Kansas City Royals: It might be time to give up on Bubba Starling

(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)
(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals put a lot of faith in Bubba Starling when they made him the fifth overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. Since that time, however, Starling has not impressed. Is it time to give up on him?

When it comes to the KC Royals recent drafts, they haven’t done all that well. Many know that the club recently designated infielder Christian Colon for assignment after really never having a role with the Royals organization.

Colon was a first round pick in 2010 and while he had two clutch hits, didn’t do much during the regular season and never was an every day starter for this team.

The next season saw the Kansas City Royals draft an 18 year old kid named Bubba Starling out of Gardner, Kansas. Starling had committed to the University of Nebraska to play quarterback for the Cornhuskers, but decommitted once the Royals drafted him.

Here we are six years later and Bubba Starling hasn’t done anything with the Royals. I wrote a lengthy piece about this before the 2017 season started and noted,

"At this point in his career, if Starling isn’t getting it at the plate, then he likely never will. That’s a scary thought for Royals fans, as the team invested a lot in this kid and he hasn’t shown anything yet.More from Kansas City RoyalsThis Plus-Money Bobby Witt Jr. Prop Bet is on Fire (Hit in 15/21 Games)!The Royals Need to Extend Bobby Witt Jr. ImmediatelyDraftKings + FanDuel Kansas Promos: INSTANT $150 Bonus Plus Two Chances to Win!3 Royals Players Who Won’t Be on the Roster Next YearLAST CHANCE to Claim $250 GUARANTEED Bonus With FanDuel and DraftKings Kansas Promos!"

That still happens to be the case, as Starling is only slashing .163/.223/.221 in 31 games and 104 at bats with the Omaha Stormchasers, the Royals’ Triple-A organization. He’s plated six RBI and smashed one home run during that time. Starling is still struggling in the minor leagues and this could be his last season to prove himself before the club gives up on him entirely.

In that article I linked above, there was mention of Starling being a great defensive player, which is true. He’s quick and makes plays in the outfield, but being a top notch defensive player isn’t going to get you a call up to the major leagues (unless the team is really desperate, which the Royals aren’t… yet).

Kansas City already has one terrible offensive/great defensive outfielder right now in the form of Alex Gordon and they won’t be looking to add another one any time soon. Bubba Starling has been given SIX seasons to prove his worth in the minors and his average slash line over that time sits at .229/.305/.372, which is really bad.

While fans don’t want to admit it, the hope for Bubba Starling to come up and be an exciting player for the Kansas City Royals for years to come is slowly diminishing over time. He just might not have the chops to be a MLB player and the Royals might have to cut their loss and move on.