Outfielder Bubba Starling, a former two-sport star and top prospect, has announced his retirement via Facebook post, reports Alec Lewis of the Athletic. Mooted as a potential top overall pick in the 2011 draft, Starling never quite blossomed after the Royals nabbed him with the fifth overall selection. Starling retires with a career line of .204/.246/.298 line across 261 plate appearances in parts of two big league seasons.
Starling was long touted as a future building block for the Royals. Also a star quarterback in high school football star who’d committed to the University of Nebraska, he was seen as a raw bundle of virtually unparalleled athleticism in his draft class. He ripped through the Rookie-level Appalachian League in his first pro season (2012), and for the first two years of his pro career was widely considered among the game’s most promising farmhands.
Starling’s bat began to stall out in the low minors, however, and his offensive output never fully caught up with his off-the-charts raw tools. He looked to perhaps be turning a corner when he hit .310/.358/.448 through 72 games with Triple-A Omaha in 2019 and received his first call to the big leagues, but Starling produced a .204/.246/.298 batting line through 261 plate appearances in parts of two Major League seasons. Though his big league dreams may not have been realized, Starling did suit up as a member of Team USA’s Olympic roster this year, going 2-for-7 with a pair of RBIs and helping the United States to a Silver Medal.
While this week’s announcement closes the door on a tantalizing talent that captured the intrigue of Royals fans — and baseball fans at large — credit goes to Starling for grinding out a decade-long career in pro ball. The determination required to grind through eight seasons of sky-high expectations and make a Major League debut in 2019 is commendable in and of itself, and at 29 years of age, he could well have other opportunities in the game available to him in the coming years, should he choose to go that route.
Yep it is
I thought he retired the day we drafted him
Have some respect bro wtf
Grow up that’s funny. The kid made millions he’s fine.
That’s what they call a first round bust
Thoughts and prayers for a speedy retirement
hey, he got to the Majors at least!
oh shoot. forgot he was also on the Olympic team as well.
And he made way more money than most of us, I bet.
7.5 million signing bonus, I’d say he did ok.
First round picks almost always get a cup of coffee. Even if they suck.
Mark Appel would disagree.
I said “almost all.”
Now he can go catch shrimp with Tom Hanks
Just how many different kinds of shrimp are there?
Well let’s see; Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it
Not to mention the latest entree, “Beyond Shrimp” ( made with cauliflower and asparagus) (and Lord knows what else). .
I believe that mystery “Lord knows what else” ingredient is called estrogen
I heard you only taste the cumin though.
I’m tempted to add the shrimp chips sold at Costco, but won’t after buying and trying. Unjustified albeit noted for sake of completeness.
Try the CansecoMcGwire brand, it has added testosterone that gives it a real kick.
That top five of the 2011 draft is an interesting one. On one hand you have ace-level pitchers like Cole and (ugh) Bauer, a middle ground in Bundy, and two players who wouldn’t debut until eight years later in Hultzen and Starling. Anyway, best of luck to him in what he decides to do with his post-playing career.
Retirement Announces Bubba Starling
Well, it might not have been the dream he wished for but he was in the majors and had some experience there. Not everyone gets that opportunity. Maybe he can land a coaching job at a school or run a training program.
He should turn to nascar, he’d be a better driver than bubba wallace
Not bad , turn ones athletic skills from 19 to 28 , PLAY a decade of baseball , even reach the majors , retire healthy at 28 having made almost $9mill. Kudos to the young man.
The end of an era.
A decade of dominance comes to a close.
I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
Starling ran a 4.36 electronically timed 40 yard dash as a senior in high school, would’ve been a lot of fun to see that speed at quarterback. He made the right choice taking the money but it’s fun to dream what might’ve been.
He could always pull a Brandon Weeden and go back to college football now
I remember watching the draft he was picked and all the mentions of his athleticism and two sport athlete. I’d love to see him give college football a try, even though he might be a little older.
I wonder if it’s too late to give football a try.
I don’t remember for sure but there is a formula they use. Has to do with age years played collegiate in any sport etc. You get the full 5 for awhile. Then you start losing years an example is 5 yrs out of HS you get 4 etc. He might have a year left so doubtful any D1 school would seriously consider him.
There was a guy I met at a work conference he was a KC ticket holder. We talked about him and figured KC was the only spot he would sign. Too bad he had all the peripherals strange how things don’t work out.
He can live a good life and hopefully will give back to his community. Time would be enough doesn’t always need to be about money. Start an academy and let underserved communities come for free. Anyway good luck to him.
As long as you never enrolled in college and never played a sport, there is no age limit. Just this summer, there was a feature on a 48-year old playing college (NCAA) golf. If you’re good enough, and you never started your NCAA clock, age doesn’t matter.
The Jaguars are always in the market for two sport stars(and headlines).
Angels & NL West
Nebraska could sure use him. Been pretty rough in Lincoln for several years now…
Bubba Starling a current no sport man.
Baseball is really tough. He just could never quite get there but good for him for doing his best and making the majors.. Kid spent 10 years trying to make it – good for him to move on to something else.
Billy Beane 2.0?
Go to Nebraska and play QB.
I remember reading his scouting report way back when. Tape measure home runs, could throw a football 50 yards from his knees. Can’t blame KC for drafting him where they did.
The last paragraph is something I appreciate. What all of these guys are trying to do is incredibly challenging. Not single mother working three jobs challenging, but it’s very difficult to try to be the best in the world at something, under a microscope. We should have some basic respect for the people under the uniforms. Sports doesn’t always do a very good job of that.
HOF – Second Ballot
Old age is a b
Amazing career, see you in Cooperstown Bubba.
Tickets are $29.99
Respect to Bubba and to the Royals. Drafted the hometown kid and never gave up on him as he was playing for the dream. Also got to play for team USA in the olympics and won a silver. Those bus rides were worth it.
Hey, don’t harsh on the dude! He got to live my dream! I even got to watch him play against my AA Cardinals ! I always pulled for him because I knew he was grinding!
Let’s be real here for a second…
The Kansas Jayhawks need him and the school is 30 minutes from where he lives
We met him several times spring spring training and he was always very gracious and kind to take pictures with anyone… especially kids that looked up to him.
I’m 6’4”, 215 pounds and he is clearly a full inch taller than me with a lot more muscle… I really hope he gives shot of plane quarterback for a college team