Who is Brandon Nimmo? He is one of two position players from the 2011 draft that has not advanced past low Class A ball in the minors.
Unfortunately for Royals fans, the other is Bubba Starling.
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Starling, who recently was named one of the biggest first-half disappointments among prospects by the website MLB Trade Rumors, has a slash line of .215/.305/.353 for Class A Lexington, and has just two hits in his last 29 at-bats. Starling, the fifth overall pick in 2011, does have 41 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and eight homers.
However, he has 86 strikeouts in 286 at-bats.
After batting .210 through May, Starling hit .250 with in June, but he’s slumped to a .158 mark in July.
Starling made news when he returned to Kansas City in May to have Lasik surgery. He was having trouble picking up the ball at night, according to the Royals, and that still appears to be a problem. Starling is batting .289 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 21 day games, but is hitting .188 with five home runs and 29 RBIs in night games.
Heading into the 2011 draft, the Royals were hoping to grab a pitcher as Gerrit Cole, Danny Hultzen, Trevor Bauer and Dylan Bundy were the top prospects. Those four were all picked before the Royals chose at No. 5. They went with Starling, and so far things haven’t worked out as they’d hoped.
Incidentally, Anthony Rendon was picked by the Nationals after Starling. In 43 games this season, he’s batting .301 with three homers and 14 RBIs. Drafted as a third baseman, Rendon is also playing some second base.
Another note about that 2011 draft: The Blue Jays suffered the worst fate after they drafted right-hander Tyler Beede and he didn’t sign with the team.
Still, only six of the 33 first-round picks haven’t advanced beyond low Class A. Four are pitchers and the other two are Nimmo and Starling. By the way, Nimmo had a slash line of .261/.366/.350.
Here is a look back at the 2011 draft and how those players have fared:
|1||Gerrit Cole, RHP||Pirates||Majors|
|2||Danny Hultzen LHP||Mariners||Class AAA|
|3||Trevor Bauer, RHP||D-backs||Majors|
|4||Dylan Bundy, RHP||Orioles||Majors|
|5||Bubba Starling, OF||Royals||Class A|
|6||Anthony Rendon, 3B||Nationals||Majors|
|7||Archie Bradley, RHP||Diamondbacks||Class AA|
|8||Francisco Lindor, SS||Indians||Class A-Adv.|
|9||Javier Baez, SS||Cubs||Class AA|
|10||Cory Spangenberg, 2B||Padres||Class AA|
|11||George Springer, OF||Astros||Class AAA|
|12||Taylor Jungmann, RHP||Brewers||Class AA|
|13||Brandon Nimmo, OF||Mets||Class A|
|14||Jose Fernandez, RHP||Marlins||Majors|
|15||Jeb Bradley, LHP||Brewers||Class A-Adv.|
|16||Chris Reed, LHP||Dodgers||Class AA|
|17||C.J. Cron, 1B||Angels||Class AA|
|18||Sonny Gray, RHP||Athletics||Class AAA|
|19||Matt Barnes, RHP||Red Sox||Class AA|
|20||Tyler Anderson, LHP||Rockies||Class A-Adv.|
|21||Tyler Beede, RHP||Blue Jays||Didn’t sign|
|22||Kolten Wong, 2B||Cardinals||Class AAA|
|23||Alex Meyer, RHP||Nationals||Class AA|
|24||Taylor Guerrieri, RHP||Rays||Class A|
|25||Joe Ross, RHP||Padres||Class A|
|26||Blake Swihart, C||Red Sox||Class A-Adv.|
|27||Robert Stephenson, RHP||Reds||Class A|
|28||Sean Gilmartin, LHP||Braves||Class AAA|
|29||Joe Panik, SS||Giants||Class AA|
|30||Levi Michael, SS||Twins||Class A-Adv.|
|31||Mikie Mahtook, OF||Rays||Class AA|
|32||Jake Hager, SS||Rays||Class A-Adv.|
|33||Kevin Matthews, LHP||Rangers||Class A|