Top 50 Prospects: #16 – Bubba Starling | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Top 50 Prospects: #16 – Bubba Starling

#17 Bubba Starling

Kansas City Royals

DOB: 8/3/1992

Previous Rank: N/A

ETA: 2014

Starling was the top prep position player available in the 2011 draft.  His tools were the finest in the 2011 class for any position player, though.  He’s blazing fast, throws gas from the outfield, generates outstanding bat speed, and has a frame that projects both in terms of potential and the likelihood of a healthy career.  As far as we at The Sombrero are concerned, however, that is where the compliments end.

Starling is loaded with shit makeup, a lack of familiarity with the game, and poor fundamentals in terms of both mechanics and comprehension.  He signed late too, and basically missed half a season unnecessarily, suggesting that baseball is not a terribly high priority for him.  You’d think a guy who wasted as much time fooling around with a football as Starling did would want to get started early to attempt to maybe even the playing field between himself and the guys who have lived within the game for the last 10 or 15 years.

Starling then proceeded to receive an underage drinking charge.  Don’t look for this guy to ever have much in the way of baseball IQ.  Expect insane tools and athleticism, the type that guys like Starling don’t deserve.  He should spend a season and a half or two in the low Minors and about the same amount in Double-A and Triple-A.  Look for him to debut in center some time in 2014.  KC is really going to regret passing on Archie Bradley.


  1. glp says:

    It’s clear you know absolutely nothing of what you are talking about, as you have made a lot of harsh judgments regarding a young man you have never met. I live in Bubba’s area and do know him. He has always been known for strong work ethic and high character and is a very well liked young man.

    As far as having poor fundamentals in terms of mechanics, that is likely true since he was a three sport athlete. It’s also true of a lot of other kids who have just been drafted out of high school, and it’s also fixable. Lots of teams draft players knowing that they needed mechanical adjustments. When it comes to “poor fundamentals in terms on comprehension,” once again I must ask how you know that. Please cite a source for your information, one that’s not simply your assumption.

    But this is the kicker, and the one that tells me you know nothing of what you are talking about: “He signed late too, and basically missed half a season unnecessarily, suggesting that baseball is not a terribly high priority for him. You’d think a guy who wasted as much time fooling around with a football as Starling did would want to get started early to attempt to maybe even the playing field between himself and the guys who have lived within the game for the last 10 or 15 years.” All player contracts have to be approved by the commissioner. Bud Selig will not approve anything other than slot contracts before the signing deadline. Teams often have agreements in place with their draftees long before the signing deadline, but they sit on Selig’s desk until then, keeping the kids off the field. There’s no way Starling’s contract would have been approved any earlier than it was, and no way he could have been on the field under any circumstances. Blame Selig, blame Scott Boras, blame the players association, but don’t blame Starling for that one. Anybody worth his salt who knows anything about the baseball draft is well aware of this.

    I will not defend him having had a beer before the age of 21. I’ll just say he was not legally drunk and he was not driving. I’ll bet you also had a beer before you were 21. Guess that means you have shit makeup too. And if you want to tell me that I’m making a judgment based on something I know nothing about, remember, so are you.

  2. Keith P says:

    Daniel, if you hate him this much as a prospect, why on earth did you rank him #16 overall? Just based on his tools? If you don’t think he will realize his potential, he shouldn’t have been ranked this high.

  3. Steve says:

    This is probably as good a time as any to explain several things about these rankings and our site in general. First, this is a site created by fans of baseball. We do not personally know any of the prospects we are ranking. We do not love or hate any of them on a personal level and are not all that interested in who they are as human beings off of the field. We are not members of the camp of fans who regard baseball players or any other athletes as role models or human beings expected to represent exemplary values or habits. We just want to watch and cheer for good baseball. When we discuss a player’s makeup, what we are concerned with is essentially two different things. First, when the player takes the field or the gym or the track or goes to work in any other way, is he working as hard as he can to bring the best game that he can to the yard? Starling gets terrific marks in this department. To be fair to him and the Royals, this is the more important aspect of the makeup grade. However, there is another aspect to this grade. That aspect essentially involves whether or not a player draws any negative attention to the organization, of which Starling, who has never recorded a professional AB, is already guilty. As an example from the Major League level, consider Ryan Braun. Ryan Braun just won the NL MVP award and led his team to the playoffs, where they even won a series. However, he also is a facing a 50-game suspension that, no matter what he does for the rest of his days on the field, will irreparably tarnish his career and call his employer into question. Starling is nowhere near this point, but this is perhaps the most obvious and extreme example of where this can lead. Additionally, representation by the Boras Corporation in today’s baseball landscape, at least from the fan’s perspective, should be viewed as a knock on the player. Scott Boras willingly and knowingly keeps players off of the field, a flaw that is directly opposed to the wants of the fans, which we are. That said, we understand that Scott Boras’ (and Bubba Starling’s) job is to make as much money as possible. If that means letting contracts sit on Selig’s desk until the deadline, Scott Boras has repeatedly shown that he will not budge. He almost made Hosmer go to college for Christ’s sake. Once again, however, Starling did not have to elect to be represented by Scott Boras. What’s more, it is certainly not necessarily the case that Bud Selig simply stares at sheets of paper that are left on his desk. Bauer got far more than slot money (13% more to be exact) and he was able to make 7 starts even after a full season in the PAC-12. Top draft prospects are not required to be Boras clients and certainly can achieve above slot dough if they are not…or at least could before the new CBA. The point in Starling’s case was simply that the half season he missed could have been especially valuable given his past football obligations and resultant time missed on the diamond. Once again, as a fan who has and likely never will meet Starling, this is certainly not something we like. What’s more, the Royals surely do not like it, but they aren’t blind and likely anticipated it when they drafted a Boras client. I fully understand that as someone who personally knows Starling, it makes sense to hope that he makes as much money as he possibly can in the game. That is what is personally best for him and prospects as a human being. As fans in the more general sense, though, we desire something totally different. As far as where he was ranked, that reflects more of the utter lack of elite impact bats in the Minors today relative to the amount of front line arms. A reevaluation is imminent but not quite here yet with regards to how we rate pitchers and hitters relative to each other. It’s grown increasingly difficult to rank middle vs. corner guys too as middle positions require more and more on the defensive end. Thank you very much for reading the site. I truly hope that you continue to read it and even comment. I especially enjoyed that part at the end where you suggest that my makeup is also “shit”. That was a pretty clever slam.