The Royals’ rookie league teams have several youngsters taking the field who are worthy of note. Unfortunately, thus far, Bubba Starling hasn’t been one of them.
The youth movement in KC may not be over. The host of youngsters pumping new life into the Royals ballclub may have company in a few years.
But staring Royals fans in the face, sitting atop the list of their top minor league prospects, is Starling. Long on promise but totally lacking in performance, Starling keeps us all waiting.
After months of contract negotiations, Nebraska Cornhusker football practices, a fall season cut short by injury and marred by an arrest, Starling can finally start proving that the Royals were smart to select him fifth in the 2011 draft.
But a hamstring injury kept him out of the first week of games for the Burlington Royals. The wait, and the drama, is starting to make fans wonder if he’ll ever live up to his billing.
While not headline grabbers, there were other noteworthy unveilings at the rookie ball level of the Royals franchise.
Still to be announced is where first rounder Kyle Zimmer will land. But in the meantime, Idaho Falls and Burlington will bear watching.
Bryan Brickhouse – nowhere to go but up for the third round pick from 2011. Seven runs in 1.2 innings isn’t exactly what he had in mind. He’s now on the Kane County roster. Hope he merits the promotion.
Sam Selman – this season’s second round pick should move quickly because he’s 21 and experienced pitching in the tough SEC. He was good in his 2.2-inning debut.
Adalberto Mondesi – still a month away from his 17th birthday, bloodlines make the son of Raul Mondesi an interesting shortstop to follow. So far so good, he hit .400 in his first week.
Eliar Hernandez – a big-dollar signee of a year ago finally takes to the field. He didn’t disappoint, hitting .364 with four doubles in his first week. And he’s just 17.
Humberto Arteaga –the 18-year-old Burlington shortstop is highly regarded for his defense.
Cameron Gallager – the Royals thought enough of him to take him in the second round in 2011, all the while grooming Salvador Perez to be their catcher for a long, long while.
Kenneth Diekroeger – the 21-year-old Stanford product will be an interesting case. He was a collegiate star early on, but slipped in production. Some scouts thought the Royals got a steal by taking him in the fourth round.