Bubba Starling, as you may have heard, is from Kansas. This was already fairly noteworthy on draft day, and became even more so when the Royals selected him. Elite high school players simply aren't from Kansas very often. Of course, not much of anything is from Kansas these days, merely because Kansas is a small population state. That being said, there are also secondary reasons for the relative dearth of top-shelf Kansans in high school baseball: the complications related to the longer winters, the lack of a training/high-end/marginally insane youth sports infrastructure as compared to the Sun Belt states, etc.
If we grant that Bubba Starling is a great talent for his current age group, how rare would it be if he became an All-Star level player out of Kansas?
- Only 32 Kansans have amassed more than 1,000 PAs at the Major League level. To date, only eight Kansas-born players have appeared in a Major League game this season.
- Of those eight Kansans (of some degree) in the Major Leagues, one is, of course, our own Aaron Crow, who was born in Topeka. Kyle Farnsworth was also born in Kansas (Wichita) as was Andy Larouche (Fort Scott).
- Overall however, Kansas has been a respectable state in baseball history. 205 Kansas-born players have made the Major Leagues, which is more than South Carolina (169) and close to neighboring Oklahoma's total of 236 and Iowa's 213. Truly barren Major League states are either small northern states like Rhode Island (73) or Vermont (37) or Western states that were essentially un-populated until quite recently. Thus, Arizona, has only produced 89 players to date.