Young players have become more prominent in Major League Baseball. Properly valuing farm players' talents, timetables and opportunities will help rotisserie and head-to-head managers win their fantasy baseball leagues.
Starling passed up a chance to attend the University of Nebraska when he was selected fifth overall in the 2011 draft out of Gardner-Edgerton High School in Kansas. The 20-year-old was set to play quarterback in college, which is a testament to his all-around ultra-athletic makeup. Due to a late signing, he didn't make his pro debut until Rookie-level Burlington last year, posting a triple slash line of .275/.371/.485 with 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 200 at-bats.
Standing out above all else are his elite physical and athletic gifts, and he may be the most pure all-around athlete on this list. Unfortunately for Starling, all of his tools are extremely unpolished at this time. Speed is probably his biggest asset, both on the basepaths and on defense in center field, where he can cover large amounts of real estate. He has plus power and could easily develop into an offensive juggernaut with speed, ala Mike Trout, but in order to realize those lofty aspirations, Starling must certainly fix his rigid mechanics and shore up some holes in his swing. He must develop a better understanding of the game, which would go a long way in helping to lower his strikeout rate and keep him from chasing balls outside the zone.
Starling could become a potential superstar in the Show and wind up replacing Wil Myers as KC's next big-time stud prospect outfielder in a couple of years. The potential with Starling is through the roof, but because of his raw skills, the Royals and impatient fantasy baseball players will likely have to wait this one out for a bit. His arm strength and speed will definitely play at the next level, so it'll all come down to whether he can become polished with the lumber. With Starling, there's no guarantee, making him the ultimate boom-or-bust prospect.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program. Follow @keithdez27
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