Bubba Starling Drills First Pro Homers For Royals

When the Royals took Bubba Starling with the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft, they knew there were getting a player with tremendous upside but whose lack of polish would dictate a long development process. Starling backed up both of those notions with his performance Monday for Rookie-level Burlington.

The ultra-athletic center fielder has no shortage of tools, and he put his raw power on full display Monday, homering twice—the first two long balls of his career—as Burlington clobbered Danville 13-5 (Box Score). The righty-swinging Starling pulled both of his homers, a two-run shot in the first and a three-run in the seventh, to left field. He also mixed in an RBI single to center in the third, giving him six RBIs for the game.

Starling, 19, went 3-for-6 on the night, and he showed where his feel for hitting still has some catching up to do with his physical tools as he struck out in each of his other there at-bats (two swinging, one looking). Slowed by a hamstring problem that cost him the first nine games of Burlington’s season, Starling was just 2-for-11 in his first three games for the B-Royals coming into Monday’s action.