Draft press conference notes
The MLB Draft kicked off today and this is the third straight year that the Royals have picked a local product in the first few rounds. In 2009, they chose former University of Missouri star and Topeka (Kan.) native Aaron Crow in the first round (12th overall). Last year, Blue Valley Northwest product Jason Adam was KC’s fifth-round pick. Now, the Royals have selected outfielder Bubba Starling from nearby Gardner Edgerton (Kan.) High School in the first round (fifth overall).
Shortly after Starling’s selection, the Royals held a press conference with General Manager Dayton Moore, Assistant GM/Scouting Player Development J.J. Picollo and Director of Scouting Lonnie Goldberg.
While Moore has said before that it is important for the Royals to scout and draft the best players in their area, he also has a staff that is focused on picking the best overall player available. He sees Starling as that player and as one who will help the Royals win. He is excited to get a player that will make big plays for the fans at Kauffman Stadium. Moore is confident that Starling wants to play professional baseball (Starling has a scholarship to play football and baseball at Nebraska).
Moore thanked area scout Blake Davis and Midwest Regional Supervisor Mitch Webster for their hard work in scouting Starling. He also commended Goldberg and Picollo for their tremendous efforts in putting together Kansas City’s draft plan.
When asked how Starling would move through the minor league system, Goldberg said that he would not put any limitations on him. Goldberg sees Starling as a player with raw power and plus speed. When a reporter asked Goldberg about tales of Starling hitting 500-foot home runs, Goldberg smiled and stated that he hasn’t walked off the home runs. Picollo noted that Starling’s familiarity with the city and the Royals will help as he will have a short adjustment period when he ultimately arrives in KC.