Bubba Starling joins the Lexington Legends with a bull's-eye on his back.
He is the only first-round draft pick on the team.
Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 1 high school prospect in 2011, he was selected fifth overall by the Kansas City Royals, out of Gardner-Edgerton High School in Kansas.
A 6-foot-4, 210-pound center fielder, Starling made his pro debut last summer. Over 53 games with Burlington of the Appalachian League, he hit .275 with 10 homers and 33 runs batted in.
"Last year was a little overwhelming, I guess. Put too much pressure on myself," said Starling, who earned Appy League all-star honors. "But this year, all of us are just going out, trying to work as hard as we can."
A three-sport star in high school, Starling rushed for 2,471 yards and 31 touchdowns in football his senior year. He was All-State in basketball. He slugged 17 homers over his last two high school seasons, hitting .481 as a senior.
"You can always work on something," Starling said. "But, defensively, I think I'm pretty advanced as far as reading balls, getting to balls, stuff like that, Definitely I have a lot to work on still. This is only my second season; first full season, too. So I've just got to be consistent up at the plate and it'll come with playing all the games."
Stuff of Legends
Last year, the Legends had a son of a former major leaguer in Delino DeShields Jr.
This year, the Legends have a son of a former major leaguer in Raul Mondesi.
That's infielder Raul Adalberto Mondesi.
The Legends' Mondesi prefers to go by Raul. His brother, Raul Mondesi Jr., plays in the Tampa Bay organization.
Raul Sr. was National League Rookie of the Year in 1994, the start of a 13-year career in the big leagues.
Lexington's Raul, 17, was ranked by Baseball America as the third best prospect in the Pioneer League last year. Playing for Idaho Falls, he hit .290 with three homers, 30 RBI and 11 stolen bases.
■ Could DeShields' club record of 83 steals fall?
Outfielder Terrence Gore has swiped 53 bases in 55 attempts as a professional. He is rated by Baseball America as "Fastest Baserunner" in the Royals organization for a second straight year.
■ Left-handed pitcher Clayton Schulz, an avid surfer, required more than 400 stitches in his left leg after being bitten by a shark in 2010.
■ Right-handed pitcher Mark Peterson's father, Ralph, played basketball for North Carolina-Wilmington. His teammates included John Calipari, who later transferred to Clarion State.
■ Catcher Jin-ho Shin is the first Korean-born player in Royals franchise history.
■ Outfielder Fred Ford, a seventh-round pick last June out of junior college, passed up an offer to play for Western Kentucky.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229 Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com