develop. Rival officials from other clubs remain dubious. (Andy McCullough)
2014-10-17 12:00:00 (link to chat)Is it time to give up on Bubba Starling?
(Jason from KC)
No. It is time to be worried, though. (Andy McCullough)
2014-10-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling, lost forever? That's 80-grade name, even if nothing else comes together for him.
(RatedRookie from Atlanta)
I'm sure the Chiefs could use a wide receiver. (Jeff Moore)
2014-09-10 12:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling's future in 2015? Does he start in Double A?
(Chris from Baltimore)
I think he needs to start in Wilmington again next season. Look, I am not going to pounce on him like everyone else...but the issues are real here. I have seen him probably 8-10 times this season, and haven't seen the same swing replicated once in any game. The athletic ability is insane, and I do think he can be better than what we see right now. But is slightly better enough? I don't think so. (Tucker Blair)
2014-09-03 14:00:00 (link to chat)If you are the Royals, what do you do with Bubba Starling? Hold the course? Try him on the mound? Agree to release him in exchange for a cut of his NFL earnings?
(Matt from Cambridge)
See if you can trade him to the Chiefs for a first rounder. (Jordan Gorosh)
2014-08-19 14:00:00 (link to chat)Witt. Like most, you seem to be very low on Bubba Starling. As someone who sees him a lot, what can he do to be successful? Not necessarily what are his flaws, we know those, but what corrections or attempted corrections would you put on him? Five years from now do you see him as a 4th OF or someone who can play ~80-90 games a year through good defense/baserunning?
(Doug from Denver,CO)
I have seen Bubba setup a million different ways at the plate. He's not the top runner he once was and I have questions he has the true barrel skills and ideal pitch recognition skills. In 5 years, Bubba should be playing his senior year on the Gridiron throwing the pigskin. (CJ Wittmann)
2014-08-19 14:00:00 (link to chat)If Bubba Starling doesn't take a step forward next year, would you try him on the mound perhaps? An excellent arm and a nice 6'4" athletic build seems like it could work on the mound.
(Charles from NYC)
I'd try him as my QB (CJ Wittmann)
2014-08-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling: future 4th outfielder a possibility? Drew Stubbs light? BA says he's the best defensive OF and best OF arm in the Carolina league. Surely a team is going to give him multiple chances right?
(Marco from Dallas)
The question is... what IS Drew Stubbs light? Is that a major leaguer? 5th outfielder to me. Not going to hit. (Craig Goldstein)
2014-08-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling: Has been doing very well in July consistently. It's one month, but he's always had hot streaks but he sustained them for the most part last month and has hit .289/.346/.483 since Mid-June. Slowly coming together? New (technically old because they are his High School) mechanics working? Think he'll make the bigs on power/speed alone like Drew Stubbs?
(Dave from KC)
If Bubba makes it to the majors it's based on his CF defense (very good) and his draft status. I don't believe he'll ever hit. (Jeff Moore)
2014-07-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)If you are the Royals, do you give up on Bubba Starling? Do you try him on the mound? Send him to play football?
(NightmareRec0n from Boston)
Given the investment, I think it is still too early to seriously considering doing anything with him but continuing to let him play and develop. With talented athletes like Starling, the light bulb can go off tomorrow, sometime four years from now, or not at all. He'll get chance after chance to figure it out with the Royals, and when they decide they're done trying, he'll probably get multiple chances with other organizations. (Mark Anderson)
2014-06-03 14:00:00 (link to chat)The Royals seemed to have drafted well (at least with their first 2 picks) in 2013. Is this what's keeping Dayton Moore off the hotseat?
(Joe from KS)
Meanwhile, Bubba Starling...going to guess the Royals owners aren't keeping Moore because the Royals took two guys in A ball that are highly regarded in the present while they are 3 games under .500 at the major league level. (Ron Shah)
2014-05-13 11:00:00 (link to chat)With the struggles Bubba Starling has had at the plate do you see converting him to a pitcher as a realistic possibility?
(Kevin from SF Bay Area)
I don't. I see him playing in the outfield, most likely reaching the highest level as a 5th outfielder (if he reaches the level at all) (Jason Parks)
2014-05-13 11:00:00 (link to chat)Was reading the report on Bubba Starling and it seems like a lot of the problems with his swing is obvious, so why isn't it correctable? Should that be something that time in the cage could fix? Or do some guys just struggle to make those small adjustments?
(Tony from Work)
If its neurological, its not as fixable. Poor pitch recognition is something that I think has a finite ceiling, most likely established before I player is even drafted. You can make some adjustments and enhance your execution with the bat, but if you struggle to pick up the ball early out of the hand, diagnose the pitch, and react accordingly, I don't see that improving a great deal as a player ages. Basically, I'm a believer that the neurological stuff is either there or it isn't there, and I'm always shocked when dysfunction in this specific characteristic isn't discovered sooner in the process. If teams are willing to spend millions on a player, one would think they would explore such neurological functions in order to determine recognition and reaction ability before drafting or signing a player. (Jason Parks)
2014-05-02 14:00:00 (link to chat)Twilight Zone question: Because Bubba Starling is already hitting like a pitcher, any thoughts about putting that arm on the mound?
(nictaclacta from Phoenix)
It's easier to transition from the field to the mound than it is to do the reverse, so the Royals can afford to be patient with Starling while keeping that idea in the back of their minds. It's a cool idea, though, and I dig the prospect of traveling to another dimension - a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. (Doug Thorburn)
2014-04-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling - most likely outcome, MLB All-Star game appearance or Heisman trophy?
(JoshC77 from Columbus, OH)
I don't think either is terribly likely. It is very unlikely that he's heading back to the gridiron, and I don't see any chance that he's an All-Star at this point. Most likely, he's a fringe MLB player. (Mark Anderson)
2014-04-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling. It's just not going to happen, is it?
(Jack from DC)
It's not, at least to the level his raw physical tools and draft distinction suggested possible. I don't think he will hit. (Jason Parks)
2014-01-29 19:00:00 (link to chat)Welcome Ben, I'll start you off with a curveball: Let's say every draft eligible prospect from 2010 to 2014 was eligible for this year's draft. Just based on pre-draft scouting reports and without the benefit of hindsight, how would the first 10 picks of the draft unfold?
(baseballjunkie from cali, where it's already Spring)
This is an amazingly difficult question to answer, and also quite fun. It's probably better suited for an article than for a fantasy chat answer, but since I was able to access this question ahead of time, here's what I came up with after about 30 min of research. I'll note that since I'm not familiar enough with 2014 prospects yet, I've restricted your search to 2010-2013 draftees. I'll go with:

1. Bryce Harper 2. Manny Machado 3. Gerrit Cole 4. Dylan Bundy 5. Anthony Rendon 6. Jameson Taillon 7. Bubba Starling
8. Byron Buxton 9. Carlos Correa 10. Archie Bradley

Toughest omissions for me were Francisco Lindor, Trevor Bauer, Kevin Gausman, Kris Bryant and Mark Appel. If Luc Giolito had been healthy for his senior year, he'd probably have made it on this list. Obviously that's not how we'd rank them now, and it's funny that guys like Chris Sale, Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey and Javier Baez are left in the dust. Bubba Starling sticks out like a sore thumb, and Buxton was underrated. This exercise also reinforces how loaded the 2011 draft was. Last year's pales in comparison. (Ben Carsley)
2014-01-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)What are the chances that Bubba Starling turns things around? Still a chance to be a star?
(fletchgriz from Iowa)
He still has a chance because he's still supremely talented, but that chance is getting smaller and smaller. There are some major holes in his swing, and they may prevent him from ever hitting better pitching. (Jeff Moore)
2013-10-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)Does Bubba Starling still have star potential?
(Max from Florida)
On a physical level, yes. On a baseball field, no. (Jason Parks)
2013-09-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you feel Bubba Starling can build upon the moderate gains he made following his lasik procedure? What are your thoughts on him?
(hdub from the stadium)
I'm an admitted tools whore and Starling certainly appeals to me because he is absolutely loaded with tools. The only real question is the feel to hit, and even after eye surgery, I have my questions about how much he's going to hit. That said, if he hits .250-.260 at the highest level, he will have power, speed and a quality defensive profile backing up that batting average. That's one hell of a player. (Mark Anderson)
2013-07-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)What's the deal with Bubba Starling? Pitch recognition? Long swing?
(richardkr34 from Saint Paul, MN)
Yes. (Jason Parks)
2013-06-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)What's up with Bubba Starling?
(Jbscoop from
Lots of tools; big-time athlete; not a natural hitter and I don't think that is something you can just learn. (Jason Parks on the Midseason Top 50 Prospects)
2013-06-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who has been more disappointing this year: Billy Hamilton or Bubba Starling?
(tonynelson19 from MN)
Bubba Starling. Hamilton was always overrated because speed is easy to see and appreciate. (Jason Parks on the Midseason Top 50 Prospects)
2013-06-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)Donovan Tate or Bubba Starling?
(Mike from TX)
Starling, Much better makeup. (Jason Parks on the Midseason Top 50 Prospects)
2013-06-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling or Tate Donovan?
(AJ from Phoenix)
Tate Donovan because of Space Camp, which I adore. (Jason Parks on the Midseason Top 50 Prospects)
2013-05-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling question: were his contact (?) problems all swing-related or could some of them have been caused by vision problems? What about Hosmer: did the surgery help him?
(CyMature from western Mass)
Swing problems can often be corrected, but neurological issues aren't a more difficult obstacle to overcome. If its just vision and not a deeper neurological deficiency (like I''ve been suggesting), then its entirely possible that he will pick up the ball better (sooner) out of the hand and be able to react accordingly. We shall see. There are vision issues and then there are read/reaction issues. It will be interesting to see what is what. (Jason Parks)
2013-04-04 11:00:00 (link to chat)Is it hyperbolic to consider this year vital to Bubba Starling's development?
(JoeTetreault from Carrollton, TX)
It's extremely vital. It's not a make or break year, but its a telling year. I've yet to see the loud tools play at a loud level, so it will be interesting to see if he starts to bring the high-ceiling talent to the field. He clearly looks the part, but he has yet to really show it. (Jason Parks)
2013-02-25 11:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling: swing -and-miss because he's got holes in his swing or because he mocked the Gods of Pitch Selection?
(CyMature from Cabin (Fever))
Because he's a chiseled monument of a tooly prospect and nobody gets to have it all. (Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects)
2013-02-25 11:00:00 (link to chat)When a team drafts a toolsy player like Bubba Starling there is obvious risk. Do they factor in the fallback option of converting him to a pitcher if he fails to hit?
(Kevin from SF Bay Area)
I doubt it. He's a position player all the way ray (Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects)
2013-02-25 11:00:00 (link to chat)Thanks for the chat, Jason. Byron Buxton, Bubba Starling, Mason Williams and Jackie Bradley, Who has loudest tools? Who can be superstar?
(Mason Williams from New York)
Buxton, Starling, Williams, and Bradley, but Bradley is safer bet to be impact player and Buxton has the highest ceiling. (Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects)
2013-02-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Looking to win a dynasty league from 2015 until the sun blacks out. Trade Hanley and Wright for Prince, Billy Hamilton and Bubba Starling? Prince and Billy sound good. Bubba seems like too much risk for two big names like Wright and Hanley. Talk me down, Mr. Spacey, er, Sporer.
(Marv from Newfangleburg)
It's pretty fair, but I'd still try to extract a more sure-thing than Starling. It basically becomes Prince canceling one of Hanley or Wright then Hamilton & Starling for the other, which I wouldn't do. (Paul Sporer)
2013-02-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who would you rather have in your system? Byron Buxton or Bubba Starling?
(wcgopher from DC)
Buxton. Top Ten talent in baseball for me. (Jason Parks)
2013-01-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)What are your thoughts on Bubba Starling? A likely star or a cautionary tale?
(JonCor from Toronto)
Neither? I think the potential is there for him to be an impact player at an impact position. Big time star. But there is a lot of development that needs to take place between now and then. One thing I keep coming back to is how impressed I was with the progress he made with just four months of focused baseball coaching on the scouting circuit between Tournament of Stars, Area Code Games, UA, and the USA Baseball 18U team. He really picked-up instruction quickly and has an insane amount of athleticism helping to implement changes quickly. I'm really excited to see him go to work next summer. (Nick Faleris)
2012-12-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)What is a good way to explain player development (and how statistical failure can be a good thing) to a novice? Specifically I need to explain to a buddy of mine why people can be so bullish on Bubba Starling or a Archie Bradley when they are so raw and far away from being in a major league uniform,
(AJ from Phoenix)
Player development is specific to the player in question, so the journey will be unique to the individual. Some players benefit from setback more than others, but failure and the response to failure is a vital part of the developmental process. Baseball is a game of failure and adjustment.

As for Starling and Bradley, I think their ultimate ceilings are what people assign the most weight to. Obviously they are far away, but the promise they provide is more intoxicating than the realities of the developmental process, which will most likely diminish that promise as they mature in the game. It's very rare for a high-ceiling teenager to arrive at the major league level carrying the same promise they had when they first entered the game.

The development process is a journey from a dark club where everybody looks handsome/pretty to the unforgiving natural light of a hungover morning. (Jason Parks)
2012-11-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Welcome, Jason! A few Royals questions: 1. What do you expect from Moustakas this season, and what future (and timetable) do you expect for Bubba Starling?
(Chopper from Indy)
I expect more power and a sub-.250/.320 avg/obp season from Moustakas with 40 defense. Might hit 25+ homers, though. I didn't think he had that in him. I think I missed on that. Starling is a ways away. I'd toss a Sept. 2015 or mid-2016 ETA on him. On draft day I would have said 14-15. (Jason A. Churchill)
2012-08-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)how is Bubba Starling adjusting to this whole Full Time Baseball Job? You see him getting to AA next year?
(Matress from Across from Kevin's House)
I think he's been great. He has a lot of swing and miss in his game, and he isn't a very refined product, but he is showing tools in game action and that's all you want to see at this stage of the game. It's not going to be a rapid ascent to the majors. No; I don't think there is any chance he reaches Double-A in 2013. I think he plays in full-season ball, most likely Low-A and most likely for the entire season. (Jason Parks)
2012-08-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)Kevin, thanks for the chat and all you do here at BP. Truly great work. I'm curious for your thoughts on Bubba Starling thus far. From scouring the box scores, he's showing on base skills, power, a great arm, and a lot of swing and miss. Are you encouraged by his performance? Why did so many Royals fans write him off prematurely? And is his age still something to be worried about? Thanks again!
(mbarr4 from Lewisville)
So many Royals fans wrote him off because so many Royals fans are miserable, albeit for understandable reasons. Starting was a project when drafted, and it's definitely a so far, so good situation with him. (Kevin Goldstein)
2012-07-11 12:00:00 (link to chat)On the podcast, you and Sporer both agree that banners fly forever. Have you ever seen anyone successfully blow up their team and go the prospect route, then with said team or prospects (or most of them) one day go on to win a title?
(Sven from Zurich)
Yep, I've done it. I blew up my 2008 team in one league and then finished in the top 2 spots each of the next 3 years. Don't deal for the Bubba Starling types - go after guys that are in AA/AAA right now that you can get help from in 2013 rather than 2015. (Jason Collette)
2012-06-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)Would you prefer Byron Buxton or Bubba Starling? Does the fact they will probably both play at the same level this year despite Buxton being almost 2 years younger play into it?
(ncsuwa4 from Durham, NC)
If the tools are equal, I'll take the younger kid. Give me Buxton. (Jason Parks)
2012-06-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)In the last podcast you and kevin said that the prospect from the rangers (sorry, his name slips my mind right now) had the greatest difference between ceiling and actual talent. Even more so than Bubba Starling?
(Twenty Grade Tony from Albuquerque)
Yes. Jordan Akins.

Kevin wrote a great article about this type of player (gap player) recently at BP. Check it out. (Jason Parks)
2012-06-05 16:00:00 (link to chat)Has Robert Stephenson's stock been affected by the decision to keep him in rookie ball? Is there cause for concern?
(Brian from Gainesville)
Glad you asked this. We need to get away from the thought that this is some kind of big ding against Stepehson, or more well known, Bubba Starling. Players are individuals, and develop at their own rate. Not playing in Double-A by 20 does not equal some kind of failure. (Kevin Goldstein)
2012-05-21 14:00:00 (link to chat)Whats your take on the Royals keeping Bubba Starling in extended Spring Training? I know reports were that he was raw, but is he THAT raw that Low-A wouldn't be an option?
(Jquinton82 from NY)
He's pretty raw, and he's not the only first-round guy taking it easy, as Javier Baez is still in extended as well. (Kevin Goldstein)
2012-05-21 14:00:00 (link to chat)In regards to Bubba Starling. how do you treat a player like him who stays in extended spring traing when doing your rankings next year?
(basicslop from Albuquerque)
Well, we're still going to get half a season from him, but you need to talk to everyone you can that saw him. (Kevin Goldstein)
2012-03-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)Bubba Starling... what should we expect this season?
(faztradamus from At Work)
We shall see. He's not coming to Kane County to begin the year, so they're taking it slow. (Kevin Goldstein)
2012-04-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)Fantasy Question: In a dynasty league I can send Chris Sale, Banuelos and Bubba Starling, and cash for BJ Upton and two 1st round draft picks (which are like gold in this league). I rebuilt my team and have an OF of Trout-Gary Brown- Harper (we use LF, CF, RF), and my pitching is stacked to the point where Sale and ManBan wouldn't make my 5-man rotation. Is the trade worth it, or is Starling > my expectations suggest?
(Don H. from Oak Park)
Fantasy Question: Todd Bridges or Gary Coleman? I have a keeper league and I can only protect one of them. (Jason Parks)
2012-04-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)While your man-crush on Bubba Starling has been obvious, what are the odds on the Royals regretting Bundy (who I felt was #1 on their draft board) not falling one more spot as most draftniks thought?
(LoyalRoyal from LV, KS)
Well, they needed arms, so I think they are always going to dream of Bundy falling to #5. But the player that is really going to hurt is Archie Bradley, who the Royals let slide to #7. Bradley is going to pitch atop a major league rotation someday, and the Royals don't have an arm in the system that can boast of that future. I understand going for Starling; he could be an elite player. That said, for a team that needs arms, Bradley might have been too good to pass up. (Jason Parks)
2012-04-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)What's a "realistic" estimation of what Bubba Starling could do at his peak? .300/30(hr) seems to be a fugure you feel comfortable throwing on guys (Rendon, J. Montero- in previous chats). Think Starling can reach that? What about the wheels?
(faztradamus from work)
Not sure about the average, but he could hit 30+ bombs, steal 30+ bases, and play well above-average defense in centerfield. That's the ceiling. That's an elite ceiling. The problem is that his floor is very, very low. (Jason Parks)
2012-02-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who is rawer, Nimmo or Bubba Starling?
(jfranco77 from Pittsburgh)
Starling. (Kevin Goldstein)

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