Gardner, KS native Bubba Starling who in February signed a letter of intent to play quarterback at Nebraska will now be faced with a big decision. The Kansas City Royals picked him fifth overall in the first round of Major League Baseball’s Amatuer Draft. The reason it is a big decision…over the last five years, the fifth overall pick has received on average a signing bonus of just under $4 million. Royals General manager Dayton Moore thinks they’ll get Starling to play baseball.
The 18-year-old Starling, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound centerfielder, was ranked by Baseball America as the number one high school prospect and the best high school athlete in the draft. He batted .481 this spring. In his junior and senior seasons combined, he hit better than .500 with 17 home runs. Starling played for Team USA (under 18) in the summer of 2010, hitting .339 with three home runs with 12 RBI, 20 runs scored, a .474 on-base pct. and .532 slugging pct.
Starling was the Kansas Player of the Year in football. As the Gardner Edgerton quarterback, he ran for 2,377 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior and threw for an additional 790 yards and eight touchdowns in leading his club to the Kansas 5A state semifinals. Over his three-year high school football career, Starling accounted for more than 8,100 yards of offense and 97 touchdowns.