|Kansas City Royals - No. 11|
August 3, 1992 |
He graduated in the class of 2011 from Gardner Edgerton High School in Gardner, Kansas. Starling was an All-State selection in three different sports at Gardner-Edgerton. He earned first team Top 11 picks as a quarterback in all classifications in Kansas two years in a row. He was rated as high as the No. 6 quarterback in the class of 2011 and No. 112 in the nation for high school football recruits and was also touted as the No. 1 ranked baseball recruit in the nation.
Starling started three years at quarterback for Gardner-Edgerton's football team, and during his junior year he led the Trailblazers to the 2009 Kansas 5A State Championship game, which was won by Hutchinson. After his senior year, he was considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation. Starling accepted a scholarship to play both football and baseball for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but later turned it down to join the Royals.
As a baseball outfielder, Starling was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the 5th overall selection in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft. He had widely been considered to be the most athletic prospect in the draft. Starling received a $7.5 million signing bonus, the second largest in draft history. Starling's bonus was also the largest ever for a high school player and his contract also represented the most guaranteed money ever given to a high school player. On July 18 he sustained a grade 2 strained spleen against the Springfield Cardinals in Double-A.
On August 14, 2011, Starling signed a 7.5 million-dollar, three-year contract with the Kansas City Royals, opting to play professional baseball over a collegiate athletic career for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cornhuskers. Starling is represented by agent Scott Boras.
The Royals added Starling to their 40-man roster after the 2015 season.
He was promoted to the AAA Omaha Storm Chasers on July 2, 2016 after batting .185 while at AA Northwest Arkansas.
Starling was born and raised in Gardner, Kansas where his mother had also been a three-sport athlete at Gardner-Edgerton High School. His father had played basketball at nearby Wellsville High School.