After rough start, Starling has 'great experience' in first camp

Former first-round pick among several Royals roster moves

After rough start, Starling has 'great experience' in first camp

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Former Royals first-round pick Bubba Starling said his first Spring Training invite certainly met all his expectations.

"And then some, probably even more so," Starling said. "I feel like I have really learned some stuff from the veteran guys. It has been a great experience."

Starling, who was one of several players reassigned to the team's Minor League camp, had a rough start, striking out in five of his first six at-bats in the Cactus League.

But Starling wound up going four for his last eight and hit .286 in his first big league camp.

"Getting those first couple of hits really relaxed me," he said. "I was able to stop making those defensive swings just trying to get the ball in play and I started being more aggressive and being myself."

Royals manager Ned Yost noticed the difference, too, after Starling got a couple of hits.

"You could just see the pressure come off him," Yost said, "and then he started playing his game."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.