2011 MLB Draft: Royals Stay Local, Select Local Star Bubba Starling

Kansas City Royals: Derek "Bubba" Starling (OF, Gardner-Edgerton HS, Gardner, Kansas)
Despite their professed interest in college pitching, in the end the Royals could not resist picking a local talent. But this was far from an overdraft: Starling is an exceptional athlete, a pure Five Tool player with power, speed, strength, a throwing arm, and outstanding overall athleticism. He's a Nebraska quarterback recruit and has leverage, but in the end it is very unlikely he will get away from Kansas City.

Starling is 6-5, 195. He has the ability to develop into a 30/30 player with excellent center-field defense. The main concern is simple polish: He didn't face good competition in high school, and while his ceiling is tremendous, there is also a chance he could be a bust, perhaps if his strike-zone judgment isn't up to snuff. However, Starling has the physical ability to be a superstar, and while he'll need some development time, the choice is completely justified.

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