- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 180-195 lb.
- High School Gardner-Edgerton High School
Bubba Starling was the first position player drafted in the 2011 amateur draft.
Starling hit .339/.474/.532 for Team USA's junior squad in 2010. In the 2010 World Junior Championship, he hit .350/.567/.500 with 10 walks in 7 games. In the 5th/6th place game, he socked a 3-run homer off the Netherlands' Jerremyh Angela. He finished 5th in the event in OBP (between Tomas Sykora and Francisco Lindor) and led in walks. A two-sport star, Starling ran for 31 touchdowns and 2,377 yards as a high school senior quarterback. Overall, he produced 97 touchdowns in high school. He was also All-State in basketball. He had a football scholarship to the University of Nebraska when the Kansas City Royals took the five-tool player fifth in the 2011 amateur draft. He was the first position player taken, following pitchers Gerrit Cole, Danny Hultzen, Trevor Bauer and Dylan Bundy. It was the first time in draft history no position player had gone in the top four. He was considered a very tough sign due to his offer to play quarterback for the Cornhuskers, but the Royals came to an agreement with him on the final day for signing 2011 draftees, August 15th. He agreed to a deal worth a guaranteed $7.5 million. The scouts were Blake Davis, Lonnie Goldberg and Mitch Webster.
A hamstring injury sidelined Starling for early 2012, then he made his pro debut with the Burlington Royals on June 29. Hitting third and playing center field, he went 0 for 5 with a walk and a run in a 14-2 win over the Johnson City Cardinals. After 12 games, he was at .273/.429/.500 with 9 walks, 2 home runs, 10 runs and 10 RBI.