Royals prospect, Gardner native Bubba Starling announces retirement from baseball

Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Kansas City Royals prospect Bubba Starling says he’s retiring from baseball.

The Gardner, Kansas, native confirmed to WDAF-TV that he’s done playing. He wrote on Facebook that he “can’t wait for this next chapter,” but he didn’t say what he plans to do next.

Starling was the Royals’ fifth overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft and was promoted to the major leagues in 2019. He made the Royals’ Opening Day roster in 2020 but played in just 35 games.

Despite flashing a solid glove, the hometown kid from Gardner Edgerton High School never developed the bat to match it. He hit just .169 with one homer and five RBIs while spending two stints on the injured list during his time in the big leagues.

After the 2020 season, Starling was non-tendered before resigning under a minor league contract to the Omaha Storm Chasers.

He saw more success in Omaha with a .258 average, seven homers and 17 RBIs in 2021.

This summer the 29-year-old represented Team USA with a trip to the Tokyo Olympics, helping the United States bring home a silver medal in baseball.

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