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Bubba Starling Selected With 5th Pick of 2011 MLB Draft

The Royals have selected Bubba Starling out of Kansas with the 5th pick of the 2011 MLB Draft. The move is at once a minor surprise and an expected move. The Royals were rumored to have wanted a college pitcher, but the top college pitchers all went ahead, leaving the attractive Starling waiting at #5.

Oh boy. There's going to be excitement about this one, although there was a strong undercurrent of fans hoping for Trevor Bauer or even Anthony Rendon. Starling is, as you may have heard, a zillion-sport athlete out of Kansas, who is also considering playing football at Nebraska. Today, Bob Lutz of the Wichita Eagle wrote that the Royals essentially have to take Starling. They did. I hope you find people randomly typing "Bubba" as a noun, verb, adjective, answer to life's questions for the next ten years. However, be advised, these things can go sour. I remember another semi-local boy with ties to Nebraska, that went from loved to hated in about... six months.

According to the venerable Husker Extra, Starling is a "chiseled 6-5." Keith Law has Starling as the #3 player on his board.

Starling is, supposedly, a five tool player, who profiles as a future centerfielder. Given the weakness of the system up the middle (unless you are a huge Cain fan, yay Greinke trade!) Starling should fit in well. That's secondary however. The Royals obviously believe that Starling was the best player available, and I doubt that the quasi-hometown angle meant anything.

The biggest concerns with Starling are that he might decide to be a Husker and that he's faced weak competition in Kansas.