KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals are bringing Bubba Starling to the majors, culminating a journey that took eight years in the minors for the hometown hero and former first-round draft pick.
Starling will join the Royals for the opener of their series against Detroit on Friday night.
The 26-year-old outfielder, who starred at nearby Gardner-Edgerton High School, has struggled for years to live up to enormous expectations in the minors. But he is hitting .310 with seven homers and 38 RBIs in his first full season at Triple-A Omaha, and recently played in that level’s all-star game.
Starling was chosen fifth overall in the 2011 draft, signing for a $7.5 million bonus — then the second-largest in draft history and the most guaranteed money to a prep player.
The Royals will make a corresponding roster move Friday.